By: Henry J. Fromage –
It’s been a couple of weeks since the last Oscar Power Rankings, and the race is beginning to get even clearer. Some contenders have finally been seen and interesting details have come out on others. What’s looking clearer is that this will be a broader race than in recent years, which is nothing if not a good thing.
Oscar Power Rankings
1. The Master (no change)
I’m keeping this here for now, but buzz has died down a bit and by all accounts while undeniably an achievement, it’s also a bit of a head-scratcher. Oscar doesn’t historically like it’s brain hurting, which isn’t a good sign. But, Weinsteins!
2. Silver Linings Playbook (+4)
Of course, the Weinsteins are also behind this one, and it’s a better bet to be the populist pick. Might the seemingly eternal cerebral vs. popular two-horse Oscar race coalesce around two Weinstein films. And will a house divided leave Lincoln the only one standing?
3. Lincoln (-1)
This just premiered at the New York Film Festival, with solid to excellent notices all around. It looks like it’ll be a nominations beast and a real acting awards contender, but can a film that is predominantly focused on talking and political maneuvering capture enough votes?
4. Les Miserables (no change)
Still the biggest unseen contender, but the marketing blitz is on in full force.
5. Argo (no change)
Just saw this one (review up tomorrow) and I can attest that it’s a hell of a film. This is a true-blue contender, but risks having a lot of its thunder stolen by later releases.
6. Life of Pi (+4)
This also debuted at the NYFF, to ecstatic reviews. If this turns out to be a huge commercial success, it could move into front-runner status quickly.
7. Beasts of the Southern Wild (-2)
I also finally saw this, and while I quite liked it, I’m not seeing the ingredients for the win. I still think it’ll still sneak in with the art house nomination for this year, though.
8. The Sessions (-1)
Another one with fading buzz, but with a chance to reignite once it releases later in the year. Seems like a better bet for acting awards than Best Picture love, though.
9. Zero Dark Thirty (+2)
Yet another unseen movie with all of the right ingredients. Marketing’s been creeping out on this one, too. It’ll be interesting to see how potential political exhaustion affects its chances.
10. Promised Land (+3)
We’re wait and see on this as well as it’s another late-year debut, but the first trailer just came out and looked very solid.
11. Amour (+1)
I’ve been seeing this one mentioned more and more, but perhaps I’m just reading too many art house sources. This still seems like it’ll get the Best Foreign Language film consolation prize with an extra nom or two thrown in, a la A Separation last year.
12. Moonrise Kingdom (-4)
Well loved, but having just come out on DVD, it’s going to need to campaign hard to not get lost in the shuffle.
13. Django Unchained (-4)
Many thought this would debut at the Rome Film Festival, but that appears not to be the case, meaning it’s unlikely to be seen til it’s release in late December. I’m starting to get a feeling that this is going to be too scalding to be Oscar’s cup of tea.
14. Anna Karenina (no change)
If there’ll be an anglophile pick this year, this is it, but buzz is seriously low.
15. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (no change)
The recent marketing has had a bit more of a comic bent than Lord of the Rings had. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not.
16. Quartet (no change)
This one’s chances may come down to whether it can approach the surprise box-office total of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earlier this year. Seems like the more serious pick.
17. The Impossible (no change)
The chances for this one likely will hinge on its box office haul later this year. If it can make its mark among the flurry of other films clumped on the schedule, it can get in the conversation again quickly.
18. Flight (no change)
There have been encouraging whispers on this one, but that’s all we have to go on for now. It’ll be seen soon, though, and the reaction will either move it way up or way down on the list.
19. Killing Me Softly (no change)
Weinsteins again. Will they be too busy with other contenders to give this a good push? Something tells me that they’ll put some muscle behind Brad Pitt at least.
20. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (+1)
I’ll have to admit that I’m rooting against this one primarily because I don’t have any interest in seeing it.
21. Cloud Atlas (+2)
This comes out soon, and it’ll be very interesting to see how the public takes to it. It should be in the adapted screenplay conversation simply by being made at all.
22. The Avengers/The Dark Knight Rises (no change)
I’m going to keep these together because barring the unexpected, they’re still both solidly in the “wishful thinking” category. And awful lot of people might be doing that wishful thinking, though…
23. Looper (unranked)
You could probably stick this one with The Avengers/The Dark Knight Rises in the wishful thinking category, but then again… District 9 pulled off a nomination.
24. The Perks of Being a Wildflower (-4)
This has been doing very well in its slowly expanding release. It still doesn’t seem like a huge contender, but with the right campaign could turn up in a category here or there.
25. Rust and Bone (unranked)
Twenty-five is a nice round number, and there are worse bets than French prestige pictures.
Honorable Mentions: Lawless, Mud, On the Road
Trouble With the Curve- this debuted to a solid box office and a bunch of mehs.
Hyde Park on the Hudson- Bill Murray might still be able to sneak a nomination, but reviews were just too dismissive for anything else