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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

November 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Oscar buzz: ‘Les Mis’ out in front

The Oscar nominations are sneaking up on us a little early this year: They’ll be announced Thursday, January 10, roughly two weeks earlier than in past years. Campaigns have begun and the Internet’s many Oscar pundits are buzzing. I took a look at Goldderby.com, a website entirely dedicated to awards-season predictions, and noted the following as front-runners:
artsmovielesmis25.jpg
Best picture: “Les Miserables” (pictured at right)
Best director: Ben Affleck, “Argo” (pictured below)
Best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Best actress: Jennifer Lawrence, “The Silver Linings Playbook”
Best supporting actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Best supporting actress: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Best original screenplay: “The Master”
Best adapted screenplay: “Lincoln”
These were arrived at by tallying the votes of a few dozen experts — but note that probably none of these people have seen “Les Miserables” (or “Zero Dark Thirty” or “Django Unchained” or “The Hobbit,” for that matter). So I guess they’re basing their picks on what SOUNDS like it might be an Oscar winner. There are worse ways to predict the Oscars (haven’t you noticed that the person who always wins your office Oscar pool is the person who never saw any of the movies?), and I guess it’s fun to get into the betting spirit. Not being a mathematician, though, I’m puzzled by the way the site ranks movies and people who didn’t actually receive any votes, or at least none that are listed. For example: 23 men are ranked as Best Actor possibilities, 20 of whom were not selected by any of the voters. (The voters, no fools they, pretty much all chose Day-Lewis.) So why is Hugh Jackman, with 0 votes, ranked as #4, while John Krasinski, also with 0 votes, is at #23? It’s all a mystery. Anyway, fun to ponder. Should you wish to join in, the rankings are here.
And I’ll toss in my predictions, just for the fun of it. Note that this is just my prediction of who will win, not necessarily my personal favorites, and that these will surely change as the Oscar season wears on.
Best picture: Argo
Best director: Ben Affleck
Best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis
Best actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Best supporting actor: Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”)
Best supporting actress: Anne Hathaway
Best original screenplay: Moonrise Kingdom
Best adapted screenplay: Silver Linings Playbook
mt_argocov12.jpg
(Photo: Russell Crowe in “Les Miserables” by Laurie Sparham; “Argo,” courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment.)

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