So this week's column is coming a little late. Anything happen that I missed out on?
OK, OK, fine, I'm kidding. There's been a ton going on in the world of awards this week, as groups from my own tiny little New York Film Critics Online to the Golden Globes have weighed in on what they consider the best films of the year, whether in the form of actual awards or just nominations. It's enough to drive you crazy, especially if like me you're constantly trying to get a read on the awards race as a whole, figuring out if this or that snub actually means anything, if we suddenly have to catch up with Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, or if Les Miserables is over as a frontrunner before it even began.
I've been hashing out a lot of this throughout the week, so in the interest of not repeating myself, I point you to a conversation I had with Sean O'Connell about the SAG Award Nominations and then about Golden Globes, plus a rundown from Sunday about the weekend's critic's awards, and then the Critics Choice Awards picks, in which both Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln were looking quite strong.
From there, we're going directly into the charts, where we'll talk about all of these categories in more detail. A lot going on. A lot of work to do. And a lot of changes in the awards race all at the same time.
The Mortal Lock and Likely Contender categories combined represent what has been, with very little variation, the standard 10 contenders listed by critics and guilds alike. Yes, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel found its way in with both the SAG Awards and the Globes, and yes, Beasts of the Southern Wild failed to do much with either group. But counting on the Oscars general angle toward prestige-- and the fact that Beasts wasn't even eligible with SAG-- I still think this group stands, with Life of Pi as the likeliest fifth nominee but still to o shaky to be a lock. I'm fascinated by the strength of Django Unchained, which took far more Globe nominations than I would have expected. I still don't think it will make it into the Academy's Best Picture ranks, provided they don't pick a field of 10. If I had to guess at this point I'd say six Best Picture nominees, maybe 7 if Moonrise Kingdom or Amour gets a lot of love. But the way the field is winnowing down, our options are suddenly looking disappointingly limited.
STILL IN THE RUNNING