Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

For Your Consideration: An Early November Take On The Major Oscar Races

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire November 6, 2012 at 1:23PM

All the major fall festivals have come and -- save AFI FEST, which is still ongoing -- gone, and the Oscar prognostication has come out in full force. And while there's still just over two months until the nominations are announced, it's finally fair game. Yes, there's a few major films that could still shake things up significantly (as discussed in last week's column), the vast majority of the films that will be nominated have been seen by many, either at festivals or in theatrical release. And it's quite likely we've already seen our best picture winner, too. The last time a film won best picture that hadn't had its world premiere somewhere by the end of October was way back in 2004 with "Million Dollar Baby."
8
Lincoln

All the major fall festivals have come and -- save AFI FEST, which is still ongoing -- gone, and the Oscar prognostication has come out in full force. And while there's still just over two months until the nominations are announced, it's finally fair game. Yes, there's a few major films that could still shake things up significantly (as discussed in last week's column), the vast majority of the films that will be nominated have been seen by many, either at festivals or in theatrical release. And it's quite likely we've already seen our best picture winner, too. The last time a film won best picture that hadn't had its world premiere somewhere by the end of October was way back in 2004 with "Million Dollar Baby."

So let's take a look at some of Oscar's major races and see where things stand before the onslaught of precursor awards begin (in a few weeks time there will be announcements basically every day for an entire month). And for full updated charts of all our Oscar predictions, click here.

Ben Affleck's 'Argo'
Ben Affleck's 'Argo'
Best Picture:
If it is indeed true that we've already seen the film that will win the best picture, it's likely to be among these four: Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," Ben Affleck's "Argo," David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" and Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln." Each have been met with pretty overwhelming critical responses from their festival debuts (even if it was just a "work-in-progress" screening at NYFF for "Lincoln"), and in the case of "Argo" (the only film to be released in theaters among them), strong box office returns. Unless December's big five question marks -- "Les Miserables," "Django Unchained," "Promised Land," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "The Hobbit: A Unexpected Journey" -- each hit it out of the park, it seems likely we have four of our eventual best picture nominees here.

Beyond that, it's incredibly murky. Of the question marks, "Les Miserables" seems like the one most poised to make the cut, but that is speaking from nothing but speculation. And it seems silly to count out the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow, Gus Van Sant and Peter Jackson, but it's also clear that all four of them have hit with Oscar as much as they've missed (or less).

So until we see those films (which in terms of press screenings, could be before November's over), this category seems like the least clear of them all, especially because of those wacky new rules being carried over from last year. Depending on how many #1 votes each film receives on voters' ballots, anywhere from 5 to 10 nominees could wind up in the category, making it very difficult to predict. Currently, our totally uneducated guess is that it's going to be 7 (but last year it was 9).

This system leaves the door open for three films that are sure to be among the year's favorites with critics and cinephiles: Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Michael Haneke's "Amour," and Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master." Collectively the crown jewels of this year's Sundance, Cannes and Venice Film Festivals, it's hard to imagine critics' groups awards not giving them each considerable accolades. And they might attract the same kind of voter that helped "The Tree of Life" sneak in last year. But can all three make the cut? The #1 vote system could help them all, but it's already so crowded and who knows what the Tarantinos and Bigelows have up their sleeve...

Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Amour
Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook

If There's More (in order of likelihood):
The Master
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained

Totally Unwarranted Winner Prediction: Argo


Best Director:
Imagine how crowded the aforementioned best picture race just sounded, and make it so there's definitely only 5 nominees. Add in the fact that the director's branch tends to reward more challenging work than the general Academy (hence recent nominations for Mike Leigh, Pedro Almodovar, Julian Schnabel, etc), and the best director's race seems incredibly crowded. It seems Michael Haneke or Benh Zeitlin or Paul Thomas Anderson would be all but set for the work they directed this year, but they're competing against the likes of Ang Lee, Steven Spielberg, David O. Russell and Ben Affleck, each with films that many are considering among their best. And then there's work from Bigelow, Tarantino, Peter Jackson, Gus Van Sant and Tom Hooper still to come. That's 12 viable contenders. Only Affleck and Spielberg seem truly safe right now, and though it seems strange given his remarkable competition, Affleck actually seems like the overall favorite. Its stellar box office combined with its accessibility makes both him and the film a potentially mighty force (even if in this opinion its far from the year's best film). But then again, it's only early November.

Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Ben Affleck, Argo
Michael Haneke, Amour

Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Totally Unwarranted Winner Prediction: Ben Affleck, Argo

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, The Master, Life Of Pi, Lincoln






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More