Oscar Update: 2 Films Change Everything

It’s been less than two weeks since I updated my predictions for the six major Oscar categories. Two events over the Thanksgiving holiday have solidified the standings of some and lessened the award possibilities for others: the first screenings of Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.

Both films, especially Les Miserables, confirmed their standings as Best Picture contenders. I never really doubted it for Miserables, which I predicted for a nomination in my initial October 16th post. The Bin Laden manhunt thriller Zero Dark Thirty has yet to make my Best Picture list in both of my posts. That has now changed.

Looking over my initial Best Picture predictions, I categorized them in four ways: Shoo-Ins, Strong Possibilities, Possible, and Long Shots. In this post, I will revisit the four categories. And as The Joker says, “Here we go!”:

Best Picture


In October, I listed Argo and Lincoln. Still holds true. Today though, I am comfortable in adding two more shoo-ins: Les Miserables and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. Both of those films were listed as strong possibilities in my first post. No longer – they’re in.

Strong Possibilities

How quickly things can change! In October, I wrote that Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master was as close to a shoo-in without calling it that. This no longer holds true. A month and a half ago, I would’ve ranked it fourth (after Argo, Lincoln, Miserables) for its nomination chances. The film has really taken a dive in its chances. I still classify it as a Strong Possibility, but I will not be surprised if it is left out. With Miserables and Pi moving up to Shoo-In, the only other Strong Possibility I listed is David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook. That still holds true and I expect it has a better chance than The Master. Moving from Possible to Strong Possibility is Zero Dark Thirty, which is said to be an epic telling of the U.S. hunt to kill the most wanted man in the world.


There are still three major films that haven’t screened: Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land. So they will remain in this category. I also listed Flight, which I predicted would get nominated originally. I no longer believe so. Both the Foreign film Amour and the indie drama Beasts of the Southern Wild also stand good chances and remain in this category. I also believe the Tsunami drama The Impossible could sneak in. As for the others I listed – Cloud Atlas, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Sessions – I now believe these three pictures stand zero chance of getting nominated and are now long shots at best. One film moving up from Long Shot to Possible: Skyfall, already the biggest 007 adventure ever. Probably won’t happen, but you never know.

Long Shots

Listed back in October: The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Anna Karenina, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Nothing has changed here and none of these films are likely to be nominated. Another film has moved from Possible to Long Shot: Hitchcock, about the making of Psycho. Its reviews have simply not been good enough to think it has any real chance of making the list.

A few days ago, my predictions were Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, The Master, and Silver Linings Playbook. I now believe Zero Dark Thirty is in too. I also believe Amour and The Impossible are real possibilities and we’ll see if Hobbit or Django enter the fray when they screen very soon. I am about ready to take The Master out, but as of this moment I think it has enough support to stay.

So my current Best Picture predictions now stands at eight films:









Of course, I’ll keep on updating as things change so keep on reading, my friends.



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