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Poll: Pick the 10 most likely Best Picture nominees

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We’re 5 weeks away from Telluride, 6 weeks away from Toronto. Less than 45 days. As more of the top hopefuls for Best Picture are unveiled, the more we’ll be inveigled to start nailing down the locks. I love this time of year. Right now anything seems possible, the well of options is deep and wide. By next month the possibilities start to narrow, the pool of possibilities will begin…

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A Poll: On the Hunt for Best Picture

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Given that our Best Picture winner will most likely emerge by October or November at the latest, but usually by the time Telluride closes its doors (September), it’s hard to see any clear frontrunner at this point, at least none that is based in reality. Sure, you can read the tea leaves and look at Oscar predictions for fun, but keep it mind it has to be only for fun….


How Many Best Pictures Have you Seen?

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  Buzzfeed puts us to the test to see how many Best Picture winners we’ve actually seen. I missed six, though I suspect I will have to watch all of them so I can say I’ve seen them all. I get bogged down most in the very early Best Picture winners.  Take the quiz and tell us how you did.

Composite of images from American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave

The State of the Race: Down to the Wire, Best Picture Still Set on Telluride Time

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  The Gurus of Gold have been asked for the top three in all of the major categories.  How much has changed since September? Not a lot. If either 12 Years a Slave or Gravity win Best Picture, that continues the streak of the winning films getting their launch at the Telluride Film Festival, or more specifically, September or earlier.  This trend is a recent phenomenon, one that seems to…

289 Films vie for 2013 Best Picture Oscar

289 Films vie for 2013 Best Picture Oscar

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Two hundred eighty-nine feature films are eligible for the 2013 Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today. To be eligible for 86th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31, and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days.


Oscarwatch 2013 – Why the Strong Male Lead Drives Best Picture Now

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This year’s Oscar race is not different from most in the last twenty years. Best Picture is driven by two major factors: Director and Actor. The strong leading man has driven the Best Picture winner for the past seven years. You have to go back to Million Dollar Baby, or I suppose, Crash to find a year when the Best Picture winner wasn’t anchored by a strong leading male, whether…

I see you, George Clooney

What Exactly is an “Oscar Movie”?

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A colleague of mine took issue with my early estimations of how the Best Picture line-up was settling in. My list looked like this: 1) 12 Years a Slave 2) Gravity 3) Captain Phillips 4) Nebraska 5) The Butler 6) Inside Llewyn Davis 7) Dallas Buyers Club 8) Labor Day 9) Fruitvale Station 10) All is Lost* It was a rough sketch of the race, as I saw it, heading…


Why The Butler, Why Now

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Now that The Butler has taken the box office for the second week in a row, on fewer screens than its competition, the speculative conversation is upon us. In a private email chat with Kris Tapley and Anne Thompson, they said they were certain that Oprah single-handedly opened the film. And that its box-office strength is being driven by her popularity. No doubt Oprah’s name is helping sell tickets, but…


First Half of the Year Best Picture Contenders

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It seems that articles wanting to suss out the Best Picture race thus far are starting to sprout up. This because often the first half of the year does produce formidable films that could make it all the way to the end — but the key is, as always, advocacy. Those of us who beat the drum loudly can often help a film be remembered come critics awards time —…


The State of the Race: Oscar’s Best Picture Road Map Thus Far

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In one sense, the Oscars continue to matter as much, maybe more, than they ever have. For the past ten or twenty years, the number of films that are good enough to get awards attention has been shrinking. If it weren’t for the Oscars and the additional money they generate, would the incentive to make prestige films be vanishing even faster? The Oscar race is virtually an industry unto itself….