“Amour” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Argo” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight)
“Django Unchained” (The Weinstein Company)
“Les Misérables” (Universal Pictures)
“Life of Pi” (20th Century Fox)
“Lincoln” (Touchstone Pictures)
“Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company)
“Zero Dark Thirty” (Columbia Pictures)
Most haven’t been swayed by Django Unchained’s reception – I have. Of all the films to shake up the perceived frontrunners, Quentin Tarantino’s effort has the momentum behind it at the moment to make a play. A late release date may have contributed to that momentum, but the big question now is if it can secure the nomination – it’s perceived weakness rest in the fact that voting bodies may not have seen the picture to have vouched for it.
Any of the five second-tier contenders can easily secure a nomination, though I’d look out for both The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which has a SAG ensemble nod to its credit, and Skyfall. Box office hasn’t been that much of a conversation point for films outside of the surprising success of Lincoln and Argo, but the fact that the James Bond film has made over a billion dollars worldwide is significant. With both Judi Dench and Javier Bardem threatening in their respective categories, Skyfall’s chances of a Best Picture nomination doesn’t look entirely out of reach – with no James Bond film securing a Best Picture nomination, there’s always a time for firsts.