Championship sports teams get to prove on the field of competition that they are the best in the world -- or at least the league. By contrast, Oscar hopefuls must persuade a jury of their peers that they are worthy of the name "Best." In recent years, that campaign of persuasion has turned into a six-month marathon, costing tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars. It's as if the NFL's playoff contenders spent the entire postseason trying to get the refs to look kindly on their regular season games, instead of playing any new ones.
After five months of speculation both outlandish ("The Master" for Best Picture!) and not so outlandish ("Argo" for Best Picture!), the Oscars are one day away. All that's left is the tired cliche about the shouting. We've made our Oscar predictions already, so now it's time to help those loyal readers who find themselves participating in Oscar pools on Sunday night. (Print your ballot here.) Ahead, five left-field picks that could help you secure glory in the living room and the office.
I still don't see "Silver Linings" gaining the kind of momentum it would need to call "Argo" back to the runway (only one more week of this metaphor, Chris, I swear!), but the campaign could help Russell win Best Adapted Screenplay and even Best Director.
Stop me if you have heard this one before: On Saturday night, "Argo" director Ben Affleck defeated "Lincoln" director Steven Spielberg for a significant precursor award.
After months of speculation -- have we really been doing this since September? -- and endless rounds of red-carpet foreplay, it's almost time to hand out a new set of naked metal guys at the 85th annual Academy Awards. Will Ben Affleck's "Argo" manage to sneak a Best Picture envelope past customs? Can anyone challenge Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway? Will Jennifer Lawrence pull a Sharpie out of her decolletage, sign her statuette and hand it over to a fan, Terrell Owens-style? We'll find out for sure on Feb. 24, when ABC broadcasts the Oscars live from the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles.
"Argo" has producers and actors behind it, a push that gives Affleck's film the momentum of a runaway freight train. Meanwhile, we're all still waiting for "Lincoln" to win one significant Oscar precursor.
At this time last year, John Hawkes and Richard Gere were guaranteed Oscar nominatons (neither were nominated) and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was the next "The Tree of Life" (it was; "Beasts" earned four nominations). From sea level here in New York, it doesn't seem like any of the films at the 2013 festival have popped quite like those.
Look, I get why rooting for Steven Spielberg can feel like rooting for the New York Yankees (and, no, let's not have that argument again), but I think he overcame his worst instincts in this movie and created what you might call a late masterpiece. It's not my favorite movie of the year, but it's the strongest candidate for Best Picture, in my opinion.
By the time Oscar night rolls around, we hope that our model will feature the most reliable picks anywhere -- supplementing the educated guesswork that constitutes most efforts at awards prognostication. (I say supplementing, not supplanting, because we are, after all, avid fans and practitioners of such guesswork.)
"It's difficult to see a scenario where 'Lincoln' doesn't romp," wrote Tim Grierson and Will Leitch over at Deadspin following the Oscar nominations on Thursday morning. Which would be true, except for the "difficult" part. Because any Oscar discussion that doesn't allow for the possibility of "Silver Linings Playbook" winning Best Picture seems incomplete at best.
It's all over but the shouting. On Thursday, the 2013 Oscar nominations will be announced by Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone. Finally! Ahead, some fearless forecasting of what to expect from the 85th annual Academy Award nominations.
Happy New Year, Mike! We've entered the final countdown -- ballots are due on this week, meaning a lot of Academy Awards voters are going to have to learn how to use the internet.
Let's keep this short, as there are stockings to hang and reindeers to listen for: It's the night before Christmas, and the only thing stirring is controversy about Zero Dark Thirty and the nationwide opening of Les Miserables.
Welcome to For Your Consideration, HuffPost Entertainment's weekly breakdown of all things Oscar. Between now and Feb. 25, 2013, executive arts and en...
If I sound like a person who disrespects the impact of the Globes, that's because I am. The Globes mean nothing ever, especially in 2012, with the Oscar nominations being announced before the HFPA hand out their trophies.
Hello, Mike! After weeks of speculating, the first official Academy Awards 2013 precursor has arrived: The New York Film Critics Circle spent five hours handing out awards on Monday, a time-sucking act of futility that rivals the actual Oscar telecast. The big winners were "Zero Dark Thirty," Kathryn Bigelow, Daniel Day-Lewis, Rachel Weisz (!), Matthew McConaughey (!!) and Sally Field. While that list includes some surprises (see the exclamation points above), the big shocks, to me, are who and what didn't make the cut.