Rush of New Films Heighten Battle for 2012 Oscar Noms

As we begin the journey into winter, all the really good films that have been held back for the past six months will be released as we draw closer to the 2013 Academy Awards. Some think the year has been lackluster, but the best is always saved for last.

Ben Afleck’s Argo – a contender for best picture – is now playing in most first run theatres. Coming soon is the painterly Life of Pi (Nov. 21), Steven Spielberg’s solidly reliable Lincoln (Nov. 9) and Bradley Cooper’s offbeat Silver Linings Playbook (Nov 21) next in line. So close to Halloween, they are competing with less worthy (but popular nevertheless) entries like Sinister and Silent Hill which won’t make anyone’s award list, trust me.

December will see Les Miserables, though dates shift constantly in the unpredictable world of film. For one thing, the Academy moved up its deadline for nomination votes to Jan 3. This is challenging for late arriving movies. Last year, the ballots were due back on Jan. 13, which provided significantly more time for voters to see films that came out during the lucrative end-of-year holiday period.

As a result, films such as Django Unchained and Les Miserables (which unfortunately announced its own date shift from Dec. 14 to Dec. 25 just hours before the Academy announced its own change) will have to hustle harder to capture Academy voter attention as they debut in the last days of 2012.

Those movies in particular were shot over the summer and are in a dash to be finished by the end of the year, so moving their release dates earlier isn’t much of an option. They’re going to have to rely much more heavily on early screenings for voters and critics, which just adds pressure for them to finish work on the movies as fast as possible.

Some producers wait until the last week or two before eligibility ends in order to be among the last (and therefore presumably, the most remembered) film the nominators and voters have seen. But it is a double edged sword.

Here is a likely list for the Best Picture and Actor categories, with the first five on each list most likely to get the nod based on past Hollywood history. We have looked at hundreds of trailers, too, and have embedded some of the best for you to enjoy.

1. Argo
2. Lincoln
3. Life of Pi
4. Silver Linings Playbook
5. Zero Dark Thirty
6. The Master
7. Beasts of the Southern Wild
8. Amour
9. Django Unchained
10. Hitchcock
11. Moonrise Kingdom
12. Promised Land
13. Les Miserables
14. Flight
15. The Sessions
16. The Impossible
17. Cloud Atlas
18. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
19. Anna Karenina
20. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Best Actor

1. Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
3. Denzel Washington, Flight
4. John Hawkes, The Sessions
5. Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
6. Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock
7. Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
8. Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour
9. Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi
10. Richard Gere, Arbitrage
11. Matt Damon, Promised Land
12. Ben Affleck, Argo
13. Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson
14. Matthew Wilkas, Gayby
15. Channing Tatum, Magic Mike

Best Actress Possibilities

1. Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
2. Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild 
3. Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
4. Naomi Watts, The Impossible
5. Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
6. Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
7. Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
8. Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
9. Jenn Harris, Gayby
10. Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina
11. Meryl Streep, Hope Springs
12. Maggie Smith, Quartet
13. Elle Fanning, Ginger and Rosa
14. Barbra Streisand, The Guilt Trip
15. Laura Linney, Hyde Park on Hudson

Best Supporting Actor

1. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
2. Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
3. Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
4. Leonardo diCaprio, Django Unchained
5. Alan Arkin, Argo
6. Russell Crowe, Les Miserables
7. Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike
8. William H. Macy, The Sessions
9. Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
10. Ewan McGregor, The Impossible
11. John Goodman, Argo
12. Hal Holbrook, Promised Land
13. James Gandolfini, Killing Them Softly
14. James D’Arcy, Hitchcock
15. Michael Caine, The Dark Knight Rises

Best Supporting Actress

1. Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
2. Helen Hunt, The Sessions
3. Sally Field, Lincoln
4. Amy Adams, The Master
5. Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
6. Scarlett Johnannson, Hitchcock
7. Frances McDormand, Promised Land
8. Alicia Vikander, Anna Karenina
9. Pauline Collins, Quartet
10. Judi Dench, Skyfall
11. Samantha Barks, Les Miserables
12. Vanessa Redgrave, Song For Marion
13. Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
14. Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
15. Jennifer Ehle, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Director

1. Ben Affleck, Argo
2. Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
3. Ang Lee, Life of Pi
4. David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
5. Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
6. Michael Haneke, Amour
7. Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
8. Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
9. Robert Zemeckis, Flight
10. Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
11. Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
12. Gus Van Sant, Promised Land
13. Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
14. Jacques Audiard, Rust and Bone
15. Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises

Strangest Film of the Year

Cloud Atlas is a lavish and lengthy adaptation of the David Mitchell novel, a hybrid film about migratory souls and wayward civilizations, part Matrix and part 21st Century Revelation, loaded with soaring themes and flights of feeling. It’s reach is greater than its grasp however. Written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski

One thought on “Rush of New Films Heighten Battle for 2012 Oscar Noms

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