Wednesday, January 9, 2013


It's not exactly rocket science. Want to know what films will be serious contenders for the Oscar this year? Well, start with the ten films nominated for the Producer's Guild award last week, then subtract the five films on the list NOT nominated for the Director's Guild award yesterday.


Presenting the likeliest Final Five for Academy Award contention (those nominated by both Producers and Directors Guilds):

Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
Life of Pi

There will still be up to ten Best Picture nominations (although in 2012, I believe there were only nine), and they will probably reflect pretty closely the Producer's Guild nominations, meaning you can add Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, and Skyfall to the list above.

But only the five films nominated by both guilds have a prayer of actually winning. And who will that winner be? Right now, my money's on Lincoln, along with a Directing Oscar for Steven Spielberg (who hasn't won since Schindler's List). In addition, of course, to a big fat Best Actor award for Daniel Day-Lewis.

True, I haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, which is getting plenty of gigantic buzz. But the Academy finally broke down and anointed director Kathryn Bigelow with its first directing Oscar ever awarded to a woman in the history of movies just a couple of years ago, in 2010 (for The Hurt Locker). So it probably doesn't want to, you know, get carried away.

The 85th Academy Award nominations will be announced tomorrow morning at some ungodly hour. Meanwhile, as of Friday, all of the top five will be playing on local screens, with the wide opening of Zero Dark Thirty, and the return engagement of Argo joining Lincoln and Les Miz at the Nick and Del Mar, and Life of Pi at the 9.

See em all! See 'em big!

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