‘Argo’ surges in Best Picture race, ties ‘Les Miserables’: Oscarologists

Argo” just pulled even with “Les Miserables” in the Oscar race for Best Picture, according to the latest predictions of Oscarologists polled by Gold Derby. Now both films have eight experts forecasting that they will win.

Guy Lodge (In Contention/ Hitfix) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) just ditched “The Master” to hop on board “Argo,” which is gaining Oscar momentum fast following its successful release. “Argo” has reaped nearly $30 million at the box office so far. Audiences love it (A+ Cinemascore) and film reviewers too (86 score at Metacritic).

“I think ‘Argo’ represents an irresistible combination for Academy voters: it’s about noble political history and insider Hollywood lore,” Lodge tells Gold Derby. “Ben Affleck has paid his dues and is well-liked within the industry — plus, by voting for ‘Argo,’ they get to give a producing Oscar to another industry golden boy, George Clooney. All that, and it’s a good movie too!”

“‘Argo’ is up front because it’s basically Hollywood that saves the world,” Travers says in our podcast chat. Listen to his full thoughts here.

In addition to Lodge and Travers, “Argo” backers include Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today).

Predicting a big win for “Les Miz”: Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Sean O’Connell (Hollywood News), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Alex Suskind (Moviefone), Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere) and me.

Still behind “Silver Linings”: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Steve Pond (The Wrap), Dave Karger and Chuck Walton (Fandango).

Loyal to “Lincoln”: Matt Atchity (RottenTomatoes) and Kevin Polowy (NextMovie).

Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood/ Indiewire) picks “Life of Pi” and Michael Musto (Village Voice) and Richard Horgan (Mediabistro/FishbowlLA choose “Zero Dark Thirty.”

See the predix of all pundits polled by Gold Derby here. See racetrack odds here.

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