Woohoo, made it through all of the big eight categories.  Not that I don’t love you, other categories.

VIRTUAL LOCK

  • Lincoln
  • Argo
  • Zero Dark Thirty

I can’t wait to see how the best picture nominations play out this year.  These three seem like pretty safe bets, but after that, a lot depends on the number of nominees we see.

GOOD BET

  • Silver Linings Playbook

There are certainly scenarios where Silver Linings Playbook only gets two nominations and misses here, especially if we only get five nominees.

LIKELY IN

  • Life of Pi

I dunno, Life of Pi has always been the favorite that looked shakiest to me, but everyone has been saying that Oscar folks love this movie.

ON THE BUBBLE

  • Django Unchained
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Amour
  • The Master

Any or all of these films could get in.  Where the rest of these films may have trouble finding popular support, Django Unchained‘s problem may well be overcoming its populist tendencies.  I almost wonder if the glut of indieish films are hurting their cases by having to go against each other.  Beasts was an early indie darling, but Oscar buzz is really difficult to maintain, especially on a microbudget.  Many say Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson’s finest.  Is that enough to convince Oscar?  As I’ve mentioned, Haneke has his devoted followers, and each #1 votes is going to be precious this year.  I’ve repeated my The Master is losing ground mantra over and over.  But you know what?  Losing ground means it once had that ground in the first place, and ballots went out weeks ago.

DARK HORSES

  • Skyfall
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • The Intouchables

My esteemed colleagues see a nomination for Skyfall.  I hope they are right.  I think.  I can build a case for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but it didn’t do nearly as well at the BAFTAs as that line of reasoning would have suggested.  Kris Tapley is touting The Intouchables and knows way more than me.  The screener went out early and it is a feel good movie beloved by audiences, so sure, it has a shot.

SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED

  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • 21 Jump Street

 

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