‘Les Miserables’ hikes Oscar lead; Michael Musto hops aboard

Les Miserables” just pulled even further ahead on Oscar’s Best Picture track as another one of our pundits, Michael Musto (Village Voice), jumped on the pony, dropping “Zero Dark Thirty” en route.

Musto marks the 11th out of the 26 Oscarologists polled by Gold Derby to pick “Les Miserables” as the fave, giving it 9-to-2 odds to win. Five back “Argo” and “Lincoln” (6/1 odds). Three pick “Zero Dark Thirty” (9/1). See all experts rankings here, racetrack odds here.

Pundits also predict “Les Miserables” win Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway), Art Direction, Best Song (“Suddenly”), Sound Mixing and its odds are rising in other categories where nominations are likely. Expect “Les Miz” to reap 12 to 16 bids. Currently, the record is 14 held by “All About Eve” (1950) and “Titanic” (1997). If “Les Miz” beats “Lincoln” to reap the most noms this year, that’ll be an encouraging sign since the movie with the most nominations wins Best Picture more than two-thirds of the time.

“Les Miserables” could set a record for most acting bids in one film. That distinction is currently shared by nine flicks that reaped five: “All About Eve” (1950), “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), “From Here to Eternity” (1953), “Godfather, Part II” (1974), “Mrs. Miniver” (1942), “Network” (1976), “On the Waterfront” (1954), “Peyton Place” (1957), “Tom Jones” (1963). “Les Miz” will probably get at least three: Hugh Jackman (lead) and Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne in supporting. Three others are possible: Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, all in those second tier slots.

“Les Miserables” has the perfect pedigree to be a major Oscar threat. As a Broadway show in 1987, it won eight Tonys, including Best Musical, and now it’s brought to the screen by Tom Hooper, who directed Oscar’s 2010 Best Picture champ “The King’s Speech.” However, other classic musicals like “Sweeney Todd” and “Dreamgirls” failed to be nominated when they made the leap to the silver screen in recent years. In fact, no tuner has been nominated for Best Picture since “Chicago” won in 2002.

These are the 11 pundits who predict “Les Miserables” will prevail in the top Oscar race: Edward Douglas (Coming Soon), Pete Hammond (Deadline), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Michael Musto (Village Voice), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Alex Suskind (AOL Moviefone), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today) and me. See their full rankings here:

When predictions are combined and translated into racetrack odds, “Les Miserables” leads 9 to 1, followed by “Argo” (6/1), “Lincoln” (6/1), “Silver Linings Playbook” (8/1) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (9/1). See the complete odds breakdown here.

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