The National Board of Review is among the first to announce their awards, and will be quickly followed by the New York Film Critics and for the first time, the Critic Choice (Broadcast Film Critics). While some of my colleagues write off the NBR as being people no one knows, what I’ve found is that over the years it is starting to matter less and less — people tend to be people and they tend to like the same things, give or take. The NBR usually averages between 4 and 6 to match with Oscar’s Best Picture list but they can sometimes put a name in, say for Best Director, that will help push it into award contention.
Any last minute predictions? They’re coming in a few hours, give or take. No official ETA but last year they came in around 3pm Eastern.