On Tuesday, the newly-installed board of governors of the motion picture academy elected marketing exec Cheryl Boone Isaacs as their president. She is the first African American to head up this organization that oversees the Oscars in its 86-year history and just the third woman after Bette Davis (1941) and scripter Fay Kanin (1979 - 1983).
Issacs, who has her own marketing company, was the one-time marketing chief at New Line and prior to that was chief of publicity at Paramount. Her rival for the presidency was Lionsgate exec Rob Friedman.
She replaces producer Hawk Koch, who served a single one-year term. He was not eligible for re-election to the board due to term limits that allow for only three consecutive three-year stints as a governor. However, back in April, Koch broke with precedent by re-upping Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron rather than leaving that decision up to his successor.
Issacs has been on the board for a total of 21 years and will preside over an expanded group of 48 governors (with three people now representing each of the 16 branches) that includes a record 14 women.
However, she is the lone female on the executive committee with animator John Lasseter replacing Issacs as first vice president (after having been both treasurer and secretary), newcomers costume designer Jeffrey Kurland and makeup artist Leonard Engelman who were chosen as VPs and ex-Disney chief Dick Cook who was elected treasurer and scripter Phil Robinson who was elected secretary after four years as a VP.
Below, use our easy drag-and-drop menu to cast your ballot for the Best Picture lineup.
Last year, June release “Beasts of the Southern Wild” reaped a Best Picture bid while in 2011 a pair of May debuts -- “Midnight in Paris” and “The Tree of Life” -- were remembered at year's end with top nominations. How many Oscar contenders have we already seen among the films released in the first half of the year?
"Oz the Great and Powerful" may have scored only 59 at Rotten Tomatoes, but even the most hardened critics warmed to the visual splendor of this prequel of sorts to "The Wizard of Oz." Expect this Sam Raimi film, which grossed almost half a billion dollars worldwide, to be a strong contender in the craft categories.
Text - Zach Laws
Click the arrow to the right of the photo to see other nine films that could feature in the Oscar nominations.
Golden Globes Predictions
SAG Awards Predictions
Meet our contest winners: Congrats to our users who had best prediction scores
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.
National Board of Review Award Winners: Cinemateo21 tied with one other User (dottardi) at 34% of the winners of the National Board of Review awards. However, he wagered his points strategically and scored three times as many to win the contest. Both are to be commended as only three of our editors got even one winner correct while our Experts were shut out entirely. See leaderboard.
New York Film Critics Circle Award Winners: Likewise, Ryan Fernand tied with RobertPius at 67% of the winners of the New York Film Critics Circle but won on points. His margin of victory in that tally was closer (about 30% difference) but highlights how important it is where you place your Super (500 points) and Big (200) bets. See leaderboard.
Hurry up and give us your predix for the Critics' Choice nominations, which will be unveiled on Monday. Be our next winner.
See contenders' momentum in easy-to-read graphs here. Click links on left side of that page to see more categories. Click here to see the racetrack odds generated when the Experts' predix are combined.
Gold Derby presents 4 sets
of Oscar predictions
See videos or listen to audio podcasts here. Click image below to listen/subscribe at iTunes.