Now that "Argo" pulled off a shockeroo at the Golden Globes, everybody wants to know, of course: will it win Best Picture at the Oscars next?
So far just a few of our noted Oscarologists have piped in with their updated predictions and "Lincoln" remains out front, according to Dave Karger (Fandango), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood/ Indiewire), Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today), Michael Musto (Village Voice), Kevin Polowy (Next Movie) and Richard Horgan (Mediabistro). But I am not alone forecasting another "Argo" upset – Thelma Adams (Yahoo) and my Gold Derby colleague Paul Sheehan agree. (Paul and I correctly predicted "Argo" and Ben Affleck would win those Globes.)
However, we must remember that the Globes have had a rotten track record predicting the top Oscar champ in recent years, which is curious considering the Globes have two Best Picture awards – for dramas and comedies/musicals. Therefore, the Globes get two chances to get it right. But the Globes and Oscars have agreed only twice in the past eight years: "The Artist" and "Slumdog Millionaire."
"Lincoln" looks like the smart choice at the Oscars because it leads with the most nominations (12) and let's not forget that the film with the most bids wins Best Picture 75% of the time.
If any film looks like the David who can take down the "Lincoln" Goliath, it's "Silver Linings Playbook" considering that it has the four key nominations that a film usually needs to win: Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and Film Editing. Obviously, it has overwhelming support in the actors' branch (1,300 members out of 5,800) since it reaped bids in all four acting categories – the first film to do so in more than 30 years. And I do believe that "Silver Linings" has a shot at winning. But I also believe that support for "Argo" is very strong.
Yeah, yeah, "Argo" isn't nominated for Best Director and that usually spells doom for a contender, but there is that notorious example of "Driving Miss Daisy" prevailing without its director being nommed in 1989. That was a long time ago and now it's time for another exception to the rule.
There is a clairvoyant member of the academy's producers' branch whose judgment I've learned to trust through the years. He's never been wrong about Best Picture as far as I know, not even when "Crash" pulled off an upset over "Brokeback Mountain." Now he's backing "Argo" and feels very strongly about it. Last Thursday morning, right after Oscar noms were announced and before "Argo" pulled off those jaw-droppers at the Critics Choice Awards and Golden Globes, he roared at me, "Mark my words, 'Argo' is going to win the Oscar. I don't give a damn that Affleck isn't nominated for Best Director. That only makes me more hellbent to vote for his movie!"
I have a hunch that this view is more widespread than many Oscarologists believe. It will become more apparent in the next few weeks when "Argo" wins PGA and/or DGA.