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Producers Guild Preview and Predictions

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It wasn’t really until 2013 that anyone discussed this idea that Kathleen Kennedy, one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful female producers, had not yet won an Oscar.

Kennedy’s been nominated for Producer on an Oscar Best Picture nominee nine times and has never won. She might have won for Schindler’s List but wasn’t one of the credited producers. She’s been working with Steven Spielberg since E.T. but has been nominated for producing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (the best film of that year),Seabiscuit and The Sixth Sense, in addition to having been nominated for E.T., The Color Purple, Munich, War Horse and now, Lincoln.

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Kennedy is one of those unsung women who secretly rule Hollywood but make their moves in the background, never really getting proper credit for their distinguished careers. But that doesn’t mean the PGA, all 4,700 of them, will even consider Kathleen Kennedy when they pick their favorite film of the year. I’ve never seen them vote that way, at any rate, like most large consensus votes they go with their heart.

The Producers Guild and the Academy are the only two large voting bodies that employ the preferential ballot to find their winner. The producers did this to match the Academy once they expanded Best Picture from five to ten.

Where a film like Moulin Rouge or Little Miss Sunshine could win with a more passionate vote with five nominees, passion doesn’t necessarily get you there with a preferential ballot. This is how The Hurt Locker, The King’s Speech and The Artist did so well with both the PGA and the Oscar.

It’s worth noting that these same films did well under a larger consensus vote where passion does come into play — the DGA, namely, and Oscar’s Best Director. We’ve had 100% match-ups since 2009.

The reason that most people are predicting Argo to win the PGA is that they all assume that’s the film carrying the buzz right now. They also believe that with George Clooney AND Ben Affleck on the ticket they can’t be beat. Argo is also extremely likable and has the least amount of “baggage” as the other nominees. It would follow in the “least offensive film wins” category of late.

Many people do believe that Argo is the best film of the year to boot. The PGA, like every other group except the SAG, arguably, vote on the movie they like best, not on level of difficulty. They tend to prefer movies that cost less and made more. They don’t seem to favor movies that cost a lot and didn’t make much money back. They don’t really consider things like honoring women or minorities with their votes — they simply see the movie, or the producer, they like best and go from there.

But just for the sake of it, let’s see what we can glean from the cost vs. profit of the films up for the big prize.

Lincoln cost: $65 million // BO so far: $161 million – $96
Les Miserables: $61 million // BO so far: $131 million – $78
Argo cost: $44 million // BO so far: $115 million – $71
Django Unchained cost: $100 million // BO so far: $139 million – $39 mil
Silver Linings Playbook cost: $21 million // BO so far: $58 million – $37
Zero Dark Thirty cost: $40 million // BO so far: $57 million – $17
Life of Pi cost: $120 million // BO so far: $100 million – -$20

(It’s worth noting that this week Life of Pi will surpass half a billion dollars worldwide, but we’re only looking at domestic since the rest of the contenders have yet to expand internationally.)

The other two, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour haven’t made much yet but cost practically nothing so they would not be part of the conversation, box office wise. Beasts has made around $11 million, just one mil shy of what The Hurt Locker made in 2009.

The numbers are one thing. The “Oscar story” is a different thing. When it comes to the “Oscar story” Lincoln has the others beat. Here is how Kathleen Kennedy describes her experience working on Lincoln:

It involves a huge amount of research. That’s probably what differentiates this from other projects I’ve worked on. We started the process almost 13 years ago. It was very much a part of our movie making process — that entire 13 years. Even though we weren’t in active pre-production for that entire 13 years, we were working on it constantly. … Ensuring that the movie was historically accurate became a huge focus to every single person involved in the movie.

It has been said that everyone in town knew that Spielberg and Kennedy were making Lincoln, going back a whole decade. It was kicking around and kicking around, researched, honed, carefully sculpted into the movie that it is today. This is perhaps why some of us feel a little more emotionally invested in this film than we do with many other films this year. Movies like this, projects like this, are extremely rare. Does that mean it WILL win? So far everyone seems to think no, it won’t win because it doesn’t have strong enough emotional support behind it. It has made almost $100 million dollars in profit, it went to the White House and the Senate, it is the crowning achievement of both Kennedy and Spielberg, it was endorsed by President Bill Clinton and yet, because some folks were bored it won’t be a film people throw awards at. If it were me, yeah, Lincoln would get every fucking award people could give it but I do not decide the Oscar race, I never have been.

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Right behind Lincoln is probably Argo, another story that was kicking around Hollywood forever as people mulled over getting it made. It landed in the hands of George Clooney who eventually got it to Ben Affleck who then turned it into the success that it is. It is also a crowdpleaser, meaning, audiences hang on the edge of their seat as it comes to a close, and it moves them emotionally by the end. It also has the likability factor of the stars involved — beloved George Clooney and of course, Ben Affleck who finally cashed the check on his directorial promise. Can Argo win? Can it ride the wave of sentiment supposedly generated by his directorial snub? Can it capture the zeitgeist and win the whole thing, making Academy history not once but twice? Only Driving Miss Daisy won without a director nomination (along with Wings, which I don’t count because it had only three nominations and Grand Hotel which happened so early in Academy history it can’t really be a precedent). Moreover, Argo is 4th or 5th in line in terms of nominations. The only movie that ever won at #4 was Chariots of Fire.

Silver Linings Playbook also has a bit of an Oscar story. According to Wikipedia, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella were set to produce it but both have since died. Pollack gave the book to Russell who then wrote and rewrote the script over a five year period. Russell’s son, as far as I knew, had autism but now it’s said he has bi-polar and OCD (it’s possible he has all of the above). He’s never really been that specific about it but continues to say that he wrote the movie for his son. The movie was one of those created on the cutting room floor and was just barely ready when it showed at Cannes — the scrappy underdog that could is an irresistible meme in the Oscar race and Silver Linings will be the threepeat for The Weinstein Co in that vein. But more than its “Oscar story,” it’s really the only film in the lineup that can challenge Lincoln, numbers-wise. It is also the most feelgood, emotionally effective of the bunch, apparently. It has the NY Times’ Manohla Dargis beating the drum for it at the New York Times, which lends it credibility, and the actors liked it so much they gave it four nominations.

I really think Silver Linings is the biggest threat all around, at the PGA and the SAG and the Oscar. But nipping at its heels is Argo. Any ground gained by one seems to be canceled out by the other.

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Zero Dark Thirty was produced by Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and Megan Ellison.  It was an incredibly difficult film to produce, as we can all now see — the filmmakers were and are dogged by the government, anti-torture activists and even film critics.  The film must now be called a success since it opened at number one.  Will the controversy affect its chances? It’s hard to say.  But it will get a significant number of votes as it is beloved and the best reviewed film of the year.

The nominees:
“Argo” (Warner Bros.) — Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight Pictures) — Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Josh Penn
“Django Unchained” (The Weinstein Company) –Producers: Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone, Stacey Sher
“Les Misérables” (Universal Pictures) –Producers: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
Life of Pi” (Fox 2000 Pictures) –Producers: Ang Lee, Gil Netter, David Womark
“Lincoln” (Touchstone Pictures) –Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
“Moonrise Kingdom” (Focus Features) –Producers: Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales
“Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company) — Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon
“Skyfall” (MGM/Columbia Pictures) –Producers: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson
“Zero Dark Thirty” (Columbia Pictures) — Producers: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Megan Ellison

What will probably win: Silver Linings Playbook
What might win: Argo
What should win: Lincoln

Animated:
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
“Brave” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) — Producer: Katherine Sarafian
“Frankenweenie” (Walt Disney Pictures) — Producers: Allison Abbate, Tim Burton
“ParaNorman” (Focus Features) — Producers: Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner
“Rise of the Guardians” (Paramount Pictures) — Producers: Nancy Bernstein, Christina Steinberg
“Wreck-It Ralph” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) — Producer: Clark Spencer

What will win: Wreck-it Ralph
What might win: Frankenweenie
What should win: Brave

Documentary:
“A People Uncounted” (Urbinder Films) — Producers: Marc Swenker, Aaron Yeger
“The Gatekeepers” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Producers: Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky, Dror Moreh
“The Island President” (Samuel Goldwyn Films) — Producers: Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen
“The Other Dream Team” (The Film Arcade) — Producers: Marius Markevicius, Jon Weinbach
“Searching For Sugar Man” (Sony Pictures Classics) –Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn

What will Win: The Gatekeepers
What might win: Searching for Sugarman
What should win: The Central Park Five, which isn’t nominated

The history:

Producers Guild | Best Picture
Won PGA | Won Oscar

2011

The Artist The Artist
The Help The Help
Midnight in Paris Midnight in Paris
The Ides of March Tree of Life
War Horse War Horse
The Descendants The Descendants
Bridesmaids
Hugo Hugo
Moneyball Moneyball
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

2010

The King’s Speech The King’s Speech
The Town Winter’s Bone
The Fighter The Fighter
The Social Network The Social Network
Benjamin Button Benjamin Button
Black Swan Black Swan
The Kids Are All Right The Kids Are All Right
Inception Inception
Toy Story 3 Toy Story 3
True Grit True Grit
127 Hours 127 Hours

2009

The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker
Star Trek A Serious Man
An Education An Education
Avatar Avatar
District 9 District 9
Inglourious Basterds Inglourious Basterds
Precious Precious
Invictus The Blind Side
Up Up
Up in the Air Up in the Air

2008

Frost/Nixon Frost/Nixon
Milk Milk
The Dark Knight The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
Benjamin Button Benjamin Button

2007

There Will Be Blood There Will Be Blood
Juno Juno
Diving Bell and Butterfly Atonement
No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men
Michael Clayton Michael Clayton

2006

Babel Babel
The Departed The Departed
Dreamgirls Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen The Queen

 

2005

Crash Crash
Brokeback Mountain Brokeback Mountain
Capote Capote
Good Night, and Good Luck Good Night, and Good Luck
Walk the Line Munich

2004

Finding Neverland Finding Neverland
Million Dollar Baby Million Dollar Baby
The Aviator The Aviator
Sideways Sideways
The Incredibles Ray

2003

Seabiscuit Seabiscuit
Mystic River Mystic River
Master and Commander Master and Commander
ROTK ROTK
The Last Samurai Lost in Translation
Cold Mountain

2002

Adaptation The Pianist
Chicago Chicago
Gangs of New York Gangs of New York
Lord of the Rings: Two Towers Two Towers
My Big Fat Greek Wedding The Hours
Road to Perdition

2001

A Beautiful Mind A Beautiful Mind
The Lord of the Rings The Lord of the Rings
Harry Potter Gosford Park
Moulin Rouge Moulin Rouge
Shrek In the Bedroom

2000

Gladiator Gladiator
Almost Famous Traffic
Erin Brockovich* Erin Brockovich
Billy Elliot Chocolat
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon* Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

1999

The Cider House Rules The Cider House Rules
American Beauty American Beauty
The Insider The Insider
Being John Malkovich The Green Mile
The Hurricane The Sixth Sense

1998

Life Is Beautiful Life Is Beautiful
Shakespeare In Love Shakespeare In Love
Gods and Monsters The Thin Red Line
Waking Ned Devine Elizabeth
Saving Private Ryan Saving Private Ryan

1997

Titanic Titanic
Amistad The Full Monty
L. A. Confidential L. A. Confidential
As Good As It Gets As Good as it Gets
for Good Will Hunting Good Will Hunting

1996

Fargo Fargo
Shine Shine
Hamlet Secrets & Lies
The People vs. Larry Flynt Jerry Maguire
The English Patient The English Patient

1995

Leaving Las Vegas Babe
Dead Man Walking Braveheart
Apollo 13 Apollo 13
Sense and Sensibility Sense and Sensibility
Il Postino Il Postino
The Bridges of Madison County
The American President

1994

EXACT MATCH

Four Weddings and a Funeral Four Weddings and a Funeral
Forrest Gump Forrest Gump
Quiz Show Quiz Show
Pulp Fiction Pulp Fiction
The Shawshank Redemption The Shawshank Redemption

1993

EXACT MATCH

The Fugitive The Fugitive
Schindler’s List Schindler’s List
The Remains Of the Day The Remains Of the Day
The Piano The Piano
In the Name Of the Father In the Name Of the Father

1992

A Few Good Men A Few Good Men
The Crying Game The Crying Game
Unforgiven Unforgiven
Scent Of a Woman Scent Of a Woman
Howards End Howards End

1991

The Silence Of the Lambs

The Silence Of the Lambs

1990

Dances With Wolves Dances With Wolves

1989

Driving Miss Daisy Driving Miss Daisy

119 Comments on this Post

  1. Robin Write

    Getting a bit tired of hearing about Driving Miss Daisy now, the 1980s produced some really average Best Picture winners generally – compared to the much more ballsy 1970s. There are some real quality movies in competition this year, with momentum, a fanbase, the feel-good factor, the form {other than DGA] I would say Silver Linings Playbook could dominate from now…

  2. worldwide boxoffice is not related to PGA , right ?

  3. The Dude

    “nominated for producing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (the best film of that year),”

    Yeah, right…

    “Life of Pi cost: $120 million // BO so far: $100 million – -$20″

    Aren’t you again “forgetting” the fact it made about $500 million worldwide and it’s by far the biggest box office hit of the nominees (well, except Skyfall in the PGA case)?

    It’s also a more emotional story than most, if not all the nominees, and it doesn’t have the “USA! USA!” factor that may cost votes with some foreign voters.

  4. I see LINCOLN winning this award. The alternatives are ZERO DARK 30 or ARGO. I do not see SLP coming even close getting this.

  5. Yeah, Lincoln will win this award. No other viable option there.

  6. Argo will win
    Lincoln might win

  7. I must say I LOVE The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, myself……..

    I have stated on these threads how much I adore LES MISERABLES and THE LIFE OF PI…

    But I also adore LINCOLN, and I am predicting it here for the PGA win.

    Yes ARGO and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK have a good shot, but I do believe Spielberg’s film will prevail.

  8. Sasha Stone

    That’s right, Robin. Silver Linings can’t win the DGA, which could be a huge momentum stopper. Affleck could win there, though. Or Lincoln could sweep the whole thing. TOTAL mystery.

  9. Sasha Stone

    The Dude, I’m not using international box office because it is not an effective measurement across all of the films. I stick to domestic budget/take since that how movies seem to be judged here in Hollywood; after all, it isn’t the international distributor that gets Best Picture. The domestic distributor does. Disney is the domestic distrib for Lincoln but Fox has it internationally. If Lincoln wins, Disney gets the credit.

  10. filmboymichael

    I know this won’t happen, but I would love for Moonrise Kingdom or Skyfall to take the PGA to really keep us guessing. This nobody knows anything factor has really made this year pretty exciting.

  11. Bryce Forestieri

    If Nate Silver were into the Oscar race he’d have long ago stopped all the unfounded theories and shone light on what the facts on the ground and hard data are showing: LINCOLN SWEEP AT THE OSCARS

    LINCOLN WINS THE PGA

  12. Your argument that Lincoln is the most profitable of the nominees is flawed. Its U.S. box office is impressive for a historical biopic, yes, but you cannot really mean that the voting producers will only care about U.S. numbers, REALLY?? If box office is even a factor when they fill out their final ballots–much more likely a factor when doing nominations.

    First, by just looking at America box office vs. production cost, you leave out the foreign market. As The Dude mentioned: Life Of Pi is absolutely KILLING IT. I don’t know why you conveniently forget to say that this is the biggest film of Ang Lee’s career, with HUGE totals overseas and strong British support. You wrote such a wonderful piece on Life Of Pi and how much it moved you. I think you were on to something–there is widespread support for this film, albeit quiet support. Which film will win the British vote, the international members of the Academy? While Life Of Pi will certainly not win PGA, this may translate to a Best Director win on Oscar night.

    ALSO, with the marketing costs of Lincoln’s aggressive campaigning (60 Minutes x2, Oprah, many many TV spots), I’d say the Spielberg/Kennedy film’s profit is much much smaller than you indicate. Kathleen Kennedy has EIGHT Best Picture nominations–not nine.

  13. Anthony (the real one that just made an oops)

    Sasha: I agree. CCOBB should have won (even though WALL-E was my favorite film of that year).

    Predictions:

    PGA: Lincoln
    SAG: Silver Linings Playbook
    WGA: Lincoln & The Master
    DGA: Lincoln (alt. Argo)

    And have any of you seen the new tv spots for Lincoln? Holy crap… they’re pushing BIG TIME. I’ll bet there’s another BO bump this next week or two. And, have you noticed the marketing switch for Zero Dark Thirty? Their pushing Chastain. TV spots a few weeks ago were all about the “reviews” and the film – now, Chastain takes up 80% of the spots. They know she’s (deservedly) their only shot at an Oscar at this point.

  14. International box-office is a big deal to the accountants who make sure all the principle investment is covered. Should be noted that studios reap a smaller percentage of international earnings that the slice of the pie they can take on home turf.

    But we can’t cite international numbers as a measuring stick until all the contenders have had an opportunity to open overseas. No basis for comparison. Ryan’s dick is bigger than Rihanna’s.

    Nevertheless, a parenthetical note was added to the post because $492 million is an impressive pile of coins, no matter how it’s divvied up.

  15. Damn autofill…

  16. I dunno Ryan… I heard Rihanna is HUNG.

  17. I think better presentation of cost vs BO data could be like this:

    SLP: 276%
    Argo: 261%
    Lincoln: 248%
    Les Miz: 215%
    ZDT: 143%
    Django: 139%
    Lif of Pi: 83%

  18. “nominated for producing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (the best film of that year),”

    I don’t think so. Wall-e towers over the competition. Not just my opinion, like at the August 2012 Sight and Sound world cinema poll, end of decade polls where Wall-e was in the top 10 (with Button nowhere near), etc.

  19. Here’s a question. When’s the last time a movie won PGA or SAG without a DGA nomination? It’s one thing to say that Argo’s screwed because Affleck was snubbed; but perhaps it’s worse that Silver Linings couldn’t find a spot at the DGA over, say, Hooper. Right now, Lincoln, Argo, and Les Mis are the only ones with nominations from all three major guilds (take out Les Mis if you also consider WGA).

    That seems to put Silver Linings in the position of Atonement or The Reader, which had no major guild nominations but scored in both Best Picture AND Best Director. Little Miss Sunshine and Moulin Rouge won PGA but not Oscar back when there were only 5 PGA and Oscar nominees. But Little Miss Sunshine and Moulin Rouge also had DGA nominations.

    There is a significant historical overlap between DGA and Oscar, and between PGA and Oscar in the last several years since the rule change. But the Oscars like to do their own thing. It’s the PGA, SAG, and DGA that usually have some predictability to them. A film has never won PGA without DGA, at least not since Driving Miss Daisy. And the last time a movie won SAG without a DGA nomination is The Full Monty. Could Silver Linings be that film that wins PGA and/or SAG (likely) without a DGA nod? And even then, could it go on to win Best Picture, or at least keep Lincoln down?

    Of course, the rules don’t necessarily apply to Harvey.

    With that in mind, DGA is really the big boy here. DGA almost always goes to (1) the director who will win the Oscar and/or (2) the film that will win Best Picture. The rare exceptions are the unique cases (like Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, where Soderbergh was canceling out) and the true flukes who weren’t nominated for the Oscar (Spielberg for The Color Purple and Ron Howard for Apollo 13). And even in the case of Spielberg and Howard, their films didn’t go on to win Best Picture or that many Oscars, if any at all.

    Point being that the movie that wins DGA this year is statistically favored to win Best Director and Best Picture. Discounting the Lee-Soderbergh situation, the last time a movie won the DGA and was nominated for but lost both Best Director and Best Picture was 1968 where Carol Reed and Oliver! overtook Anthony Harvey and The Lion in Winter. Granted, that was a competitive year like this one.

    So if Affleck loses at DGA, knowing that Howard and Spielberg won with DGA and their films STILL lost Best Picture, then Affleck is toast. Same for Bigelow. If Spielberg wins at DGA, I think we have our Best Director Oscar winner. And then the most likely upset for Best Picture goes to Silver Linings Playbook.

    This is discounting Life of Pi’s chances, but who knows, it could still be nipping at Spielberg’s heels for either DGA or Best Director or both or even Best Picture. Or Pi could win DGA and just end up like The Lion in Winter to Lincoln’s Oliver! Or vice versa.

    So I’m thinking:
    PGA: Lincoln or Argo
    SAG: Silver Linings, but should be Lincoln
    WGA: Lincoln and probably still Zero Dark Thirty
    DGA: Lincoln unless they pull an Apollo 13 with Affleck.
    Oscar: ?? But should be Lincoln.

    Is Argo the new Driving Miss Daisy? No. I agree the 1980s were not a great decade for high-minded dramas and for the Oscars in general. But what did Driving Miss Daisy have for it that Argo does not? Well, Daisy was the sentimental favorite, a la The King’s Speech or Chariots of Fire. Argo is more like the The Social Network or Reds; although audiences eat it up, I could see it leaving the Academy too cold to vote for it for Best Picture, though they may respect it.

    But more importantly, Driving Miss Daisy never had the albatross of not being nominated for Best Director. That’s because nobody expected the director to be nominated! There were just too many big-shots in the race. Isn’t the DGA of that year telling?

    1989: Oliver Stone – Born on the Fourth of July (won DGA and Oscar)
    Woody Allen – Crimes and Misdemeanors (Oscar nod)
    Peter Weir – Dead Poets Society (Oscar nod)
    Phil Alden Robinson – Field of Dreams (Best Picture Oscar nod)
    Rob Reiner – When Harry Met Sally… (just a screenplay Oscar nod)

    Was Bruce Beresford even the alternate? To miss both DGA and Oscar behind 7 other men? That’s not Affleck.

    So I started this analysis thinking Affleck’s Oscar snub was easier to overcome than SLP’s DGA snub. But Argo could be Little Miss Sunshine, Moulin Rouge, Argo, or The Color Purple, and win PGA or DGA or both, but it would be blazing its own trail at the Oscars. On the other hand, Silver Linings Playbook has more in common with Driving Miss Daisy than Argo does, but it has Russell’s Oscar nomination to boot. So SLP could win SAG and Oscar, and even PGA, making it the film that, like Daisy, isn’t hurt by the DGA snub because no one thought of it as a director’s movie. Except for Oscar!

  20. I think better presentation of cost vs BO data could be like this:

    SLP: 276%
    Argo: 261%
    Lincoln: 248%

    That’s another valid metric, Aragorn… but then it’s only fair to cite Beasts of the Southern Wild as well.

    Beasts: 869%
    SLP: 276%
    Argo: 261%
    Lincoln: 248%

  21. I feel like that was too long-winded, so to boil it all down:

    (1) If Affleck doesn’t win DGA, with the perception that the Oscars snubbed him, then I think Argo is toast.

    (2) Argo could win both PGA and DGA and still lose Best Picture like Apollo 13. Knowing that PGA and Best Picture have the same preferential ballots now (not even the case with Apollo 13), if Argo loses PGA, I don’t see how it can recover at the Oscars.

    (3) If the Best Picture race comes down to Lincoln and Pi, I think Lincoln wins. So if Ang Lee wins DGA, then I think he wins Oscar, but not necessarily Picture–that opens the door for a Silver Linings upset. But if Spielberg wins DGA, then Spielberg wins the Oscar, and Best Picture is down to Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook.

    (4) Silver Linings Playbook is the real wild card here because the Academy loved it more than any of the guilds. But guild support still counts a lot toward an actual Best Picture winner. So if Silver Linings loses the SAG, it loses the Oscar. (And it’s unlikely that it would win PGA but lose SAG.)

    (5) Whatever happens with Lincoln, Tony Kushner’s script has been roundly commended. If he loses the WGA, which I don’t think will happen, then I think Lincoln’s Best Picture chances are dead.

  22. WALL-E was also my own #1 film of it’s year but BENJAMIN BUTTON was in my Top 5.

    I would think it’s fine to love both.

  23. The Silver Linings threat is scaring me.

    Benjamin Button was the most overrated film of its year.

    The PGA will go to Argo.

  24. Sasha Stone

    I meant Benjamin Button of the five nominated Bps…I wasn’t comparing it with Wall-E.

  25. Sasha Stone

    KT – I have stated my argument. I leave foreign box office out of it until I see it helps me to figure out what the Oscar race considers a hit or not. I have been leaving it out for 14 years.

  26. Jerry Grant

    It will go to Lincoln … I hope I hope I hope

    If not that, then Argo. I really don’t see SLP getting this. SLP’s best shot of a path to the Oscars is through SAG, but even that could go to Lincoln.

  27. Sasha Stone

    If Nate Silver were into the Oscar race he’d have long ago stopped all the unfounded theories and shone light on what the facts on the ground and hard data are showing: LINCOLN SWEEP AT THE OSCARS

    LINCOLN WINS THE PGA

    That’s why I keep saying the numbers back Lincoln and ONLY Lincoln. But even Nate Silver would admit that can’t really help you with an emotional vote.

  28. I just don’t see SLP having much of a chance at all in regards to the PGA (I’m still rather surprised that people keep choosing it for SAG as well, where it would have to overcome Les Mis and Lincoln). To win the PGA, it would have to overcome both Argo and Lincoln, the two that appear to be the frontrunners at this point, making it a rather big upset if it should win. I’m not discounting the possibility, just like I’m not discounting the possibility of a surprise Les Mis victory. It just doesn’t seem likely.

  29. The Japanese Viewer

    Thanks for a great read, Sasha. (I personally think Benjamin Button is relatively as overrated as The Aviator and Slumdog Millionaire, though.)

    I’d like to see Life of Pi win the PGA. However, for now it looks like it’s going to be one of those three: Lincoln, Argo or Silver Linings Playbook….

    But at the end of the day I couldn’t complain — this is one of my favorite […] years, to begin with.

  30. Ryan,

    I just prepared that metric for the movies that Sasha included in the list in the middle of the article. I had nothing against Beasts but I didnt have enough data to prepare it for that movie.

  31. “… I’m not using international box office because it is not an effective measurement across all of the films. I stick to domestic budget/take since that how movies seem to be judged here in Hollywood; after all, it isn’t the international distributor that gets Best Picture. The domestic distributor does. Disney is the domestic distrib for Lincoln but Fox has it internationally. If Lincoln wins, Disney gets the credit.”

    But to be fair you shouldn’t imply that a movie is loosing money when in reality it’s not!

    Life of Pi is a hit and not a flop and writing “Life of Pi cost: $120 million // BO so far: $100 million – -$20″ is not correct.

  32. no problem, Aragorn
    I had to check someplace else to find the budget for Beasts was $1.3 million. Roughly the cost of the slapstick shootout squibs in Django.

  33. Sasha Stone

    Yes, you’re right AKumax – I don’t mean to say it’s losing money and in the case of Life of Pi, you’re right: no one is going to look at it as a flop.

  34. I really dont know how they evaluate movies for this award. Is it the cost/revenue ratio? or complexity of the production? or the success of the entire movie? I dont know.
    However, I know one thing that the movie that came up at the top of cost/BO ratio (with the exception of Beasts) is also the one that had quite complex production process. Yes, I am talking about Argo. In almost every speech Ben Affleck thanked people and crews in three different countries (one of them is my home country Turkey)for their great effort and contributions. I dont know if this is something that they take into consideration though.

    Again, my heart wants Lincoln to win, but my brain says Argo could take this as well.

    All I know is that it shouldnt go to SLP…At least not this award.

  35. Robin Write

    PGA matches Oscar more often than not recently. But with the SAG remember that movies like The Help {beat The Artist and The Descendants}, Little Miss Sunshine {Babel, The Departed, Dreamgirls}, Inglourious Basterds {The Hurt Locker}, Sideways {The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby} all beat off good competition to take the SAG Ensemble, and these films were at that stage pretty much out of the Best Picture race even though they made the final cut. We should be saying Silver Linings Playbook {no DGA} and Argo {no Oscar Director} are also out of the race. But we’re not. The Ensemble award is not always as much a Best Picture indicator as the other guilds, like the PGA, especially this lottery year. Anything other than Lincoln at the PGA will likely keep things interesting…

  36. Thanks Sasha to clear that up.

    By the way Lincoln was the toughest to sell, in my opinion, and it is the one that it’s the most profitable in USA.

  37. The Japanese Viewer

    PS: And I still think that international revenue generated outside US should also be factored in for the prediction (here) despite Sasha’s fair (good on her part) explanation made to The Dude, as well as KT. And in case of Life of Pi, as other readers, including AKumax et al, have already indicated, the film makes profit worldwide – those involve in making of this piece are most likely to be laughing all the way to the bank.

  38. “I meant Benjamin Button of the five nominated Bps…I wasn’t comparing it with Wall-E.”

    Thanks for the response. Of course whatever film anyone likes “best” is just as valid as whatever their neighbor likes “best”. If someone likes Trash – pardon me, Crash – more than Brokeback or any of oh, 30+ other films from 2005, that of course is their prerogative. But when we look at or otherwise state what is considered the “best” of any given year, I think we have to look to critical and historic consensus. Sight & Sound is a great place to start. So are best-of-decade polls, from the LA and London Film Crix to Entertainment Weekly’s and a hundred others. The Academy just isn’t a reliable arbiter of the so-called “best”, as about 75% of their Best Picture choices defy the critical, historic and even cultural consensus, even from the beginning.

    Also, if we are looking at what is considered to be the “best” of 2008, Sasha, I assume Button was your favorite among the nominees. Fair enough. However, both Milk and Slumdog stand taller if you look at the “objective” lists and related criteria that I identify above. Perhaps that will change in another decade or so as David Fincher’s star continues to rise, but for now, its not all that revered. But boy did the Academy get the nominees wrong in 2008. Wall-e, Dark Knight and The Wrestler all currently stand stronger in the cricial pantheon than any of the nominees (though its fairly close, except for Wall-e towering over the competition).

    BTW, I know Kathleen Kennedy a bit (in a business context), and she ain’t very nice.

  39. The Japanese Viewer

    Correction:

    … should also be factored in for the prediction (here; and voting in reality)….

    [clerical errors] … those involved in making of this piece….

  40. Argo has all the buzz right now because of the Globe and BFCA wins. But those groups both voted prior to Oscar nominations, when Argo was a leading contender. Had they had time to digest the Oscar nominations, I expect neither of those groups would have gone with Argo. Lincoln probably would have won.

    Which is to say, PGA and DGA, I think, are more likely to go for Lincoln than Argo. Of course, Argo’s Globe and BFCA wins have helped its case, but if the PGA and DGA want to hold the influence that HFPA and BFCA have perhaps lost this year, they’ll go with Lincoln.

  41. Glenn UK

    In fairness if you are not using international box office numbers too then you should not be using domestic figures based on the fact that all the movies listed have not been out for the same amount of time. Lincoln and Argo have been out for months whereas Les Mis, Django and ZDT have been out weeks. But it places the beloved Lincoln at #1. Anything to get Lincoln to the top of the list!!!!!!!

  42. Sasha Stone said: KT – I have stated my argument. I leave foreign box office out of it until I see it helps me to figure out what the Oscar race considers a hit or not. I have been leaving it out for 14 years.

    —-

    I understand–guess what I was getting at is what Akumax mentioned above regarding Life Of Pi. The perception it has lost money is not true. But regarding the bigger picture of what will win, I don’t think box office returns matter, nor Kennedy being overdue (though she’s an amazing producer). The producers are going to vote for the film they like most, regardless. And because of the preferential ballot AND almost equivalent number of voters as the Academy, the winner here could very well repeat on Oscar night. Question: Since I don’t think this will be televised, what will happen on Saturday?? Will you be at the PGA Awards to offer updates/reactions?? I’d be particularly interested in the reactions in the room when the winner is announced, especially if its not the expected Lincoln or Argo but Silver Linings.

  43. Here’s what I don’t get:

    If there are thousands of directors picking 5 best directors in the DGA, and only 300 or so directors voting for 5 directors in the Academy (which is the most important thing, correct?) ……

    … then why is there so much stock put into DGA if only 300 out of those thousands make the biggest impact for winning Best Director at the Oscars? What if 794 directors voted for Hooper for DGA, but only 56 voted for him in that 300 bunch of directors. How are we supposed to gauge what’s really going to happen? I know that statistics help form why DGA and Oscras match up fairly well, but still. You know what I mean?

    Ditto with the PGA.

    Ditto that for SAG. I mean, 100,000 voters!? And yet only 1,100 or so of them are in the Academy. Talk about a spread (where any combo of actors could get in or miss or be most loved or not).

    Furthermore, people may change their mind about who they’ve voted for or who they want to win as the final ballots come.

    The whole thing is screwy to me. But I love it.

  44. Sasha Stone

    But it places the beloved Lincoln at #1. Anything to get Lincoln to the top of the list!!!!!!!
    Lincoln IS at the top of the list. We’re talking about the box office RIGHT NOW, not three months from now. If/when it shifts I will report on that shifting. It’s a good bet that Django could topple Lincoln. It still won’t win BP, however.

  45. And another question.

    We all know how Weinstein works. And in years past, I’ve been very happy to find out that movies I love have him at their side (so then they do well).

    Having said that, is there a statistic that says whether Weinstein is best at getting movies NOMINATED, but not necessarily WINS? Anyone know that ratio?

  46. Sasha Stone

    both Milk and Slumdog stand taller if you look at the “objective” lists and related criteria that I identify above.

    Having revisited them, Milk seems dated since LGBT rights have evolved so dramatically and Slumdog really does not hold up. Button, on the other hand, really has much to say to ME as I grow older. To each his/her own.

    BTW, I know Kathleen Kennedy a bit (in a business context), and she ain’t very nice.

    A comment no one would really say about a man.

  47. Sasha Stone

    Robin, I wholly agree with you – but everyone else keeps saying that this is a “freak” year so Oscar rules don’t apply. I am waiting it out to see if A) the numbers and stats hold up (Lincoln wins) or they don’t (all rules out the window).

  48. I picked Argo for the PGA, but I would be just as happy if Lincoln wins! Please no SLP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Lincoln and Argo have been out for months whereas Les Mis, Django and ZDT have been out weeks. But it places the beloved Lincoln at #1. Anything to get Lincoln to the top of the list!!!!!!!

    Les Mis and Django are out of the BP race. It’s horror honor enough for them to have been nominated.

    Come back and complain again when SLP and ZDT pass Lincoln’s domestic gross.

  50. Sasha Stone

    … then why is there so much stock put into DGA if only 300 out of those thousands make the biggest impact for winning Best Director at the Oscars? What if 794 directors voted for Hooper for DGA, but only 56 voted for him in that 300 bunch of directors. How are we supposed to gauge what’s really going to happen? I know that statistics help form why DGA and Oscras match up fairly well, but still. You know what I mean?

    The DGA has been around for 65 years. In that time, only one film has ever won BP without a nod there. We look to history — that history might change this year but it’s what we have to go on. Also, the DGA is made up of film directors, TV directors and radio directors. The Academy are only the elite of the elite film directors. They are the chieftons. They are the taste-makers.

    Ditto with the PGA.

    They’ve been around such a short time it’s hard to gauge their history but we are especially in the dark this year since the votes will be PREFERENTIAL. We just don’t know how they will turn out.

    Ditto that for SAG. I mean, 100,000 voters!? And yet only 1,100 or so of them are in the Academy. Talk about a spread (where any combo of actors could get in or miss or be most loved or not).

    Yep, I see where you’re going – we really only have history to guide us and in the case of SAG it isn’t 100%. Like Viola Davis last year, for instance, or The Help for that matter.

    In the end, we don’t know anything except what Oscar history offers up to us — and it is only a rule until that rule is broken.

  51. The Dude

    About the PGA specifically- I’m betting on Lincoln. Spielberg’s strength, allied with a very strong BO should be enough, and would confirm it’s favoritism.

    A victory for Argo would confirm the film’s momentum, but I’m not sure that if it begins to win all the Guilds there won’t be a backlash against it.

    If SLP wins, it definitively has a big chance of winning the Oscar, although, again, it’s possible there’s backlash against it, and against 3 Harvey victories in a row. Kind of like 2002, which led to a The Pianist surge and near victory.

    If Life of Pi wins, then it becomes the heavy favorite to win, like THL winning over Avatar confirmed it’s favoritism.

    If something else wins…it won’t make much of a difference.

  52. Glenn UK

    Come back and complain again when SLP and ZDT pass Lincoln’s domestic gross.

    But it is a valid complaint. You pick and chose statistics which benefit and highlight your personal favourite. Where would Lincoln and Argo be on the list if you broke it down with weekly averages? Whilst both have amazing BO numbers they have been out considerably longer than all the other movies listed. Consequently, in my eyes, all those box office number mean diddly squat.

  53. Sasha Stone

    But it is a valid complaint. You pick and chose statistics which benefit and highlight your personal favourite.

    As I said, when voters are putting down their votes they aren’t thinking, hm, maybe SLP WILL beat Lincoln! No, they’re saying $160 million, holy shit. Anyone who doesn’t think that is a holy shit is not paying attention and/or not facing reality. YOU are the one bending it against YOUR OWN prejudice.

  54. rufussondheim

    I don’t think box office really is a guage this year. All of the movies are successes. SImilarly, none of the movies that can win are such overwhelming successes that they drown out the others. It’s really kind of a wash.

    If you include foreign box office, though, Life of Pi is the biggest winner. But Les Miz is also a huge success as it’s about to pass 300 Million. None of the others have gotten to 200 million yet, although Django will get there really soon.

    It’s true Lincoln hasn’t opened widely overseas but I doubt it will do well overseas as it’s very talky and rooted in American History. But Lincoln may be the only film to get to 200 million in North America, so that shouldn’t be overlooked.

    I really do think international box office should be weighted more heavily by Sasha, it’s increasingly becoming more important as markets in China and other developing countries are exploding and becoming a major factor in success and failure of a film. Many fims make significantly more internationally than they do domestically. To ignore these numbers is sheer folly at this point, I believe.

  55. Glenn UK

    As I said, when voters are putting down their votes they aren’t thinking, hm, maybe SLP WILL beat Lincoln! No, they’re saying $160 million, holy shit. Anyone who doesn’t think that is a holy shit is not paying attention and/or not facing reality. YOU are the one bending it against YOUR OWN prejudice.

    Where they saying Holy Shit with The Hurt Locker or Crash – I think not!

  56. Since we’re on the subject: Lincoln made 3.3 million in foreign markets last week.

  57. Sasha Stone

    Where they saying Holy Shit with The Hurt Locker or Crash – I think not!

    Did I say anywhere in this article that Lincoln is going to win?

  58. Robin Write

    People are going to hate me but when Crash won Best Picture I thought it was a nice surprise. I liked that movie a lot, even if it was a manipulative at times. As was it’s last minute screener campaign that got those extra votes. Brokeback Mountain was probably the better movie though.

    And do people really think The Hurt Locker was NOT a better movie than Avatar?

    I’m going off track a bit, the PGA is about production after all…

  59. Sasha Stone

    I don’t think box office really is a guage this year.

    Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. I am putting as much info as I know about the Oscars and Oscar history on the table. You guys pick whatever movie you want to pick – to me it’s a mystery.

  60. danemychal

    Sasha, I agree with you on a lot of things but to say that “Milk” is dated because of how far we’ve come is to say that “Lincoln” is dated because of how far we’ve come. And I would never say that because each one is my favorite film of its respective year.

    We still have a lot of work to do as a society, and this film depicts an important person and moment in the LGBT movement that should not be forgotten.

    As huge a Fincher fan as I am, Ben Button is not in his top 5 films and not in the top 5 films of that year.

  61. Thank you for that analysis and answering my questions on DGA, PGA, and SAG, Sasha :)

  62. Sasha Stone

    People are going to hate me but when Crash won Best Picture I thought it was a nice surprise. I liked that movie a lot, even if it was a manipulative at times. As was it’s last minute screener campaign that got those extra votes. Brokeback Mountain was probably the better movie though.

    And the voters who didn’t watch Brokeback. I feel like “nice surprises” are better left for different occasions than ones that are supposed to reward the year’s highest achievement in film. If your highest achievement is making people feel good for a few moments hell, shouldn’t porn be rewarded thusly? Or car commercials? I would just hope that voters not vote irrationally but put real thought into their legacy.

  63. danemychal

    Robin Write – Don’t you think a nice surprise would have been if Oscar had gotten Best Pic right for once? I do. At least they did well the following two years. But now they’re on a cold streak in my book.

  64. Sasha,
    Your reasoning on Milk being dated confuses me. Slavery has been abolished for a long time now, but that doesn’t make Lincoln dated. I understand if Benjamin Button is the movie you prefer, but your reasoning on Milk seems contradictory to many of your posts on Lincoln and its relevance today. Gay rights still have a long way to go and even when they get there, Milk will still be an important film about the homosexual experience in America. For the record, I think Lincoln should win Best Picture and is extremely relevant to today’s society in many different ways. I am just curious as to why Milk seems dated to you. Thank you in advance.

  65. I looked up PGA picks for my gold derby and saw that they pick whatever they choose, regardless of stature, box office, or anything. I don’t really even know what they are going to pick. But i do know that whatever they pick is not the end of the world to rest of other films.

  66. rufussondheim

    Yeah, it’s a mystery 100%. I will give you that.

    Six films have a better than miniscule chance of winning at this point. I think Django, Beasts and Amour are the only films that have no shot.

    Most likely group – Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings, Life of Pi
    Less likely group – Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miz
    Not Likely group – Amour, Beasts, Django.

    With Zero Dark Thirty, the controversy will fade over time. It’s also the most critically successful movie overall. Will enough people punish it because they believe it’s pro-torture? I don’t know. But as the Box OFfice continues to climb, it will stay on voter’s minds. Of the top films, I think it’s the one that lingers the most.

    Les Miz is unlikely to win, but if it snags the SAG Ensemble it will have to be considered a player. The film will be supported by the English contingent by a wide margin, I suspect. We’ll know if that’s true when the BAFTA awards are announced. If it goes 2 for 2 with those organizations, it has to be considered in the top tier for Best Pic.

    The race really is wide open.

  67. Robin Write

    Yes well we know with the weight of campaigning it is often not about the “best” movie of the year, it’s more like a high school election where those who can gain more popularity get the votes – by whatever means necessary. Which Best Picture winners would we be talking about if the campaigning simmered down and the voters actually put thought into their choices as you put it. Not Shakespeare In Love. Not Crash. And Chocolat would never had made Best Picture. I actually laughed at the memory of that one. As for porn, how do you think The Reader got nominated. :-)

  68. I’ve given up on predicting this year’s awards race. Its a complete anything-can-happen scenario at this point. And I like that. Might as well just predict Skyfall to win the PGA just to stir things up a bit more. Then Amour wins Best Picture and Director at the Oscars and time folds in on itself.

  69. Robin Write

    Yeah my above comment was in response to Sasha – forgot to quote.

    [i]Robin Write – Don’t you think a nice surprise would have been if Oscar had gotten Best Pic right for once? I do. At least they did well the following two years. But now they’re on a cold streak in my book.[/i]

    It would be nice yes, I was just saying I did not mind Crash so much. Think I objected to The Departed winning more, but that was quite a poor year for quality movies anyway. I mean, my favourites over the years include Drive, Inception, Wall-E, Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, Juno etc etc…

  70. OOT: my pick for Best Film of 2008 is Schrader’s “Adam Resurrected”. No Oscar nominations.

    ——————————–

    Glenn UK: “Where would Lincoln and Argo be on the list if you broke it down with weekly averages?”

    Why weekly averages? And during what period? Do you really think “Lincoln” never had spectacular PTAs during its long run?

    It’s not Sasha’s fault “Lincoln” is making a killing at the US box-office. It is popular and people can’t get enough of it. Its gargantuan total gross is a FACT, not something she pulled outta her ass.

    You’re doing exactly the same thing you accused Sasha of doing, albeit eyeing a different objective: highlighting and manipulating data to DENIGRATE the contender you hate the most.

  71. Dan Conley

    Argo will win — producers are the heroes of the movie, after all. Hollywood adores self congratulations.

  72. Lincoln is also my favorite for a PGA win but has it won any major award this year (Globes, BFCA, LAFCA, NYCC)? It does not even have a crucial BAFTA BD nod. People seem to really get bored of Spielberg movies I suppose so they are looking for alternatives.

    Benjamin Button was the best movie of that year. I do agree that the Wrestler and Wall-e should have been nominated as well instead of Milk and Frost-Nixon.

    David Fincher is the best American Director nowadays. Of course he has a phenomenal bunch of co-workers (Jeff Cronenweth, Angus Wall, Trent Reznor).

  73. People always mention Lincoln missed BD at BAFTA. But it got at least BP nod while SLP got neither. Which is more damaging?

  74. Sasha Stone

    Argo will win — producers are the heroes of the movie, after all. Hollywood adores self congratulations.

    Good point! I didn’t even think of that.

  75. Just saw “Lincoln”. What a tedious bore… Go “Argo”!

  76. Really wish Life of Pi, Zero Dark and Django were bigger threats. Not worried about Amour, since that has Foreign Film locked up and is banging on the Director and Original Screenplay doors.

    Zero Dark really should have Best Actress, Editing and Original Screenplay locked up but due to the controversy and Weinsteinpower, ZDT might walk away with nothing…arguably the greatest film from the whole batch.

    It boggles my mind that Life of Pi hasn’t made more money stateside, I don’t understand it. It has 11 nominations, that’s amazing, but honestly I don’t see it being a major threat at all in the bigger categories. A la Hugo last year.

    Django does a lot of things right: Feel-good-ism, romance, one of the biggest topics in American history, entertaining as hell, some of the most memorable characters of the year, beautiful cinematography…. in an ideal world it would be a major threat in so many categories, now it’s lucky if it wins anything and most likely will walk away with nothing.

    Crayzee

  77. Sasha Stone

    Yes well we know with the weight of campaigning it is often not about the “best” movie of the year, it’s more like a high school election where those who can gain more popularity get the votes – by whatever means necessary. Which Best Picture winners would we be talking about if the campaigning simmered down and the voters actually put thought into their choices as you put it. Not Shakespeare In Love. Not Crash. And Chocolat would never had made Best Picture. I actually laughed at the memory of that one. As for porn, how do you think The Reader got nominated.

    Bravo! :-) Actually, I guess should be brava…but yes, you are SO right Robin Write!

  78. Sasha Stone

    Just saw “Lincoln”. What a tedious bore… Go “Argo”!

    We have many international readers on Awards Daily and the Oscars draw international interest. The last three winners have been “plug and play” films that could really do anywhere in any country. Lincoln is distinctly American. Very Hollywood. I wonder how that will play into this year’s race. And I also wonder whether any film can win from now on that isn’t “plug and play.”

  79. OT (sorry) – Bigelow is on Colbert tonite. Could be an interesting mix.

  80. Milk seems dated since LGBT rights have evolved so dramatically

    Dated? Dramatically? It’s a period film anyway, so it’s less a reflection of the time in which it was made, thematically, than a reflection of the time which it depicts. And they haven’t evolved enough. I don’t imagine it’s going to date very much anyway, but if the issue is with current LGBT rights, it isn’t going to start dating until there are full equal rights in the US.

    BTW, I know Kathleen Kennedy a bit (in a business context), and she ain’t very nice.

    A comment no one would really say about a man.

    Ridiculous. I don’t even need to explain why this is ridiculous.

  81. The Dude

    I love Fincher, but he was clearly bored with BB- seems obvious to me he only agreed to take over so Zodiac got made. He’s certainly not the type to be very interested in a Forrest Gump for dummies screenplay like this one.

    Pitt was also dull- he should have been nominated that year for Burn After Reading, not this one.

    Also, Dan Conley makes a good point.

  82. danemychal

    Sasha – Globalization is a bitch! But it’s great at the same time. Still, the Oscars should not be ashamed to pick an American film. Hollywood, after all, is still in America.

  83. Why the comment section has this much of your attention Sasha, can you tell us if you’re going to the PGAs and will tweeting/reporting?

  84. danemychal

    Paddy makes the third person who has essentially argued the same thing for Milk in opposition to the statement made by Sasha. He forgot to bring up Lincoln like the other two of us did though. ;) Probably time to revisit Milk, Sasha.

  85. I think Obama’s re-election and better economic outlook means no light, feel good movie wins like last year when there was more anxiety. The Artist would have lost this year. This is the year for prestige films. So for PGA I think it’s between Lincoln, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.
    ————————
    Les Miz’s chance at winning the SAG ensemble went out the door when only Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman were nominated from that film. Redmayne, Barks and Seyfried’s lack of nominations was very telling. So it is between Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook. Based on the 4 acting noms from SLP I lean towards that film winning just as in the case of The Help.
    ———————
    DGA is Speilberg, Lee or Bigelow.

  86. I feel like this year everyone will win something.. SLP the SAG.. Argo the DGA (slap on the face for the academy).. And Lincoln the PGA..
    Everyone but ZDT..

  87. Sasha Stone

    Nik, I probably won’t go but I will surely be tweeting info or posting it here as soon as I know it.

  88. Sasha Stone

    You’re probably right, Paddy. I should probably watch Milk again.

  89. Sammy: would you mind explaining why a BAFTA nod is *crucial* to an Academy Award contender?

  90. Nice, thanks Sasha.

  91. He forgot to bring up Lincoln like the other two of us did though.

    I’m like an elephant. I never forget. Alas, that’s where the elephant comparisons end.

    Sammy, the BAFTA nomination is by no means crucial. BAFTA often inexplicably snub leading contenders. They play by their own rules, it seems, much more so than any of the other major precursors.

    I love Milk. James Franco plays a straight-acting gay. Some might call that a Method performance.

  92. Glenn UK

    Gustavo said – You’re doing exactly the same thing you accused Sasha of doing, albeit eyeing a different objective: highlighting and manipulating data to DENIGRATE the contender you hate the most.

    How can I be being manipulative. Bottom line, all I am saying is that it is completely UNFAIR to judge the box office of a movie that has been out months against box office results for a movie that has been out weeks to put your favourite picture at the top of yet another list. Weekly averages would give a true reflection of where things lie box office wise thus giving a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.

    That is how I see it and in my eyes is not in the least bit manipulative!!!

  93. The last three winners have been “plug and play” films that could really do anywhere in any country. Lincoln is distinctly American.

    The King’s Speech is as much distinctly British as Lincoln is distinctly American. The Artist is a movie about a specific time in Hollywood. The Hurt Locker is specifically about the Iraq War. That fact about Lincoln is an interesting one, but those other movies were not “plug and play” films at all.

  94. MILK was a more inspirational movie for me than I realized initially. It came out right at a time when I realized how little my local government was doing and how important it actually is in the everyday lives of its citizens. I really liked the film a lot and didn’t know about Harvey Milk before that. He seemed like a really great guy who just tried really hard. So I got more civically involved, going to public meetings, writing lots of emails, etc., and I think I’ve made a teensy difference.

    As far as the PGA goes, is there going to be any kind of online streaming this year?

    btw, Kathleen Kennedy looks like a nice person here. Relatively speaking anyway. :P

  95. rufussondheim

    As for SAG Ensemble, Lincoln had the advantage of having three buzzed about actors/parts. Each were given their own storyline and big scenes. OUtside of those three, the possibility for a nomination goes way down.

    Silver Linings Playbook had the advantage of having a small cast. So not too many to choose from.

    Les Miserables, on the other hand, has several possible nominations in the supporting categories (Barks, Seyfried, Bonham Carter for women – Tveit, Redmayne, Crowe, Baron Cohen for men) that the possibility of getting someone other than the two big names was pretty limited from the start.

    Les Miserables simply has the most performances that can be singled out and is the essence of “Ensemble” – As Antoinette pointed out in another thread, the people listed under “Ensemble” for Lincoln is grotesquely small as several memorable parts are not included.

  96. I was never bored with Lincoln, not for 1 bit of a second. I wish I could infect everyone with my HN2GBWM virus. (how not to get bored while moviewatching)

  97. Life of Pi passed the 100 million today at domestic box office.

  98. I forget that SLP had such little support from BAFTA. Interesting.

  99. I don’t get teary often at the movies (and I know it’s not a barometer for quality) but I cried when I saw Milk. Not only for the story but the fact that a film as good as that was made by Hollywood about Harvey Milk. I thought Sean Penn gave an incredibly moving and respectful performance fully deserving of his Oscar. He rocked it.

    Milk is not dated or irrelevant if you care about history and the struggle for human rights.

  100. “Brave” SHOULD win? Come one! It’s allmost the worst Pixar movie ever – and “Wreck-it Ralph”, “ParaNorman” or “Frankenweenie” are far, far better. “Lincoln” also shouldn’t win – but it will. It shouldn’t simply because it’s worse than “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Life of Pi”, “Django Unchained” or “Beasts of the Southern Wild”. But I expect that they will choose “Lincoln”, unfortunately. The movie that hasn’t won anything so far (except awards for acting or Kushner – but anything for best picture or best director). And this will be “The King’s Speech” story once again.

  101. Astarisborn

    Life of Pi close to half a million box office internationally this long weekend. Ang Lee’s best film at the box office and the best Director this year.

  102. Several of the films have opened globally and are steadily expanding. Lincoln is currently at $165 million. Les Mis is expected to cross $300 million this week.

  103. I wonder, will Lincoln ever join the ranks of The Best Movies Ever Made? When AFI releases their list 25 years from now, will Lincoln be included instead of some other 2012 picture?

    2012 was a banner year for movies and I wonder if Lincoln should be its representative, or perhaps one of its representives when The List is made.

    Lincoln reminds me a lot of The King’s Speech, except it feels like even more of a history lesson, albeit a great one.

    Is the best movie of the year even on the Best Picture list?

  104. Daveylow

    How is Milk dated? It captures its period beautifully and also the struggles happening then. I find it incredibly moving.

    As I’ve said before Life of Pi has been underestimated for weeks now. I think Ang Lee will get the BAFTA for direction.

    But I expect Lincoln to win big here, too. But maybe not SAG.

  105. I will join the crowd of those who encourage Sasha to give Milk a second look. Strange enough I saw it again this weekend and it really does hold up. It’s shocking the lack of rights Gays once had in San Francisco, CA of all places. Not just that but it really is motivational how much one person can accomplish. Harvey Milk started out at age 40 as a nobody but in 8 short years became the first openly gay elected official in San Francisco establishing a movement that has lasted till now.

  106. Astarisborn

    Even tho I saw the Harvey Milk documentary and I knew the events and outcome, the movie was so captivating, intense, and extremely moving. The performances all around were great. If my memory is correct, I believe the cast won at the Critics Choice.
    My guess prediction PGA
    1. Lincoln
    2. Argo
    3. Life of Pi
    I just can’t see SLP as a winner. The movie was OK but didn’t have that I want to see it again factor.

  107. Bob in Vegas

    I just saw “Lincoln” for my 2nd time and perhaps enjoyed it even more this go-round. Sasha, I enjoyed your essay on this being a film about ideas and agree with your support of the ending. Knowing what was coming, I was conscious of whether letting it go past the hallway was “right” or not.

    I was deeply saddened by seeing his death (tho I WAS taught Lincoln in school and DID know he died :) ), especially after spending 2+ hours with the man, not the monument, and realizing our country would have been much different — better, I believe — had Lincoln been the one to lead us into Reconstruction.

    But then we’re given the scene of his 2nd Inaugural address (coming the day after a rousing contemporary 2nd Inaugural address) . . . and that left me with hope.

    There are other nominees for BP which address change and determination, but I don’t think any of the determined change affect as many as what’s depicted in “Lincoln.”

  108. PaulinJapan

    Argo will win PGA. If Affleck had an Oscar nom it wouldn’t even be in doubt. But let’s examine that. It’s not like Affleck has no love, he won Critics Choice and the Globe and could easily win DGA.

    The ballot will favor Argo has it has across the board appeal, is a crowd pleaser AND the most critically acclaimed movie of the bunch (which seems hard to believe) based on RT score and critics wins.

  109. “A comment no one would really say about a man.”

    Harvey Weinstein? James Cameron? You’re dead wrong about that one.

  110. EaglesFan45

    I’m calling Silver Linings Playbook for a upset. Oscar season is Weinstein season.

  111. Sasha Stone

    “A comment no one would really say about a man.”

    Harvey Weinstein? James Cameron? You’re dead wrong about that one.

    You’re dead wrong. People say a million things about them before finally getting around to whether they are nice or not.

  112. Vitamin168

    Well, sometimes using ratio as a performance indicator is a joke. Making one million over a 100 thousands budget is not equal to making ten millions over a one million budget. Actual earning is the one that counts; that the profit goes back to the pocket. Of course, leaving out the international earning is a joke as well, perhaps even a crime, ecause a film of losing money pays no tax back to the government. Judging from the overall earning of Life of Pi, Fox should be pay back lots of tax to Uncle Sam.
    Of course, any film should be merited based on its artistic value and nothing else. That is just idealistic. Never happened. If Oscar is going to be regarded as the highest global accolade to recognizing film achievement, then international income should be factored in. Or, it is just an American award. Do not over-extrapolate the meaning of the getting the Oscar any more than what it has been. Outside of USA, most people still remember and enjoy the Brokeback Mountain; on the contrary, not many people have much recollection and even care of what “Crash” is.

  113. Reichdome back with AVENGEANCE!

    Spot on Sasha,

    You advocate not just for Kennedy but for Spielberg and rightfully so.

    You say the film that moves people the most wins and yet you look at the arguably second most defining film in spielberg’s career and kennedy’s and by far equally amongst the most moving pictures made in my generation, our generation, since Schindler’s List.

    The rationals that i keen to dispell that have deserve to have no weight or substance this year are:

    The film that was most moving in 1998 that significant OTHER that enhanced and shaped Spielberg and Kennedy’s profile to the world as a cutting edge film maker with heart and a intense understanding of the respect for historic events of global siginificance and meaning, and heart and soul is SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. It always will be BY FAR SECOND TO NONE THE FILM THAT FRICKIN DESERVED TO WIN BUT DID NOT OF ALL THE ALSO RANS WITHOUT SHADOW OF A DOUBT SAVING PRIVATE RYAN WAS THAT DAMN PICTURE A ALSO RAN WHO RESPECT AND HONORS SURPASSED THAT OF CELEBRATORY AWARDS RECOGNITION BY WAR ASSOCIATIONS TO SAY THE LEAST RSL’S US GOVERNMENT- AND FEW IF ANY ALSO RAN RUNNER UP THAT SHOULD NOT GHAVE BEEN FILMS COULD EVER LAY CLAIM TO SUCH HIGH HONORS- SPIELBERG’S FILM SURPASSED THE CANNON OF FILM AND TRANSCENDED INTO A PART OF THE SOCIAL/ INSITUTIONAL CONCIOUSNESS NOT EVEN PRIOR WWI FILMS ACHIEVED SUCH A FEAT AND SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, YES IT WAS THE FEW FILMS THAT WERE MADE ON A SHAKESPEARE PLAY BUT A LOT OF PPLE RIGHTFULLY INC MYSELF ARGUED DID IT DELIVER SOMETHING NEW AND GROUNDBREAKING? HARDLY HAS IT BEEN REMEMBERED POTHER THAN IT INFAMY FOR UPSETTING WHAT MOST BELIEVED EARNED IT STRIPES TO WIN? ERR NO NO SOCIETY HONORS NO INSITUTIONAL HONORS NO ELEVATION BEYOND THE SCOPE OF A FILM ADAPTED SHAKESPEARAN PLAY

    And that the cold hard FACT here another fact a film that deserved to win and earned it for spielberg was surprise surprise, SCHINDLER’S LIST enter praise by critics fgor that film far and above ryan for approaching in such a bold courageous way the most heinous of events of crimes commiteed against humanity. Told through the eyes of a nazi no less or a reformed one if you like. Yet that film won.

    So some people say about the spielberg curse yet consider the academy’s real dilemma here:

    Who out of Eastwood, Howard, Scorcese, Scott, Cameron or Spielberg have earnt and captivated tenfold more than the oscars can ever bring themselves to appreciate the depth and breadth of achievements undermined by hollywoods supposed crowining glory the oscars? who crown has evaded more than they deserve? Spielberg who films have delivered on balance consistent challenges and experimentation and esp at the emotional level and elevated film to inspire generations of filmmakers more than anyone? SPIELBERG FFS!!!

    And which filmmaker should have sentiment on their side again this year? Spielberg!

    But we know almost it will not and even then i find myself doubting that very claim. What shold go on in academy’s mind if they START TO THINK WITH THEIR DAMN WELL MIND THAT G-D GAVE THEM AND THEIR HEAD AND COMMON SENSE AND FOR ONCE STOP SPEAKING AND THINKING WITH THEIR HEART ALL THE TIME HOW ABOUT THINKING WITH THE TWO FOR ONCE OSCAR!

    You all but turned your back on spielberg after ONE one! as best picture deserved winner he only had one best picture oscar win, eastwood has two. Cameron set a record breaker….Scorcese seems to overall be more typecast with his gangster genres and scott is plain damn unlucky with only one best picture win with the might gladiatior.

    Yet this year the ghost of Saving private ryan IF OSCAR think with their mind over their puny little hearts looms much larger than ‘driving miss daisy; comparisons and i hope to high heaven these press pples or self proclaimed press geniuses are wrong. I hope they have egg on their faces for their arrogance in assumptions and trying to influence oscar with exploiting as press do their behind the scenes alignment with oscar members and inside discussions blah blah blah…

    Lincoln is not the critics darling but for both spielberg and oscar, not since Saving private Ryan has there been a period historic epic so precise and powerful and important esp to americans- as the story of abraham lincoln.

    Spielberg reads the tea leaves with precision whether coincidental or not, he knows the story is as timely and significant as it was when saving private ryan came out. What was the film that was about the ultimate war against evil…and it almost as though in a unintentional way speileberg anticipated two years on after it undeserved unjustified defeat at the oscars, a new kind of brutal and horrible war against the new form and scourge and face of evil: bin laden and al quaeda. Ryan was about as much the war against terror for ITS TIME but in reflection it as much unintentionally but inadvertently was timely in it release…for in much the way nazi’s invaded neighbouring borders, terrorists invaded borders of the US which had nod esire to go into a war just like with wwII but let me be clear it only in context of unintended timing. anything else, purely incidental.

    Munich was very timely too…if way more than it deserved was victim of political smear like zero dark thirty is unjustifiably.

    Have affleck and clooney done enough to justify an upset win? hardly.. is this a driving miss daisy year? unlikely why? cos:

    the academy love their ‘i owe you’s’ recently, for instance, eastwood was snubbed for the far superior mystic river and won for the overrated mdb why? he was owed. For mystic river being a powerhouse of a movie in a year sadly for it it deserved to have no chance in any other year if lotr conlcusion did not loom large it would have won but do we know that for sure?

    Sadly sasha is right sentiment goes to who hottest in hollywood. But not always and it hard to refuse spielberg for the depth breadth diversity and groundbreaking earth shaking cinematic achievements of a long and resilient even defiant in his early years boldest of film careers. For that reason his ‘i owe you’ is enormous and bigger than for eastwood for instance, etc..

    Did cameron deserve for avatar hell yea! but i admit it script was it undoing in part. But oscat still did an ‘i owe you’ it was a unique year and i admired their choice to embrace the lovely and bold and glass ceiling breaking moment of a i owe you to the first and msot deserving of the few elite female directors around. I rose to my feet even if i supported preferred avatar to win when bigelow won. i was grateful to watch her gratifying and significant speech.
    I actually cannot wait to see zero dakr thirty which if anything i prefer to win way above my preference for argo to upset lincoln which in my mind and should be in oscars if they use it streaks ahead in it favouritism.

    IT been earned and spielberg yet again has done it in majestic and epic and grand story inspiring backstory inspired style a 12 yr script vs. affleck and clooney now let be real here.. are oscar gonna stoop to the level of seeingthemselves as a insignificant junket event a celebrity bonanza or do the still dominant old guard despite the extended online voting but let face it tjhe foundation and majority are the old guard how else do you epxlain the genre defining groundbreaking avatar a film that embodies our generation issues and pop culture themese more than the old conservatives ?

    Online voting will not be as big oscar will not allow that they are protective of their old guard and this year at least i side with the conservatives. Which would be the first in a long time. But spielber and kennedy are groundbreakers, ice breakers, arttistic geniuses and great entertainers. they have been for over a decade.

    But affleck and clooney are still young by oscar standards…and the event the film covers has far less significance in the context of american history where oscar still is first and foremost despite a small evolut9ion in their thinking ie slumdog millionaire winning and some others in last few years but at heart they should be embracing the most significant and celebratory and tirumphant and important of american stories not just cos it historic significance but cos they made by pple who redefined what hollywood role should be to the film audience through films of substance of stories that too few directors for my liking care to tackle with the level of honet and conviction that spielberg and spielberg and kennedy as producers have contributed over the years.

    I surprised that lead female producers are so few and far between in being recognized for best picture sasha or the guild.

    IIf what you say is true and your facts usually are spot on more so than other crappy press:P

    Then all the more reason a tripple i owe you. tommy lee jones= outstanding most versatile of the older actors. day lewis is a once in a blue moon priveledge event to see him in action can he make it 3 wins in films about? wow thatd be something.

    Stronger in acting though ryan deserved more acting recognition than sp[ielbergs other frontrunner before it hope weere dashed in last minute?

    Lincoln is and deserves to be the unstoppable juggernaut at this years oscar.

    IT deserves to be a year where oscar can restore their sense of pride and value in the films that should win by embracing the film that deserves to win not which pple are most liked. this is just plain. bullshit.

    you have to wonder then i know clooney got a big long career ahead of him i indifferent bout afflecjk as director he got much to learn. Lincoln winning as it should shoudl seerve as a lesson and example that affleck and clooney can onyl dream to emulate the successed of spielberg and the academy have a chance to prove they can get it right for both themselves and the public by rising above and beyond themselves seen as a trashy crappy celebrity celebratuon fest .

    THINK WITH YOUR MIND AS WELL AS YOUR HEART NOT YOUR HEART ABOVE ALL ELSE ACADEMY OR FOREVE TRASH YOUR PRESTIGE AS JUST ANOTHER INSIGINIFIACNT BRAND.

    That is by far worse than embracing shakespeare in love i admit despite my resnetment at that film winning, that indeed shakespeare showed the world that oscar still no what they stand for it may be far less innovative emotionally engaging or groundbreaking but it was a beautifully told story yes i still really liked it in hindsight shcok horror!:P

    And was in the spirit of a genuinely made film with effort and time and energy oth creative and well written.

    I cannot say that about argo with the context of the buzz i keep hearing about. affleck needs to learn it more than just likability that will ensure he rememberd for films he makes not his cleberity status and same for the hot and cold clooney of late.

    Spileberg awarding him will be oscar’s crowning achievement in a decade for recognition of a individual likerable by all who nobody not even oscar own members have had any conflict with and who agree he just keeps raising the bar. his likeability combined with his i owe you plus his contribution and avery very strong acting driven film with elaborate technical achievements deserves such a glory and oscar can finally remind the world if they have th brains to that they still stand for so much more than celebrity reputation and status.

    Luncoln all the way NO COMPROMISE!

  114. @Gustavo, Paddy Mulholland – BAFTA BD nod is really crucial. If you do not have that nomination, it shows that your film is not a very high quality material and you are vulnerable come oscar night. If you have a masterpiece you will end up getting that BD nod without any Harvey style marketing – no other option – look at Amour and Haneke.

  115. @Gustavo, Paddy – Think about Hugo of last year. It ultimately had eleven oscar nominations but failed to get the BAFTA BP nod. Would you really think it has any chance for BP come oscar night? Result: The Artist won all the major awards.

  116. @Gustavo, Paddy – Alexander Payne last year failed to get the crucial BAFTA BD nod like Spielberg. The Descendants ultimately won only the adapted screenplay oscar!!

    More or less BAFTA is a true barometer on a movie’s destiny.

  117. BrandStrategyGuru

    I predict Lincoln will win the PGA

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