So despite a recent admission by Argo director Ben Affleck that the masquerade caper that resulted in seven U.S. Embassy workers escaping from Tehran in 1980 was basically a Canadian job with CIA assistance rather than a CIA + Hollywood job, a slight majority of MCN’s Gurus of Gold currently believes it’s the most likely Best Picture winner. Sure, fine, whatever. It’s early yet.
“The big movers are Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi,” some MCN-er (probably David Poland) writes, but where would Life of Pi be without the glowing, levitational support of EW‘s Anthony Breznican and Anne Thompson? Don’t they understand that Pi is Hugo, and if it doesn’t light a big brushfire at the box-office it has nowhere to go but down?
Poland has Lincoln as his #1 expectational, but I don’t think it’s going pan out for Lincoln. I just don’t. A little man is telling me this. I’m not saying Lou Lumenick‘s Guido Bazin is to be trusted, but you can’t ignore him entirely and after hearing Guido’s complaint about Steven Spielberg‘s film being a tad boring…naah, forget him entirely. He’s just some Jersey Shore oaf, a lowlife who eats pizza for lunch and dinner. Eff this guy, toss him out. But Spielberg is over — the ending of War of the Worlds proved that. This plus that overbearing John Williams score sounds like a hurdle, hence my lack of faith.
At the end of the day it’s going to be Les Miserables vs. Argo vs. Silver Linings Playbook vs. Zero Dark Thirty vs. Amour. The post-Toronto pushback crowd (Sasha Stone, Kris Tapley, etc.) are going to bring whatever anti-Playbook talk they can to the table, and that will spread around to some extent and probably weaken it unless Academy members go as apeshit as the crowds in Toronto did. I suspect that Amour, superb as it is within its own spare, brutally honest scheme, is going to depress too many people to be a strong Best Picture contender. So it’ll really be about Les Miserables vs. Argo vs. Zero Dark Thirty, and I think it feels likely at this point that Les Miz will win in the end. Yes, another Oscar for Tom Hooper.