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Best Picture 2011-2012

Best Picture

Listed in accordance to likely win

Nominees

“The Artist” 

“Hugo”

“The Descendants”

“Midnight in Paris”

“Moneyball”  

“The Help” 

“The Tree of Life” 

“War Horse” 

“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

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Analysis 

Updated: December 19, 2011

The Artist and Hugo remain frontrunners, with War Horse very much in play. The Descendants seems to be losing steam, though that loss of support seems to be less for the picture and more in regards to Alexander Payne’s waning position. Meanwhile, the actors are certainly behind The Help, at least enough for there to be a slight uptick in its position. The Tree of Life remains a critical favorite, though it’s by no means a certainty and remains an outside chance.

Otherwise, there’s been a slight uptick for Drive given the swell of critical support it has seen over the past few weeks. Films like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are loosing steam as their lack of notices in the initial critics and guild awards have caused them to stumble. This bodes particularly well for Midnight in Paris and Moneyball, as they’re looking like more appealing as Best Picture nominees.

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Analysis 

Updated: December 3, 2011

Following its victory from the National Board of Review, Hugo has jumped into the fray as a strong Best Picture threat. But it’s The Artist that remains a frontrunner at this point, given its victory amongst New York Film Critics and swelling support from the Indie Spirit awards. The race is certainly starting to take shape, though these initial awards’ announcements have placed Midnight in Paris and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on notice.

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Analysis 

Updated: October 24, 2011

Given that I’m predicting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Film Editing, it’s come to a point that it just doesn’t seem right not to have the film up in contention for Best Picture. I’m not entirely convinced that it’s in, but given its release date and commercial appeal, I’m starting to get behind it.
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Analysis 

Updated: October 15, 2011

I was initially hesitant on The Ides of March, but it’s a clear cut contender; in a year of five, it would still be a shoo-in. Not much else has changed though: the elephants in the room are still War Horse, J. Edgar, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Initial buzz has pegged J. Edgar as mediocre, and well, I’m not too surprised. I’m still not sold on Extremely Loud… but I’m aware that it certainly has what it takes to make it all the way, particularly if it’s the gut wrencher it’s trying to be based on its trailer.

Midnight in Paris is still hanging in there; I suspect that once it gets its DVD/Blu-Ray release that it’ll surge back onto my list. And The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo could certainly ride a commercial wave to a nomination if it delivers both critically and at the box office.

What I’m beginning to question though is if The Help really has the nomination set – people are predicting it, but it definitely hasn’t had the enormous box office take that The Blind Side had. And even more telling is the fact that there’s no narrative anchor to motivate people to vote for the thing; Viola Davis isn’t exactly Sandra Bullock here.

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Analysis 

Updated: September 29, 2011

Besides the big unknown in War Horse, I’m fairly comfortable that the selected seven will be in amongst the final contenders come the big day. There are obviously three other slots that could potentially be filled, but I’d bet against that happening.

The J. Edgar trailer dropped to reserved expectations – its greatest insight was a potential supporting play for Judi Dench. I’m on the fence with the film as a whole, though I suspect it won’t be a big play outside of its performances.

Moneyball’s modest box office intake will likely hinder its down-the-line plea, and I suspect it will not be in play come the end of the month. The Ides of March and Hugo’s Best Picture play will largely depend on their success with mainstream audiences, though The Ides of March certainly seems to be gaining traction after stumbling a bit following its Venice debut. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Young Adult, and The Rum Diary are all question marks, though I’m sensing that Reitman’s work might make for more of an awards splash than anyone (including myself) is predicting.

Following Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’s trailer drop, I can only hope that it’s been snuffed out of contention for good. But it’s not entirely out – as I mentioned in my previous Oscar post about The Tree of Life, negative votes don’t count in the end. It’s all about the passion votes, and I suspect that there will be a clear divide between those who love and those who hate Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

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