The Golden Globes helped show us just how unhinged the Oscars season is this year. I think Lincoln would make a great Best Picture, but it seems that perhaps there is some backlash against a movie that seems to be trying too hard to win Oscars. Because right now it seems like it just can’t get the job done in any decisive way. Yet, it would seem, for now, that Lincoln’s front runner status is difficult to challenge. While it is in serious trouble in that seat, the question remains: So what else?
Let’s take a look where each potential Best Picture winner stands.
Lincoln: So it doesn’t win at the Globes. So it doesn’t win Picture, Director or Screenplay at the Globes. So what? Well, sure the Oscars don’t always have to match what the Globes do, but the main issue is Lincoln’s inability to seal the deal anywhere. No National Board of Review. No Globes. No New York Film Critics. No Critics Choice. The main issue is the consistency of not getting the top award with anyone. It is the most nominated film of the year everywhere, but seemingly, the least to actually get to #1. Still, with 12 nominations, the support is from all over the place. Even if it has a tough time being anyone’s #1, the force of having broad support cannot be underestimated. Regardless, it’s still on top. You just have to watch the Director’s Guild awards, Producers Guild Awards and Screen Actors Guild ensemble award. If Lincoln can win all three then it is unstoppable I think. Then again, if anyone wins one of those, it becomes an upset, regardless if there’s a Director nomination.
Silver Linings Playbook: Seemingly the potential upset, with an elusive Director’s nomination, as well as nominations in every acting category, plus screenplay and editing, to round it out. You can make a case for it, but Les Mis beating it for Musical/Comedy is a bit telling. Also Hugh Jackman beat out Bradley Cooper at the Globes. I’m still keeping hope alive here, although a win in one of the big guilds awards is going to be a requirement. It could potentially come through with the Screen Actors Guild in the ensemble category. It needs that to really have a shot.
Also, one other interesting item about the Globes. It was pretty easy to surmise that the Actress awards would go to Chastain/Lawrence. Now, you can read too much into these things, but Chastain was certainly more, well, classy maybe? I actually would prefer Lawrence, but the awkward digs at Meryl and Harvey just kinda fell flat and awkward. Oscar voters got a look at a Jessica Chastain ready for prime time. We’ll see what the SAG’s have to say though.
Argo: What an exciting few days immediately after the Oscars announcement. Winning director/picture with the Critics Choice and Golden Globes right after a director’s snub at the Oscars. Just like “if only” Silver Linings won Best Musical/Comedy, “if only” Ben Afleck got a Director’s nomination. If that would’ve happened, well, Argo would be easily the one to beat right now. It’s just that Director’s omission is huge. It’s very rare for a Director/Picture split to occur, but without even a nomination, it’s just really really rare (Wings, Grand Hotel, Driving Miss Daisy, that’s it). Still, with this kind of momentum, should it win any big three (which it could), it is also the one to beat. If there is some sort of a 3 way split, say DGA: Spielberg PGA: Argo SAG: Silver Linings, then wow, will that be exciting.
Life of Pi: This could be the year when the rules went out the window, and a major surprise happened. This is the kind of year where I could imagine the last word being entirely unpredictable and jaw dropping. Should Life of Pi be called out at the end of the night, what a year! I mean, honestly, I am not just the biggest fan, but would enjoy the surprise. It got a pretty large armful of nominations, just one shy of Lincoln. It has some obstacles to get over, but who knows?
Les Miserables: I just don’t think so. The Hooper omission for director was as predictable as the Afleck omission was game changing. Anne Hathaway becomes the tent pole for Les Mis and I will be glad for her to win there. I just think the Globes were in a musical mood. I don’t see it repeating without being in a category with all of the others.
Zero Dark Thirty: It’s easy to rule it out with all of the controversy. And again… the Director’s nomination omission. Still, who knows? Also it only received 5 overall nominations, so, yeah, it’s a long shot.
Django Unchained: Also, the controversy and all. It’s tough to imagine this being where the Oscars choose to give Tarantino a Best Picture. It did great last night. Waltz might just waltz his way (sorry) past Lee Jones and Hoffman. I just don’t see any reason to believe it’s going to go all the way.
Beasts of the Southern Wild/Amour: If the rule book is officially just gone, like crazy gone, then who knows? This year has certainly been one to break expectations. Who would’ve thought Benh Zeitlin would be nominated for Best Director? Perhaps, there are some passionate Beasts of the Southern Wild fans in the Academy.