‘Lincoln’ surges ahead of ‘Les Miserables’ in Oscars’ Best Picture race

What a difference a few days makes. On Dec. 12, “Les Miserables” had a cozy lead in Oscar’s Best Picture race, according to Gold Derby’s poll of Oscars experts. Just two days later, “Lincoln” – propelled by strong showings at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations – has surged ahead like a classic Oscar dark horse.

Eleven out of 27 Oscarologists now believe Steven Spielberg‘s biopic on Honest Abe will triumph as Best Picture, compared to seven for “Argo,” four each for “Les Miserables” and “Zero Dark Thirty” and one for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Two days ago the score was 10 for “Les Miserables,” six for “Zero Dark Thirty,” five for “Lincoln,” four for “Argo” and one for “Silver Linings Playbook.

Lincoln” led with the most Golden Globe nominations (seven) unveiled yesterday and tied “Les Miserables” and “Silver Linings Playbook” for the highest tally of SAG bids (four) announced on Wednesday. When the Critics’ Choice Awards reported noms on Tuesday, “Lincoln” set a new record: 13.

-ADDPREDICTION:56:4:Predict Best Picture Winner:ADDPREDICTION-

Many pundits responded by dropping “Les Miserables” for “Lincoln,” including Pete Hammond (Deadline), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today) and me. Richard Rushfield (BuzzFeed) joined the Gold Derby pundit lineup this week by casting his first vote for “Lincoln.” Previously in the “Lincoln” camp and still holding on: Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Michael Hogan (Huffington Post), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood/ Indiewire), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily) and Glenn Whipp (L.A. Times).

Michael Musto (Village Voice) dropped “Zero Dark Thirty” for “Lincoln” and Tariq Khan (Fox News) ditched “Les Miserables” for “Argo.”

Meantime, the following gurus remain “Les Miserables” stalwarts: Dave Karger (Fandango), Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Keith Simanton (IMDB) and Alex Suskind (AOL Moviefone).

In the “Argo” camp: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Richard Horgan (MediaBistro FishbowlLA), Guy Lodge (Hitfix), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Paul Sheehan (GoldDerby)

“Zero Dark Thirty”: Kevin Polowy (NextMovie), Steve Pond (TheWrap), Chuck Walton (Fandango) and Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere).

Sean O’Connell (Hollywood News) remains stanchly behind “Silver Linings Playbook.”

See the full rankings of all 27 Experts here.

6 thoughts on “‘Lincoln’ surges ahead of ‘Les Miserables’ in Oscars’ Best Picture race

  1. I suspect it’s not as much SAG & Globe love for “Lincoln” as it is bad reviews for “Les Miz”; everything but Anne Hathaway seems to be fair game right now (and EW’s review took a backhanded slap at Hathaway by suggesting what happens to her character after “I Dreamed a Dream”, though for “Les Miz” that’s not much of a spoiler). With a backlash at the wrong time AND Hathaway winning Best Supporting Actress the same way Jennifer Hudson did, the only thing keeping “Les Miz” from pulling a “Dreamgirls” (lead the nom count but miss out on Best Picture) is the expanded list of Best Picture noms…

  2. “Lincoln” is just one of those safe, inoffensive films with an incredibly strong lead performance surrounded by equally talented supporting roles. It may not win over the critics’ awards, but that doesn’t matter much come Oscar time.

  3. As soon as I saw the Metacritic score (56/100) for “Les Miserables,” I dropped it substantially in my predictions. It’s too soon to award another Kathryn Bigelow film (“Zero Dark Thirty”), “The Master” disappointed hugely at the Globes and SAG, and “Lincoln,” with strong reviews, seems like the most Oscar-friendly film in contention, and thus becomes the frontrunner most people are switching to. I’m curious to see if late release momentum for the very well-reviewed “Django Unchained” can build up enough steam to carry it to some overdue Oscar love for Tarantino.

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