132 responses

  1. Sam Juliano
    February 4, 2013

    It certainly is looking this way now, hard to offer a counter-argument. Still, I hold out hopes that the WGA will go Kushner, and that somehow this will translate to an Oscar Screenplay win and a tight race for the big prize.

    It’s hard for me to see 12 nominations losing out to 7 nominations, even if this is a crazy year.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      Sam the WGA ballots were turned in at the same time as the PGA and SAG so I’m guessing the Affleck snub would impact there too.

      But let’s say Kushner does win — then you’re looking at a scenario where Lincoln could win Actor and Adapted Screenplay, maybe supporting actor, maybe director and NOT WIN picture? Seems CRAZY to me. Chariots of Fire won screenplay and three other Oscars so I think to win BP Argo has to also win screenplay.

  2. Yaz
    February 4, 2013

    Wow, if it goes like this we could end up having all the 9 best picture nominees winning at least one Oscar. A rare thing to happen especially with more than 5 nominees. I do hope that it goes this way, spreading the wealth is always the fair thing to do specially in such a magnificent year for cinema.

    One last thing Sasha, the trick is not minding. ;)

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      One last thing Sasha, the trick is not minding.

      If one more person says that to me I might have to change my tagline. And the new one would be “Anne, punch me in the face.”

  3. Ryan B
    February 4, 2013

    I like Lincoln and Argo. But I don’t think either is brilliant enough, or flawed enough, to be passionate about either outcome. Both make sense as winners and runners up. (And they could both lose, by the way.)

    This reminds me of when everybody got angry that Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan, and all I could think was that I liked The Truman Show, A Simple Plan, and Out Of Sight more than both, and they didn’t get nominated.

    In a year with The Impossible, Moonrise Kingdom, and Holy Motors, if Lincoln has a problem with Argo? It can get in line.

  4. JP, Esquire
    February 4, 2013

    The trick is not minding, right Sasha;-)

    I am curious as to what the various Guilds and the Hollywood Foreign Press have seen in Argo, specifically Ben Affleck’s direction, that the Academy, especially the Director’s Branch, has not.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      I am curious as to what the various Guilds and the Hollywood Foreign Press have seen in Argo, specifically Ben Affleck’s direction, that the Academy, especially the Director’s Branch, has not.

      I think two things happened at once. The first, the strong voting factions split between Lincoln, Argo, Silver Linings and Zero Dark Thirty. In that kind of a split, the least offensive, most liked film often wins. Once Affleck won the Globe and the Critics Choice the same time the Oscar nominations were announced it set into motion a strong narrative that has yet to be broken. But the Academy are the ones who rejected Affleck in director. So it’s possible they will feel sort of miffed by how the industry is reacting to the snub and one thing you can’t do with the Academy is tell them how to vote. So they might do what the industry has done and they might not. Or the vote splitting could continue to benefit Argo.

  5. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    I am confident Pi will win score. It could even win song over Adele because the Lullaby is so pretty.

    I think Anna Karenina takes Art & Costumes.

    Les Mis could win Sound though.

    But I have no real idea about the Sound categories. There is no behemoth in the race unless they feel inclined to have Pi sweep the technical categories. Slumdog beat Wall*E and The Dark Knight for Mixing and TDK still won Sound Editing, so anything is possible (Argo).

  6. Daveylow
    February 4, 2013

    Though it looks impossible for Pi to win Best Picture and not too likely to win Director either (thought BAFTA may shed some like on that), I think Pi could win Cinematography, Visual Effects, Art Direction, Score and one sound award. If Argo doesn’t win editing, it could get that award, too. Still hoping for a miracle and Lee getting director if Spielberg doesn’t get it.

  7. Daveylow
    February 4, 2013

    @Zach– Though I think Anna Karenina deserves art direction and costumes, I get the impression the film isn’t liked very much by the Academy as a whole. I was surprised AK didn’t get a score nomination. So I wouldn’t be shocked if AK went home empty handed. Les Miz will probably get costumes. Though there are haters online I think the Academy actually likes the film and it has done well at the box office.

  8. Paddy Mulholland
    February 4, 2013

    Les Mis is probably taking Sound Mixing. It has a good shot at Make-Up too. Sound Editing is probably between Life of Pi and Skyfall then.

    I have Life of Pi winning four currently (Cinematography, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Original Score) – the most of any film. I doubt any film can beat Anna Karenina for either Production Design or Costume Design.

    Argo definitely doesn’t need Adapted Screenplay in order to take Picture as well. It can win without it.

  9. Paddy Mulholland
    February 4, 2013

    I was surprised AK didn’t get a score nomination.

    It has a score nomination, Daveylow. I don’t see any film getting past Anna Karenina for Costume Design, and probably not for Production Design either.

  10. KT
    February 4, 2013

    Sasha, you think Ang Lee can’t win director?? Might want to add that to Life Of Pi

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      Sasha, you think Ang Lee can’t win director?? Might want to add that to Life Of Pi

      I don’t know…I really have no idea at this point. I just have a hard time seeing a split. In my heart of hearts I still think Picture and Director will unite, a la Braveheart and Out of Africa. That means it would have to be: Lincoln, Life of Pi, Beasts, Amour, Silver Linings Playbook. There are too many good movies this year, that’s why it is such a strange race.

  11. KT
    February 4, 2013

    Also, Lincoln could possibly win score, however remote it is. Might want to add that too…As much as I’d love to see John Williams on stage again, I know it isn’t very likely. We can hope

  12. Brian
    February 4, 2013

    I don’t think I can take much more Oscar race. I’ve enjoyed this since reading Tom O’Neil’s book, but the actual races have sucked to follow. I can’t take much more neutered tripe. The dark turns the Academy took after the Crash fiasco made me excited, even if my personal favorites still lost. But Argo winning is going to be close to breaking my interest. This has been a strong year, but Argo is probably my bottom two of the nominated films. It ain’t bad, but. I just can’t understand, but more I just don’t care enought to try to understand. Perhaps it is for the best.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      Brian, I feel your pain. I am definitely trying to think of alternate ways to spend my time than focusing on this race after this year.

  13. Joseph
    February 4, 2013

    Production Design is tough for me this year. Avatar and Hugo won all three – cinematography, visual effects and production design (well – art direction). Life of Pi could win all three and score. Though there’s no denying Anna Karenina’s production design. Oftentimes, that goes hand in hand with costume. Hmmm…. Think I’ll pick Life of Pi in the end. Anna wins costume.

  14. Someone
    February 4, 2013

    And I’m hoping that BAFTA will reward LIFE OF PI – as they rewarded FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING instead of BEAUTIFUL MIND. Not that it meant anything in 2001 but it might mean a lot this year when ARGO hasn’t got nomination for best director.

    If APOLLO 13 is this year’s ARGO than LINCOLN is this year’s SENSE AND SENSIBILITY rather than BRAVEHEART. BRAVEHEART is LIFE OF PI (though LIFE OF PI is far, far better movie, obviously).

  15. Antoinette
    February 4, 2013

    I’d like to give the Academy one chance to do their own thing. The fact that the pundits are acting like it’s a done deal when ballots haven’t gone out yet is incredibly fatalistic to me. I’m not saying it won’t turn out that way. It’s entirely possible that people will just vote for the perceived winner, so they can say they were right. And it’s also possible ARGO will be the most popular movie among Academy voters. We can never know for sure. But I’m hoping that Oscar night is fun and surprising.

    There’s always hope. :)

  16. Kate
    February 4, 2013

    What I wonder is that, in years where the Best Picture winner is not really the best picture of the year (too many to list), do the winners really come to believe they were the Best or do they realize they were just lucky???

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      What I wonder is that, in years where the Best Picture winner is not really the best picture of the year (too many to list), do the winners really come to believe they were the Best or do they realize they were just lucky???

      It depends on how it falls. Fluke winners never fare well in public opinion, even when they’re really popular at the time. Crash, Shakespeare in Love, Driving Miss Daisy, Chariots of Fire – these movies were so popular and beloved but they disrupted the apple cart because they beat movies that were better, frankly, like Reds. So poor Argo. Of course, I’ve never seen it happen to an actor like Ben Affleck so perhaps he’ll be able to keep things going well by continually directing good movies. Me, I think it’s not a good thing for him and his career. But we’ll see.

  17. robert L
    February 4, 2013

    You are making a mistake.
    Lincoln will win.
    I follows academy history, not guild and critic history.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      You are making a mistake.
      Lincoln will win.
      I follows academy history, not guild and critic history.

      :-) We can live blissfully on that island of dreams until the bitter end.

  18. Robert A.
    February 4, 2013

    “Lincoln will win.
    I follows academy history, not guild and critic history.”

    But guild history is often also Academy history. That’s why the results of the guilds are often telling–various Academy members are also members of their individual guilds, so you see a certain degree of voter overlap between the guilds and the Academy.

    There are exceptions, of course. The guild favorites don’t always win with the Academy. But more often than not, they do. That’s why completely ignoring guild results is usually not the best way to win your Oscar Pool.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      There are exceptions, of course. The guild favorites don’t always win with the Academy. But more often than not, they do. That’s why completely ignoring guild results is usually not the best way to win your Oscar Pool.

      Indeed. However, it’s worth noting that this year the Academy went their own way. The guilds went another way. Now the Academy will have to follow the guilds if Argo wins. And the Academy doesn’t usually like following anybody. But I agree, Oscar pool-wise go with Argo.

  19. Eric
    February 4, 2013

    I will go down with the Zero Dark Thirty ship. I really liked Argo, but it wasn’t as daring as Lincoln, Pi or Zero Dark. My thought is that the Argo sweep will cause a reactionary vote once final ballots go out. Voters have to stew in the Argo media orgy for a few more days before final voting.

  20. Nic V
    February 4, 2013

    I still don’t think it’s a hands down win for Argo. I still think Argo is a good film. I think there are others that are better. I’m beginning to lean towards Life of Pi winning at this point. If Lincoln is not going to be the final choice, which it appears for all intents and purposes to be true then the question becomes do you now not only ignore the stunning achievements of Lincoln but do you also now ignore the stunning achievements of Pi?

    I don’t believe that Argo will win the BAFTA. I think that is going to go too Pi. I never thought Lincoln stood a chance at BAFTA simply because Lincoln wouldn’t really reasonate with their audiences. They might very well respect the film but I wouldn’t expect them to jump all over themselves to choose it as BP. Pi seems to me to be a much more logical choice for BAFTA than Argo or Lincoln. There is still the outside chance that Les Mis could take BP at BAFTA but I think that’s a stretch.

    The real interesting decision will be for Best Director at the Oscars. You don’t have Affleck or Bigelow in the mix. But what you do have is five other strong contenders. I’m even willing at this point to wave the white flag over a Spielberg win for the Oscar but if he’s not going to win then who does? It should be Ang Lee. How safe does the Academy want to go? The safest bet in the directors race would be Russell. But I don’t see the Academy going that safe. Then you have Hanake who has directed what appears be the second best critics darling. Hanake isn’t unknown to the Academy where Zeitlin is totally unknown. Zeitlin has no resume too speak of so does the Academy acknowledge his work? His work which has also had a bit of controversy. I don’t think so. It would the first time the Academy [least I think it would be the first time] awarded a director of film in a foreign language. I don’t see that happening either. So then what’s next is it’s either Lee, Spielberg or Russell. My best bet is that if it isn’t Spielberg there’s no question it has to be Lee.

    I’m beginning to buy into a Pi sweep if that’s what you can call it. Dissappointedly so but not heart broken. Pi is a very good film with some very outstanding achievements. This is where you want Louis Malle to say “Au revoir Lincoln” that seems fitting to me at this point.

  21. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    If the WGA ballots were turned in at the same time as PGA and SAG and Argo manages to beat Lincoln again, that is most telling of all. It’s not unusual for a film to win Best Picture without Screenplay, but Argo needs another big win, and if the writers are that apathetic toward Lincoln, then the train has already left the station.

  22. Kate
    February 4, 2013

    Kushner losing Adap. Screenplay = there is no God.

    The fact that Argo looking like the BP winner could cause deserving folks to lose so that Argo gets some more undeserved awards to justify the BP win is really mind-blowing. I’m dizzy.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      The fact that Argo looking like the BP winner could cause deserving folks to lose so that Argo gets some more undeserved awards to justify the BP win is really mind-blowing. I’m dizzy.

      I can’t quite fathom it either. I’ve actually never seen anything like this in all of the years I’ve been doing the Oscars.

  23. knee play
    February 4, 2013

    “It depends on how it falls. Fluke winners never fare well in public opinion, even when they’re really popular at the time. Crash, Shakespeare in Love, Driving Miss Daisy, Chariots of Fire – these movies were so popular and beloved but they disrupted the apple cart because they beat movies that were better, frankly, like Reds. So poor Argo. Of course, I’ve never seen it happen to an actor like Ben Affleck so perhaps he’ll be able to keep things going well by continually directing good movies. Me, I think it’s not a good thing for him and his career. But we’ll see.”

    I could be wrong but it seems to me that if Argo wins Picture and Spielberg wins Director, that based on the overwhelming support for Argo that the resulting consensus will be that “Spielberg stole poor Ben Affleck’s Oscar”. Affleck will be quite alright.

    And I really hope you’re right about Amour taking Director, Actress and Screenplay. I’m starting to lean that way too.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      I could be wrong but it seems to me that if Argo wins Picture and Spielberg wins Director, that based on the overwhelming support for Argo that the resulting consensus will be that “Spielberg stole poor Ben Affleck’s Oscar”. Affleck will be quite alright.

      I think if Spielberg wins director, Lincoln wins Picture.

  24. Johnoliver45
    February 4, 2013

    After all the fuss, I think Lincln will pull it off. It’s the kind of epic the Academy love to bestow it’s best picture ala Ghandi, The Last Emperor, Lawrence of Arabia and Ben Hur. Heck, it might pull Sally Field along with it.

  25. mecid
    February 4, 2013

    Why Spielbeg steals Affleck’s Oscar when Spielberg’s achievement is far better? Sweeping guilds doesn’t mean you are better.

    I don’t think consensus will think that but haters perhaps.

  26. Victor Barreto
    February 4, 2013

    Personally I still think Lincoln is far from being dead in the race, especially with weird facts like Iran saying they will make a movie in response to Argo. If it wins, I most definetly won’t consider it a surprise, even though most of the press will.

    But is it true Chariots of Fire had the highest box office? Even higher than Raiders of the Lost Ark?!?

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      But is it true Chariots of Fire had the highest box office? Even higher than Raiders of the Lost Ark?!?

      No, sorry, higher than Reds, its main competitor. But usually when there’s a freak win like that and Crash there are other strong films dividing the race up into factions – and I think that’s what’s happening this year.

  27. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    Sasha, has there even been a major category where you haven’t seen an upset, in all your years of running this site?
    Picture – Crash, Shakespeare in Love, even M$B
    Director – Roman Polanski
    O. Screenplay – nothing here has ever surprised me, but I wasn’t watching when The Usual Suspects beat Braveheart. And this year is ripe for an upset.
    A. Screenplay – Precious, The Pianist
    Actor – Adrien Brody, and arguably Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, and Sean Penn the second time. Maybe Roberto Benigni?
    Actress – Meryl last year! But it felt inevitable as it happened.
    Supporting Actor – Jim Broadbent, Alan Arkin
    Supporting Actress – Tilda Swinton; probably Marcia Gay Harden if I were old enough to be paying attention to the stats
    Editing – Black Hawk Down, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      Zach, yeah, Dragon Tattoo winning editing was a really nice surprise. I’d agree with the ones you put down.

      But Crash, Precious for Screenplay, Marcia Gay Harden, Steven Soderbergh for directing (Traffic), 3 Six Mafia winning song, Juliette Binoche winning supporting actress for English Patient.

  28. knee play
    February 4, 2013

    I’m really not debating which is “better”. That’s entirely subjective. But with the slew of critics’ prizes and guild support and the “poor Ben Affleck” story, that seems to me to be the more likely narrative that emerges from the Argo for Picture/Spielberg for Director split.

  29. mecid
    February 4, 2013

    No, Victor. Chariots 59 million, Raiders 212 million (at 1st release)/.

  30. Daveylow
    February 4, 2013

    @Vic — If Life of Pi had a better campaign I think it could win best picture. But there is none. Which is too bad. A film that appeals to viewers around the world, that many connect with emotionally and which is a visual marvel. And features a young actor who never acted before who holds the movie together. A master work by a master director. So many ways to market this film and yet Fox has approached it in the most boring way. With 11 nominations!

  31. knee play
    February 4, 2013

    “I think if Spielberg wins director, Lincoln wins Picture.”

    Absolutely agree.

  32. filmboymichael
    February 4, 2013

    Hey Sasha, maybe a fun time waster in the meantime WOULD be to have a “name the new tagline” contest. You’ve gotten a lot of “the trick is…” comments of late.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      Hey Sasha, maybe a fun time waster in the meantime WOULD be to have a “name the new tagline” contest. You’ve gotten a lot of “the trick is…” comments of late.

      I love it – I definitely will do. It has to be a line from a movie, that’s the only catch!

  33. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    I don’t think I’ve ever missed Sound Editing since I started predicting in 2001! But just watch there be an upset this year, unless the guild goes for an obvious technical favorite like Skyfall or Pi.

    I was doing good in costumes until The Artist. I probably wouldn’t have gotten Gladiator though.

    Def missed Happy Feet, Golden Compass for Visual, Three Six Mafia, even Randy Newman (the first time), Melissa Etheridge, and the Motorcycle Diaries song.

    I never miss makeup. Again, this year, I’m bound to pick The Hobbit and they’ll go for Les Mis.

  34. Derek 8-Track
    February 4, 2013

    Hopefully we find out all of this discussion and debate is pointless and Beasts of the Southern Wild wins director and picture. Come to think of it, if Harvey had Beasts we’d all have it as the current favorite to win wouldnt we? Probably a good thing he doesn’t though, so people can still love and root for the movie and not form a backlash against it, calling it a soft lob, agreeable, least offensive pic. Sasha, I know you dig Skakes in Love, but i’m curious, if Beasts was Harvey’s would you “dislike” it as much as you do Speech and Artist.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      Sasha, I know you dig Skakes in Love, but i’m curious, if Beasts was Harvey’s would you “dislike” it as much as you do Speech and Artist.

      That’s a good question. I don’t know. I love Beasts and would be thrilled to see it, or Life of Pi, win too.

  35. knee play
    February 4, 2013

    “I love it – I definitely will do. It has to be a line from a movie, that’s the only catch!”

    May I suggest: “This is not a democracy – it’s a cheerocracy”? *wink*

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      “This is not a democracy – it’s a cheerocracy”? *wink*

      That’s awful. In every way.

  36. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    A Director hasn’t won without an accompanying Screenplay OR Picture win since…Spielberg, my God. 4 Techs + Best Director for SPR.

    Since 1960, every other Director winner had his film or at least its screenplay win except for Born on the Fourth of the July and Reds (what do you know, the weird split years), plus Cabaret and The Graduate. BOTFOJ and Graduate are the only ones that didn’t win Screenplay OR Picture OR an acting award.

    So if Lincoln loses Screenplay to Argo, it would be…unique…for Spielberg to win. But we already knew that.

    And I don’t think any film has ever won multiple acting awards plus Director without also winning Picture.

    1956 is another odd year with Giant having the most nominations (10), but ONLY winning for Director, while the travelogue fluff won Picture and The King and I swept the techs and won for Brynner.

    Sole director wins (or director + editing or Supporting Actress) were more common in the 1930s and 1940s where you had 10 BP nominees, they were spreading the wealth, and some major directors like Ford and Capra were seen as the faces of their films and worth rewarding even if their films weren’t the favorites.

  37. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    Well, your new tagline should definitely be “The Best Bad Idea We Have,” if Argo wins, since it’s emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the preferential ballot and Academy voting in general (the lesser of two evils triumphs).

  38. robert L
    February 4, 2013

    The telling award is going to be for score.
    There you have a hint early in the Oscar Night of what can happen.

    Please let Lincoln win screenplay.

  39. Jack
    February 4, 2013

    For some reason, I’m kinda thinking Haneke will win… Would I put down my money on it? No, but it’s obvious they enjoyed Amour enough to give it all those nominations.

    Could Lincoln just walk away with 1 award: Best Actor?

    ARGO: Picture, Editing, Sound Editing, Adapted Screenplay-if it wins WGA
    LINCOLN: Director, Actor, Supporting Actor
    LIFE OF PI: Visual Effects, Score, Cinematography, Production Design
    LES MISERABLES: Supporting Actress, Make-up, Sound Mixing
    ANNA KARENINA: Costume
    SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK: Actress
    AMOUR: Original Screenplay, foreign Film

    Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty go home empty handed?

  40. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    No, Score will go Pi for sure. They don’t play games in that category.

    What will be telling is if Argo wins a Sound award.

    Still scratching my head over how Argo missed out on Art Direction, what with this supposed broad-based support.

  41. kasper
    February 4, 2013

    There’s a televisionality (can’t think of a better word, no coffee yet) to Argo that might appeal to the television voters in the guilds. However, if the Academy’s goal in announcing nominations early was to give nods that weren’t under the influence of all the precursors, then they should have pushed the ceremony earlier too because now the wins will be strongly influenced by the precursors. Unless, it’s supposed to give time to the voters to actually see the movies and not use the precursors as a lazy crutch. I’m still going to vote for Lincoln until the bitter end.

  42. Pierre de Plume
    February 4, 2013

    The Academy does what the Academy does. I’ve been watching these things since the early 1960s and simply refuse to get upset when unfair things happen – because yes, unfair things happen all the time but the sun rises the next day. It really makes no difference to me whether Argo, a good enough film, or Lincoln, a wonderful but flawed film, wins (or any other for that matter though SLP would be a disappointment).

    Despite stats pointing to Argo, I’m simply not convinced its win is a forgone conclusion. I still think the WGA is the best indicator of how things will go down, but the other precursor whose significance I question is the SAG ensemble award. I’ve said this in other threads here before, but I think we’re being misled by Argo’s win in that category. We must remember that Lincoln took 2 of the 4 individual SAG acting awards; that’s a strong showing. With respect to ensemble, comparing SAG’s demographics (many younger, underemployed, less experienced actors) with the AMPAS actors branch (more experienced, established and successful actors) one can see why SAG might go for Argo, film where many of the performers, though good, are less established and not as well known as the A-list cast of Lincoln.

    Upshot: I think Lincoln has a lot of support in the actors branch, moreso percentage-wise than within SAG. In a tight race that matters, especially considering that the actors branch is the largest voting block.

    Next, we know from Lincoln’s number of nominations that the film has strong overall support among the various branches — moreso than Argo.

    Now we get down to the issue of past voting patterns regarding director/best picture and the fortunes of films without a best director nomination. We all know that story.

    If, indeed, Argo’s screenplay can win at WGA, then I think Lincoln’s chances are in trouble. I simply am not convinced that Argo can win best picture without a screenplay win, and the WGA is the best indicator of how the Academy will go in that category.

    I understand many of us are wringing our hands over this year’s Oscar race. The way I look at it, though, is that I’d rather see this than the utter boredom that so often typifies the Oscars. Nonsensical outcomes are pretty much an Oscar tradition, so I’m used to that. It’s the excitement of not knowing, this year, that makes the whole thing more fun.

  43. kasper
    February 4, 2013

    I agree with you Zach; they don’t play games in that category. I’ve consistently agreed with the win for Best Score, last year’s win excepted.

  44. Pierre de Plume
    February 4, 2013

    The other points I forgot to add are these:

    The timing thing. This year the Oscar voters have a little more time to mull over their choices. If one accepts the argument that a vote for Argo is more of an impulsive, “of the moment” sort of choice, the extra time could benefit Lincoln.

    The goodwill factor. Although everyone likes a comeback story — and Ben Affleck’s return to favor is most compelling — a lot of Academy voters have worked with Spielberg over the years and I’m willing to bet this could benefit Lincoln just as Meryl Streep’s victory last year I think had a lot to do with the number of friends she’s made over the years who are voting members (Harvey Weinstein notwithstanding).

  45. Yogsss
    February 4, 2013

    Question. Why is everyone switching to Haneke for Directing? I can see him on anyone’s ballot above Spielberg, Lee or Russell (Academy loved SLP)

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      Question. Why is everyone switching to Haneke for Directing? I can see him on anyone’s ballot above Spielberg, Lee or Russell (Academy loved SLP)

      Well it makes sense to do: Amour for Actress, Director, Screenplay. If they HATE Spielberg’s movie THAT much they ain’t giving him director. And that’s the going theory, that everyone HATES Lincoln.

  46. Yogsss
    February 4, 2013

    Replace CAN with CAN’T and what I said will actually make sense :D

  47. Vince Smetana
    February 4, 2013

    Les Mis could very well win sound editing like Chicago and Dreamgirls.

  48. Flipper
    February 4, 2013

    So the academy secretly thinks Lincoln is far superior to Argo, but they’re not gonna vote for it because it’s more trendy to go for Argo?

    God forbid they should actually like the other one better.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      @Flipper, well the logic is if they’d liked Argo enough for it to win Best Picture surely it would have gotten a Best Director nomination with ease. Now the buzz is taking Argo home so you have to wonder what they’ll do.

  49. Terometer
    February 4, 2013

    “Could Lincoln just walk away with 1 award: Best Actor?”

    Maybe 0? it happened before! A month before some people on this site claimed it would sweep the oscars, and now~~
    The question right now is not how popular among the academy it is (Argo took the spot); the question right now is how unpopular among the academy it is!

  50. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    Pierre, what you’re saying is in line with the idea that all of the guilds, including and especially the SAG, have a bandwagon effect, a vote-with-the-herd mentality that the Academy frequently rejects, more so than any other voting body (except for BAFTA, perhaps, when they do their own thing–usually British). The guilds and Globes usually vote for who is most popular right now, who is sexy right now, who has been wronged right now. The Academy goes for who is most popular overall, who has been wronged in the past, who’s overdue. They are more inclined to give a film a boost because it’s high art, as long as it’s not polarizing. Maybe it’s better for Lincoln in the long run that Argo is steamrolling Lincoln in precursors than for it to appear to be a true two-horse race. David is starting to look like Goliath.

    Haneke makes sense if they want to award maturity and bravery and all, but he would be the first foreign-film director to win! Someone said yesterday that if Lincoln is too dry for the Academy, then Amour will only fare worse, and I agree with that. Except that Spielberg is held to a higher standard.

  51. helios
    February 4, 2013

    A month before some people on this site claimed it would sweep the oscars, and now~~

    You are confusing Lincoln with Les Mis lol

  52. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    If they hate Lincoln that much, then they really should refrain from giving DDL another win and let Mr. Hollywood, Hugh Jackman, have his Sandy Bullock Moment in the Sun. And this is coming from a Lincoln fan.

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      If they hate Lincoln that much, then they really should refrain from giving DDL another win and let Mr. Hollywood, Hugh Jackman, have his Sandy Bullock Moment in the Sun. And this is coming from a Lincoln fan.

      If they really hate Lincoln that much I suspect Joaquin Phoenix will win.

  53. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    They hate Joaquin more.

  54. helios
    February 4, 2013

    I would love an Amour sweep. Especially actress would break a lot of fanboy hearts. I hope the same Academy who snubbed Affleck will say ‘Argo fuck yourself’ to the guilds and do it their way again.

  55. Bette
    February 4, 2013

    “And I don’t think any film has ever won multiple acting awards plus Director without also winning Picture.”

    Bob Fosse won Best Director for Cabaret, while Liza Minnelli won Actress and Joel Grey won Supporting Actor. 8 Oscars for Cabaret in all [I'm one of the very few people who think Cabaret deserved to win Best Picture too, over the revered Godfather, which edged it out at the end, a total of 3 Oscars]

    “Derek 8-Track / February 4, 2013
    Hopefully we find out all of this discussion and debate is pointless and Beasts of the Southern Wild wins director and picture.”

    Reds vs. Chariots of Fire. Actually, it was really considered to be Reds vs. the tepid On Golden Pond back in 1981. 4/5 films were very deserving of their nominations, Atlantic City and Raiders being the others, but Pond was just a sappy tv movie with an amazing cast. It was second at the box office among the nominees (Raiders first), and one of the top box office films of 1981. It won the Globe. Chariots was an out of left field upset winner over the more deserving Reds, but as usual, it was all about politics. First, Ronald Reagen was a new President, and the neocons in the Academy didn’t like the idea of this liberal epic to begin with (wouldn’t surprise me if the Borgnine/Curtis types didn’t even bother watching that film either). Second, there was some hostility towards Warren Beatty at the time. There was a perception he was too arrogant. Orson Welles couldn’t pull it off, neither could Beatty. Yes, Welles got screenplay for Kane (and that’s all it got, amazing), and Beatty got director, but the Academy has often known enough to give out consolation prizes when they absolutely HAD to. Finally, Reds’ low box office didn’t help, that always plays a factor in their decision to decide what was the finest film (haha). The Artist’s victory was a rare exception to the very-low box office rule, for many many reasons that have already been discussed on this site.

    I’m among those who feel that Argo and Lincoln were in the same league as films, one did not tower over the other. I actually preferred Argo’s wild ride a bit more. I’m missing the “great achievement” that was Lincoln position. Most critics would agree, as Argo and Zero Dark Thirty won roughly the same number of Best Picture prizes at this point (I know it seems like ZDT won a lot more, it certainly started that way, but Argo caught up, slowly but surely, and then with a bang in January). Plus its metacritic score is about the same as Lincoln’s, right? I mean, this isn’t a case of a 60something metacritic film like Crash winning the day. In fact, that’s what’s interesting to me, how everyone is calling this a great year for movies. In a way, I agree, in that there were so many very good ones. But in terms of great ones, I don’t see anything standing out, but for Beasts and maybe Amour and Pi, but I’m in the minority on Beasts. Some might argue Holy Motors, I don’t get that at all. Ditto re: The Master, amazing first 1/3, ok middle, repetitive, hard-to-watch final third (and for the record, I’m among the those (now a majority) that think There Will Be Blood was the best of 2007, not No Country). So when there’s nothing great – like The Pianist or Brokeback – or nothing they can pretend is great – like Slumdog or The King’s Speech – then you wind up with a lot of confusion.

  56. Ben Fan
    February 4, 2013

    Jack said:

    “ARGO: Picture, Editing, Sound Editing, Adapted Screenplay-if it wins WGA
    LINCOLN: Director, Actor, Supporting Actor
    LIFE OF PI: Visual Effects, Score, Cinematography, Production Design
    LES MISERABLES: Supporting Actress, Make-up, Sound Mixing
    ANNA KARENINA: Costume
    SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK: Actress
    AMOUR: Original Screenplay, foreign Film
    Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty go home empty handed?”

    I would amend to say Django for Original Screenplay.

  57. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    @Bette, Joel Grey! Eek. OK. So Cabaret is the only film to win multiple acting awards + Director but no Screenplay or Picture. Of course, it was up against The Godfather. Another weird year.

    IDK why people carry on about Reds. If anything should have beaten Chariots, it’s Raiders. But that would never happen. Beatty won because he was an actor-director and Reds was a lot of hard work. But it’s not the most engaging film. Four acting nominations, but I bet you that just like SLP, it wouldn’t have won the SAG Ensemble award had the SAG Awards been around. On Golden Pond would have taken it. Tepid or not, that movie probably had a great chance of winning because, like Chariots and really Raiders, it’s a film that inspires love. Reds is just so dry. And in the modern era, dry epics never win the top prize.

  58. filmboymichael
    February 4, 2013

    awardsdaily.com
    “There’s no fighting in here! This is the war room!”

  59. JP
    February 4, 2013

    Predictability is killing the expectation the surrender the Academy Awards. And they will keep making changes every year (top 10, top up to 10, now nominations in the beginning of january…). And that won’t change the lack of expectation because Hollywood discovered that awards is a very profitable business and 1000 awards are created every year and the Academy voters are influenced by the outcome of the other main awards. It’s like a domino game. Critics gave you buzz (not necessary their awards)… then one guild awards you… then the other guilds awards you…. then the other guild awards you… then the Academy branches follow their guilds then… bingo… predictability is all over the place.

    (there was a comparison between Argo/Lincoln and Viola/Meryl)
    Meryl Streep had 12 losses in a row (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sandra Bullock including), is considered by mostly everyone in the industry as the best actress alive… or ever and was campaigned by Harvey Weinstein. Spielberg doesn’t campaign the strong way he used to. And he’s totally right to do this in my opinion. He’s older and I think his biggest Hollywood symbol status just makes him feel sort of ashamed to campaign heavy and strong. He could live without the awards. He has achieved a status way above any award. On the other hand, the awards play a major role for the Weinstein Company. I’m 101% sure that Lincoln would sweep the Oscars in Harvey’s hands. When Harvey becomes the frontrunner, he never loses. Fact.

    6 years in a row with DGA/PGA going to the same film…

  60. Pierre de Plume
    February 4, 2013

    Zach, I’m not sure I’m saying all that. The Academy goes its own way on certain things. Unlike other voting bodies, AMPAS has a wide range of categories to vote on. So, one way or the other, their votes in those categories have to make sense to themselves on some level when voting for best pic.

    One thing seems reasonable, though, when you point out that “David is starting to look like Goliath.” That’s where the slightly extended voting period may have an effect.

  61. Flipper
    February 4, 2013

    @Sasha

    But since the academy has a bunch of members that are also part of a lot other little clubs and since all of those other clubs are going crazy about Argo, then perhaps another angle should be taken and people should try to figure out what happened to cause these strange snub of Affleck, because the fact that Affleck isn’t nominated is downright weird, in the light of everything else that is happening. It is just extremely bizarre.

    Seriously, the only explanation I can come up with is that they figured that Affleck (and perhaps Bigelow) were sure things, that they didn’t need their help and that a lot of people chose to support an outsider like Haneke or Zeitlin. And if was a close race to begin with, it might make the difference.

    There almost seems to be a consensus among voters that Affleck is definitely in the top 5 and they all seem to be stunned that he isn’t. And they are the people who got to decide it! It makes no sense. Switching between going with the flow and going against the grain at random, I’m not buying that. I think that an unlucky and unfortunate set of circumstances is likelier.

  62. Mohammed
    February 4, 2013

    [comments like this are not welcome on my site. You either knock that shit off now or you're banned]

  63. Paddy Mulholland
    February 4, 2013

    Les Mis could very well win sound editing like Chicago and Dreamgirls.

    I think you mean Sound Mixing, Vince. But yeah, I totally think Les Mis will win there. For one thing, musicals often win that one, and for another, the sound team pulled off something quite impressive in managing that complex soundscape.

    The race will settle down. BAFTA will go with Argo a couple of days after Academy ballots go out – that’ll boost its chances considerably. WGA will announce the weekend after, and if Lincoln wins that, it’s still very much in the race.

    This is the same Academy that picked Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin over Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow, Jacki Weaver over Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman and Maggie Smith, Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhane Wallis over Marion Cotillard and Helen Mirren. As Pierre keeps saying (and as I keep saying – and occasionally being shot down for), the Academy does what the Academy does. If they like Lincoln more than Argo, they’ll choose Lincoln. And just as the industry has assembled around Argo since nominations were announced, the only real evidence thus far is the Academy (the ones who matter) prefer Lincoln to Argo. The directors, actors, cinematographers, designers and composers prefer Lincoln.

  64. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    Paddy, your argument is flawed in that only the directors, cinematographers, and art directors seemed to prefer Lincoln. Cinematography was never a likely nomination for the film, and even Art Direction was a mere possibility at best. Finally, Ben was never going to get nominated for Lead Actor, so you can’t say the actors prefer Lincoln simply because it got three acting nominations. Do they prefer The Master too?

    The fact remains that, other than the missed bid for Affleck, Argo and Lincoln both have all the key nominations: Editing, Screenplay, even some acting and Sound.

  65. Antoinette
    February 4, 2013

    and Sean Penn the second time.

    You know, this brings up a personality trait that I kinda forgot the Academy has that might explain a few things. The Academy is judgmental. I mean most of us were rooting for Mickey Rourke then am I right? Anyhoo, the bad boy redeemed was a good narrative and they didn’t go for it. Affleck is kinda riding a similar wave although he was never as bad as Mickey was supposed to have been. However, he was a tabloid guy who has turned himself around. But although everyone else has rewarded him, the Academy didn’t even nominate him. It’s entirely possible that while the rest of us have forgiven and almost completely forgotten, they might still be thinking of a different Ben Affleck. Our only indication of what the Academy thinks of Affleck is the “snub”. Maybe they’re still not on the same ‘have you hugged your Affleck today?’ bandwagon that the rest of us are on.

  66. Paddy Mulholland
    February 4, 2013

    My argument isn’t flawed. It’s just a point. I’m not basing anything on that. But is it not reasonable to assume that the Academy prefers Lincoln to Argo when they gave it five nominations more?

  67. JP
    February 4, 2013

    If sound is a key nomination, what about cinematography? And considering that Argo has a fantastic cinematography in my opinion, it is odd that it was not nominated there considering how much love it is receiving the guilds.

    Just like The Artist broke one thousand precedents to win, Argo most likely will also. If they like it, they really really like it.

    I don’t have the patience to look for this info, but just to add one more stat how many films have won BP (the first Oscar years don’t count) with only one nomination in the Directing-Editing-Cinematography combo.

  68. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    You can assume it, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. You can be a costume designer, for instance, and still vote for Argo. Maybe if you’re an art director, you’re not inclined to rate Argo high, considering Argo was actually eligible for Art Direction and missed. The other thing is, each category is not weighed equally. There are more actors in the Academy than anything else, and if SAG is to be believed, they liked Lincoln more than SLP, but Argo more than both, in the top category.

  69. Jason Travis
    February 4, 2013

    Hey Sasha- my stomach hurts too. I’m in the same boat as you regarding this whole ordeal this year. I want Lincoln to win it’s deserved Oscars for best picture and director, and I so thought this would be Spielberg’s year to do it. But don’t let the detractors and haters let you down. We still have about a month until Judgment Day. A lot can happen. I liked Argo as well as the last guy, but it’s not on the same level as Lincoln. And anyone who tries to use the lame ass “It’s boring” excuse wasn’t paying attention, and never will.

    As of now Argo looks good to win Picture and Film Editing. That’s it. Adapted Screenplay is possible, but over Kushner’s masterfl script? Even though Argo was fresh and witty, it doesn’t compare. It would be even more of a travesty for the screenplay award to not go to Lincoln.

    Lincoln does look good to win Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay. It just fits better that it also win Picture and Director.

    Yes the Guilds have spoken, but a lot of that is Affleck guilt- and remember the academy hates to be told what to do and who to vote for- especially if it involves ‘shame on you, you forgot me!’ I have a feeling Oscar night may not go on the Affleck bandwagon.

    The only problem is Lincoln lost where it should have won. The Drama Golden Globe was, to me, the biggest surprise. How would they not go for it? It seemed to have all the workings for a Drama Picture winner. Then I thought, OK- PGA will settle. Nope- they also went for Argo, then the big SAG mess and now DGA. The Director’s Guild should feel REAL dumb- how do you snub him for the Oscar but award him your highest honor? It just doesn’t make any sense. I understand the academy has a smaller branch, but still- it just reeks foul to me.

    What ever happens, Lincoln will walk away with more top awards. Argo has Picture, sure- but won’t win acting races, won’t win writing (it better not) and won’t win director. How does that look? It’s almost as if the academy said “Lets shower Lincoln with the love it deserves- oh wait, damn! Everyone else said Argo, we better make it up quick!”

    Have faith Sasha- it could still work out in the end.

  70. Zach
    February 4, 2013

    @JP, Editing is a big deal. The only films since 1950 to win without Editing were Ordinary People and Marty (small films though), The Godfather Part II (shock!), and A Man for All Seasons (too slow). Argo is contemporary camerawork, so Cinematography was never expected, but if there’s still an argument to be made for Lincoln, it’s that this supposedly stagy, boring, talky period piece DID receive nominations in Editing and Sound Mixing along with flashier films.

  71. Chris
    February 4, 2013

    Ugh. I hate that Best Actress is so up in the air!!! I’m nervous Jen won’t win.

  72. Jerm
    February 4, 2013

    Sasha, if you are now accepting the inevitablility of Argo winning Best Picture….what makes you line up with Haneke for the split? I feel like he doesn’t stand a chance with not being nominated at any of the other big awards, except BAFTA…maybe I’m wrong and not seeing what you’re seeing?

  73. PJ
    February 4, 2013

    I switched to Argo too after the DGA. But I am still holding out hope the WGA goes their own way.

  74. Pierre de Plume
    February 4, 2013

    I dunno about Sasha, but my predictions aren’t the same as how I’d vote on a pool, where what other people vote for determines one’s success. Poolwise, it’d be Argo, Haneke/Russell, and JLaw, for starters. Prediction-wise, at the moment, I’m still at Lincoln, Spielberg and Riva.

  75. Johnoliver46
    February 4, 2013

    After all the fuss, I think Lincln will pull it off. It’s the kind of epic the Academy love to bestow it’s best picture ala Ghandi, The Last Emperor, Lawrence of Arabia and Ben Hur. Heck, it might pull Sally Field along with it.
    I think Lincoln will walk away with at least 7 Oscars

  76. Zach M.
    February 4, 2013

    At this point, the only award I really care about is whether or not Skyfall can win Cinematography.

  77. lily
    February 4, 2013

    i’m gonna go ahead and stick with lincoln and assume academy history holds out here. frankly, either argo OR lincoln will be making some history, right? lincoln as far as winning without a single precursor if it pulls it off, argo without the director nom and 4th in nominations total.

    and the only evidence we have is what the academy did to spielberg and ron howard after their DGA wins years ago. they shut them down. so i’m going to stick with what they’ve done in the past in any situation that was vaguely similar to this. i don’t think they really do hate lincoln that much and i do feel spielberg is going to win. i don’t see haneke having any shot with the whole academy voting. and they have never given BD to a guy who directed a foreign-language film

  78. Jason Travis
    February 4, 2013

    Argo was snubbed in key tech categories- in particular, Art Direction! My GOD how did this miss out? It was very well detailed and stylish for the time period of late 70s Washington DC/Hollywood era. Same for Cinematography- I think it totally captured the look of the time.

    Film Editing was spot on in Argo- a lot of people mention the first 5 mintutes- how about thos last 5 minutes? Complete and utter edge of your seat entertainment. If anything this movie was a tribute to key cuts and transitins to build tension.

    With all that being said, I still hope Lincoln wins Best Picture- thank you!!!

  79. David Lindsey
    February 4, 2013

    I felt, before the nominations, that ARGO was LINCOLN’s biggest competition. After Affleck’s snub, I began to have doubts. Now, with the rallying cry for all things ARGO coming from all the other film groups, I am obliged to check ARGO off on my prediction ballot again. And yet, I can’t get this nagging feeling out of my head that ARGO isn’t the presumptive favorite in any other category and therefore, might lose. I feel like this might benefit LIFE OF PI, SILVER LINING’S PLAYBOOK, or even AMOUR. ARGO is by no means a slam-dunk at this or any point.

  80. Astarisborn
    February 4, 2013

    Whatever wins Best Editing early on in the ceremony is a sign of what’s to follow. Same with and especially in Adapted Screenplay isthe best indicator.
    My thoughts have been that if Argo wins Picture, Ang Lee wins Director and if Spielberg wins Director, Lincoln wins Picture.
    I really wish it would be a tie between Lincoln and Life of Pi for Picture and Director. Wouldn’t that be an extremely, unlikely, unbelievable, surprise of a shakeup?

    • Ryan Adams
      February 4, 2013

      Whatever wins Best Editing early on in the ceremony is a sign of what’s to follow.

      Sometimes. Half the time, not.

      2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
      2010 The Social Network—Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
      2007 The Bourne Ultimatum
      2004 The Aviator—Thelma Schoonmaker
      2001 Black Hawk Down—Pietro Scalia
      2000 Traffic—Stephen Mirrione

      So that’s 6 of the past 12 years that Best Editing did not match up with Best Picture. The other 50% of the time, yes, they matched.

      I’m only saying, no reason to start celebrating or slitting our wrists so early in the festivities on Oscar night.

  81. SallyinChicago
    February 4, 2013

    Where does the Matrix figure in all this? Didn’t it win the most Oscars in 2000, mainly technical? Anything can happen this year….and again, I’m praying for an upset.

  82. Sammy
    February 4, 2013

    @Jerm – Haneke was not eligible for DGA so Affleck has not beaten him there but he has beaten Spielberg and Lee there. With Affleck out of the way, Haneke emerges as the favorite especially with a high quality work like AMOUR.

    I would not be surprised if Haneke would win director + screenplay. Amour is a work Academy loves and this is really important.

  83. Jason Travis
    February 4, 2013

    Best Film Editing is going to Argo- it’s been the frontrunner for a while. Just because you win Best Film Editing doesn’t mean you’ll win best picture. Black Hawk Down and Bourne Surpemecy won and weren’t even up for the prize.

    I just had to rewrite this whole post since my stupid internet deleted what I wrote-

    Argo could win everything known to man leading up to the Oscars, it won’t stop people from saying “wait but he’s not up for best director”. That one snub has caused the whole race to flip upside down. Had Affleck made it in best director, this would be a boring race and Argo would win film, director and the acting races would be set minus best actress.

  84. Jason Travis
    February 4, 2013

    *Bourne Ultimatum.

  85. Paddy Mulholland
    February 4, 2013

    If they can go with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, they can go with Zero Dark Thirty. Chew on that, William Goldenberg!

    Oh no wait, he still wins…

  86. Jason Travis
    February 4, 2013

    Again, Argo is expected to win in Editing- the movie’s whole focus RELIES on this aspect, and it’s a deserved triumph. Now, if Lincoln wins here we know it’s about to sway. Watch for Lincoln to win in categories it wasn’t precieved to prevail in (this includes editing, cinematography, costumes, supporting actress).

    Are the Life of Pi supporters serious? People keep saying Ang Lee- but he should have won the DGA then. No backlash against him like there is against Spielberg. Life of Pi seems like it will only win in the tech categories, a director triumph would be a major upset.

    This is strictly between Spielberg, Russell and Haneke- and Russell is actually the one they might go for if they think SLP needs another major egg.

    But Lincoln is still the one I say is winning- Argo is the heated contestant now, but maybe the tides will turn and voters won’t feel the need to place Argo as high on their ballots because they’ll think “enough people will vote for it, let me give Lincoln a push” and the same outcome will happen that caused Argo to lose its director nod- Irony is sweet!

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      Again, Argo is expected to win in Editing- the movie’s whole focus RELIES on this aspect, and it’s a deserved triumph.

      Yep. One of the easiest calls to make.

  87. daveinprogress
    February 4, 2013

    Also, editing is not always in the early part of the telecast; from memory it is one of the last technicals to be presented. The litmus test used to be Costumne Design! Well in the 80′s and 90′s it seemed to be with the proliferation of costume dramas. Whatever won costume design could win BP!!!!!

  88. Paddy Mulholland
    February 4, 2013

    I remember you called Argo winning Film Editing months ago in the podcast, Sasha. I remembered this when Zero Dark Thirty hit big and started receiving raves about its editing, and we all thought it’d win instead, and I thought that it had been silly of you to call Argo’s win so early. In fact, I think even you thought Zero Dark Thirty would win Film Editing once you saw it, am I right? But now, your early call has turned out to be rather prescient!

  89. PJ
    February 4, 2013

    Wow, great chart, comparing the number of Oscar votes to Guild votes. With that kind of disparity it’s kind of surprising they agree as often as they do.

    I just don’t buy that Oscar voters hate Lincoln. They gave it 12 nominations and put it in all the major categories. I also don’t buy that it is as divisive as some people say it is. Sure, if you have never read a history book or enjoyed a Broadway revival of a classic, you might find Lincoln. But the fact of the matter is, Lincoln is a good film, most people like and appreciate it.

    Also the fact of the matter is Argo got 7 nominations, tied for 4th most. Call me dillusional, but I don’t think the Academy loves Argo, if they did, Affleck would have a director’s nomination and heck, maybe even an acting nomination the way he does for the BAFTAs.

    The whole idea behind people thinking Argo would win BP is that it would eat up a lot of 2nd, 3rd and 4th place votes. Maybe, but it’s a lot harder for a front-runner to pick up those votes than it is for a lovable underdog. Again, maybe I am disillusion, but I think this race turns with the WGAs. If anyone can appreciate Lincoln, it’s writers and actors. The latter gave Lincoln two SAG awards. I think the former gives the Lincoln script top honors and it turns the race around.

    Regardless, you’re spitting in the face of logic if you’re forgetting that the Academy was the first place to “snub” Argo. Are they so whimsical to suddenly turn on their earlier opinion simply because the larger guilds did not agree with them? I don’t buy it, I think Lincoln is still very much in this two horse race…

  90. PJ
    February 4, 2013

    Also, I think everyone is missing the biggest impact of the Argo sweep- it has made this a two horse race. At the beginning of this thing, it was wide open. Now? Argo is obviously the front-runner but I think Lincoln is still in the main threat. A film by a master filmmaker, with over 150 million in the domestic box office, featuring possibly the best actor of his generation playing President Lincoln, was always going to be in the final discussion for BP.

    Does Argo stand up so well versus Lincoln? Do Life of Pi and Silver Linings voters like Argo or Lincoln more? I think you vote with your heart for the top spot, you vote with your mind when ranking all your second (and so on) favorites.

  91. Ben Fan
    February 4, 2013

    awardsdaily.com
    “There’s no fighting in here! This is the war room!”

    THIS IS PERFECT!!

    • Sasha Stone
      February 4, 2013

      “There’s no fighting in here! This is the war room!”

      Not bad, I kind of like that. :-)

  92. Carlos
    February 4, 2013

    Why is everyone gaga about Life of Pi FX?? “The hobbit” is gonna win in that category and if there is justice in the Academy (questionable at best) it should also win its two other nominations.

  93. Brian
    February 4, 2013

    It came to me this afternoon while watching Cloud Atlas why I feel stronger against Argo than some other recent races, even as I don’t dislike it. I could better understand Slumdog over Benjamin Button, the colder Forrest Gump without Hanks to melt people’s hearts. Button always felt a little off from Oscar fair. I think Social Network suffered a similar fate. Sorkin’s script was as chilled as he could get it, for reasons understandable but. Fincher’s directing likewise did not feel like a match made in Oscar heaven, not against the warming tale of a British king and Firth’s unstoppable trail. As for the Artist, it had a fairly unique spin on a classic Hollywood tale.

    Which brings me to this year. Argo is the safest ‘good’ film in the bunch, which is my way of saying better than SLP. So it meets the low threshold I have grudgingly accepted of the Oscars. But the problem I have is Lincoln. Not that I think it towers over all else this year (though it is close for me). I’ve seen better films than it fail at the oscars. But that it fits all the requirements of an Oscar-type film. Beloved director in the twilight of his career, award-winning writer with one of his more brilliant scripts, perhaps the best actor of his generation in a role destined to be memorable. It ticks off every box Oscar could want. It could be more emotional, but it is never cold like some of Fincher’s front runners in year’s past. Lincoln isn’t Descendants or Hugo from last year, it is a living, breathing, critic-loved, audience-approved work of art. It isn’t Brokeback, with controversy, going against an Important movie. It has no controversy, and it is one of those Important movies About an issue Hollywood loves. If a film like that can hit pretty much every note known to man and still lose to Argo, well I don’t know anything anymore. I for years have argued that the Oscars decide in their own ways, and if my favorite doesn’t win, that is fine. But I can not see what is happening this year. It makes no sense. Less sense to me than Crash perhaps.

  94. Astarisborn
    February 4, 2013

    If Lincoln wins the WGA, is it definitely back in the race for best picture?

  95. Someone
    February 4, 2013

    Let’s pray together that Spielberg won’t win Academy Award for directing (though he probably will – and this will be the worst Academy Award’s recipient in this category since Mel Gibson). In best picture category I don’t care: LINCOLN is little worse than ARGO but ARGO also doesn’t deserve to win. I’m still hoping for LIFE OF PI and Ang Lee.

  96. Astarisborn
    February 4, 2013

    Let us all bow our heads and pray….please no SLP win for director or picture.

  97. Someone
    February 4, 2013

    @Sammy: How Haneke was NOT ELIGIBLE in DGA? They sometimes nominate people for foreign movies (and they even rewarded Ang Lee for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) so he was – obviously – eligible but they prefered to nominate Affleck, Bigelow and Hooper.
    Haneke won’t win. Academy has never rewarded in this category directors of the foreign language movies. Spielberg or Lee will take this and if someone can make a suprise – than Russell is the only possibility.

  98. Brian
    February 4, 2013

    And for all those who now champion the idea There Will Be Blood was superior to No Country, where were you in 2007? It wasn’t an empty road, but a few more friendly faces then wouldn’t have hurt.

  99. rufussondheim
    February 4, 2013

    Clearly, the only acceptable quotes are from The Perks of Being a Wallflower…

    1. And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.

    2. Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.

    3. We accept the love we think we deserve.

    4. There is so much pain and I don’t understand how to not notice it.

    5. I am very interested and fascinated by how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.

    6. We didn’t talk about anything heavy or light. We were just there together. And that was enough.

    7. You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s lives ahead of your own and think that counts as love.

    8. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning.

    Of course these would all make horrible taglines! But I was just in the mood for declaring how excellent Perks is!

  100. Vitamin168
    February 4, 2013

    I do not think either Spielberg or Ang Lee even care about winning or losing. I mean they have been there before and know whether winning or losing will not cost them anything. After all, they both made great films, with artful and commercial successes, this year. So don’t expect they campaign hard for their films. They won’t. Both of them are way pass that. The thing they care more may be not in the winning of any award at all. Well, winning them is good. But more importantly, their films do make money this time and this enables film companies to fund their next fantastic project. Life is about doing business and sometimes with wonders. Wonder is good but you can only hope for. Life moves on anyway.

  101. Rob Y
    February 4, 2013

    “…but really Lincoln and Silver Linings are dividing voters allowing Argo to win.”

    With the preferential ballot I don’t think will happen. If Argo has incredibly strong support going in to achieve 50%+1, (or even close) then it wins BP. I don’t see that is the case. So it’s going to take several rounds. Most likely it will need to go to the round with only two titles. So if it is Argo, Lincoln, and SLP, and Argo doesn’t achieve 50%+1, then the lowest title gets thrown out, which means that it is a two title race. So it is which do members think is better: Argo or Lincoln? I don’t care if the member ranked them 1-2, 8-9, 1-9; it is which of those two is ranked higher on the most number of ballots. If Lincoln and SLP have a strong correlation in votes, then the votes from one will swing to the other.

    In last year’s simulation final ballot—depending on the demographic—Tree of Life and The Artist were pretty much neck and neck in the lead (some demographics had ToL as #1 at this point, some had The Artist). That was until third place Hugo got reallocated to either Artist or ToL. The vast majority of Hugo supporters chose the Artist over Tree of Life, which, in most cases gave the sizable win to The Artist.

    So if SLP is third place behind Argo and Lincoln, once its votes get reallocated then the SLP/Lincoln correlation will only help Lincoln.

  102. Vitamin168
    February 4, 2013

    I constantly quote “The Book of War” by the great Sun Tze. “Knowing both yourself and your enemy will give you no failure in every battle. To have no failure depends on yourself and to win really depends on your opponent (whether they have make fatal mistake or not). All nine films and five directors are nominated because their artistic achievements. The only remaining deciding factor is timing. However, films which succeed because of timing does not necessary translate into historic achievements. People make mindless mistake, and so do the members of AMPAS. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they aren’t. If my memory is right, Hitchcock, often regarded as the all-time best director, had never won a BD of Oscar. So was the late great Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa. Have these “not winning” ever hampered their position in film history. I guess not.

  103. Mikhail
    February 4, 2013

    Well, Traffic won S.actor, director, ad. sreenplay, editing but not Best picture. Saving Private Ryan won director, editing and a lot of tech. categories but not Best picture. Brokeback mountain won director, ad. screenplay but not BP. So what’s wrong and unbelievable with the split? Argo more likely take BP, editing and ad. screenplay (though Kushner script is better). Nevertheless have no idea who ll take director. Anyone but Zeitlin i guess.

  104. Koleś
    February 5, 2013

    Predicting Haneke with 6/1 ratings. Admire the guts and like the faith, but sadly that’s not happening. And does that mean you are predicting Haneke for 3 awards in one night? That’s a quite a rarity. You have to be due as fuck AND make a juggernaut of a movie to score 3

    1960 Billy Wilder – 3 awards for The Apartment as Producer, Director and Screenwriter

    1983 James L. Brooks – 3 awards for Terms of Endearment as Producer, Director and Screenwriter

    1974 Francis Ford Coppola – 3 awards for The Godfather Part II as Producer, Director and Screenwriter.

    1997 James Cameron – 3 awards for Titanic as Producer, Director and Editor.

    2003 Peter Jackson – 3 awards for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as Producer, Director and Screenwriter.

    2007 Joel & Ethan Coen – 3 awards for No Country for Old Men as Producers, Directors and Screenwriters.

    The only one who wasn’t due out of the above was James L. Brooks, but Shirley MacLaine, it was her show. She had the chops to push the whole movie through for the big win (with a little help from JACK). The rest of them were awarded for their masterpieces and each time they were awarded for something more than just the movie. They were awarded for past snubs and in general for the whole body of work.

    Haneke certainly qualifies. He has made a masterpiece, his best movie up to date. He has an amazing body of work and is very consistant with his style. A genuine auteur. Some might feel he was snubbed for “A White Ribbon” (and I think he should also be nominated for “Hidden”), so there may be some due factor going his way.

    But he is not well known in Hollywood. He’s not their man. He didn’t make a movie for the audiences to like and love and cheer for. It’s a very challenging and painful experience. It’s a work of art but not a crowd pleaser. If that’s a movie the Academy would embrace Fellini, Antonioni or Bergman would have won Best Director a long time ago.

  105. Koleś
    February 5, 2013

    I just imagined Haneke jumping over Spielberg Benigni-style after winning Best Foreing Picture and Spielberg going in his head “Oh God. It’s 1999 all over again. What’s up with these fucking foreigners? Does that mean I’m winning Director but loosing Picture? Will this austrian fuck please get of my chair and stop showing me his balls. And now that I got a closer look his beard is not as cool as mine.”

  106. Sammy
    February 5, 2013

    @Koles – This year is different. Amour has been nominated in both best picture categories. This rarely happens and it shows Amour is up for a good night!

  107. Koleś
    February 5, 2013

    Well, so was “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Life is Beautiful”, and I agree, both films had a relatively good score. But the fact is Ang Lee didn’t win Director (he got the Globe, BAFTA and DGA) and the movie won only “technicals” (apart from Foreign Picture). Same goes for “Life is Beautiful”. Benigni did score 2, but many felt that was too much. Like Jim Carrey said, he jumped into his ocean. Had Jim Carrey been nominated it could have been a totaly different race. But even with that Benigni go “only” 2, and the whole movie 3, without wins for screenplay, director or even BP.

    I do think that a BP nod matters much for “Amour”, but not as much as you say. Plus, right now there are more slots for BP. In the years of five noms I’m sure “Pan’s Labyrinth”, “The Life of Others” and “The Barbarian Invasion” probably would make it to the top 10. I’m kinda surprised that “A Separation” didn’t.

  108. benjie
    February 5, 2013

    Don’t let the Abaddons of the Oscar machinery drive you away. Seriously.

  109. Natasha
    February 5, 2013

    I must have missed something when I watched Argo–was the editing really that good that right now they are predicting editing as the only category Argo will take other than BP? Or is it all part of the game?

    I recall last year’s winner was Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, no?

  110. Sammy
    February 5, 2013

    I agree that “A Separation” should have been in that BP list instead of ELIC.

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