"'Argo' is up front because it's basically Hollywood that saves the world," Travers says in our podcast chat. "Forget those pesky Canadians that actually did more than Ben Affleck gave them credit for. I think it's a really well-crafted movie that (academy members) admire. It's wonderful that we didn't know anything about this (rescue of Americans in Iran) until Clinton let it go in 1997 and then we forgot about it again. 'Argo' is this little footnote to history. Affleck's made a audience-pleasing, critic-pleasing movie. What could they love more?"
Previously, Travers had "The Master" out front, but now he puts in in fourth place behind "Les Miserables" and "Silver Linings Playbook." He continues to champion "The Master" star Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor. See Travers' complete predictions. See how they stack up against other pundits' forecasts.
Travers maintains healthy senses of amusement and skepticism about our punditry at Gold Derby -- how we change our predictions depending on the latest twists in the Oscars' track -- or our latest whims.
"I think it's a great deal of fun," he says. "I can look back on this later – not so many weeks later – and say, 'What the hell was I thinking?' That's the fun of it. We all have, like, horses in a derby … and there's that gambling instinct in us all. That's what America is all about. You've turned the Oscars into the most fun reality show there is!"
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