Forget Harvey Weinstein (after all, Jennifer Lawrence did); the real kingmaker at the Academy Awards is John Goodman. The 60-year-old actor has become a regular at the Oscars over the last two years, this despite not being nominated himself. Goodman was a co-star in "The Artist," which won Best Picture last year, and "Argo," which won Best Picture this year. As Blackbook's Tyler Coates wrote earlier this week, Goodman is "the biggest ticket to getting an Oscar for Best Picture." That's good news for the five films Goodman is scheduled to appear in this year. Which John Goodman movie will win Best Picture in 2014? Let's figure that out below.
"The Hangover Part III" (May 24)
The plot: Phil, Stu and Alan (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) return for one last R-rated road trip adventure. Per the unnecessarily ominous IMDb synopsis, however, "This time there's no wedding."
Goodman's role: Back in August of 2012, Goodman was cast as the film's villain, a part supposedly similar to the one Paul Giamatti played in "The Hangover Part II." (Pause here to remember that Giamatti was in "The Hangover Part II.")
Will it win Best Picture? No way. They don't give out Oscars to movies like "The Hangover." (Yet.)
"The Internship" (June 7)
The plot: After they lose their sales jobs, two middle-aged men (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) become interns at Google.
Goodman's role: Goodman plays Vaughn and Wilson's onscreen boss, a man prone to wearing Hawaiian shirts.
Will it win Best Picture? No way. They don't give out Oscars to movies like "The Internship." (Yet.)
"Monsters University" (June 21)
The plot: Did you ever wonder how Mike and Sully from "Monsters Inc." became Mike and Sully from "Monsters Inc."? Then "Monsters University," a prequel to the beloved 2001 film, is your huckleberry.
Goodman's role: Once again, Goodman voices Sully, this time as a college student. (It's a prequel.)
Will it win Best Picture? Not likely. Go ahead and write "Monsters University" down as a nominee in the Best Animated Feature category right now; in the 12 years that the Academy Awards have awarded Best Animated Feature, seven Pixar films have won. ("Monsters Inc." was nominated at the 2002 ceremony, but lost to "Shrek.") Breaking through to the proper Best Picture category, however, is more difficult: Only "Beauty and the Beast," "Up" and "Toy Story 3" were nominated, and none won the ultimate prize.
"Inside Llewyn Davis" (TBA)
The plot: Directed by the Coen brothers, "Inside Llewyn Davis" focuses on the title folk singer as he tries to break through to stardom during the 1960s. Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund and Adam Driver co-star
Goodman's role: Reunited with the Coens for the first time since "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," Goodman plays a crippled old timer who may or may not overdose on heroin. (No spoilers, it's in the trailer.)
Will it win Best Picture? Possibly. Based on that aforementioned trailer and the Coen brothers' pedigree, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is sure to be on the short list of possible Best Picture nominees for the next 10 months or so. Whether the film can live up to that advanced hype, and then win, is obviously entirely unclear. That said, it is entirely likely "Inside Llewyn Davis" provides Goodman with his first Oscar nomination.
"The Monuments Men" (Dec. 18)
The plot: Set during World War II, a group of art historians (led by George Clooney) hunt for lost artifacts stolen by the Nazis.
Goodman's role: No word yet, but he's part of a cast that includes Clooney, Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett.
Will it win Best Picture? Strong maybe. Look at that cast again: Clooney, Dujardin and Blanchett have all won Oscars, Damon grabbed one for screenwriting, and Murray is a past nominee. Clooney himself wrote and directed "The Monuments Men," and was its producer alongside Grant Heslov. If that name sounds familiar, it's because you remember Heslov accepting the Best Picture Oscar that "Argo" won on Sunday. (Clooney, Heslov and Ben Affleck produced "Argo.") Add all that together, and "The Monuments Men" is already among the favorites for 2014 Best Picture, even though it doesn't come out until December and might be more like "Ocean's 11" than "Argo." Third time's a charm for Goodman?