What a difference a few days makes. On Dec. 12, Les Miserables had a cozy lead in Oscar's Best Picture race, according to a poll of experts conducted by Gold Derby. Just two days later, Lincoln -- propelled by strong showings at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations -- has surged ahead like a classic Oscar dark horse.
Eleven out of 27 Oscarologists now believe Steven Spielberg's biopic on Honest Abe will triumph as Best Picture, compared to seven for Argo, four each for Les Miserables and Zero Dark Thirty and one for Silver Linings Playbook. Two days ago the score was 10 for Les Miserables, six for Zero Dark Thirty, five for Lincoln, four for Argo and one for Silver Linings Playbook.
Lincoln led with the most Golden Globe nominations (seven) unveiled yesterday and tied Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook for the highest tally of SAG bids (four) announced on Wednesday. When the Critics' Choice Awards reported noms on Tuesday, Lincoln set a new record: 13.
Many pundits responded by dropping Les Miserables for Lincoln, including Pete Hammond (Deadline), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today) and me. Richard Rushfield (BuzzFeed) joined the Gold Derby pundit lineup this week by casting his first vote for Lincoln. Previously in the Lincoln camp and still holding on: Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Michael Hogan (The Huffington Post), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood/ Indiewire), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily) and Glenn Whipp (L.A. Times).
Michael Musto (Village Voice) dropped Zero Dark Thirty for Lincoln and Tariq Khan (Fox News) ditched Les Miserables for Argo.
Meantime, the following gurus remain Les Miserables stalwarts: Dave Karger (Fandango), Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Keith Simanton (IMDB) and Alex Suskind (AOL Moviefone).
In the Argo camp: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Richard Horgan (MediaBistro FishbowlLA), Guy Lodge (Hitfix), Christopher Rosen (The Huffington Post), Paul Sheehan (GoldDerby).
Zero Dark Thirty: Kevin Polowy (NextMovie), Steve Pond (TheWrap), Chuck Walton (Fandango) and Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere).
Sean O'Connell (Hollywood News) remains stanchly behind Silver Linings Playbook.