Imagine that award-season bigmouths like myself received report cards for their efforts to gather or diminish support for this or that contender during Phase One. Here’s how mine would read right now:
Effort to push Moneyball for Best Picture: C-minus. A BP nomination looks good but a win is out of the question — let’s face it. The best that Bennett Miller‘s masterwork can hope for is to place among the Best Picture nominees. The more I’ve pushed Moneyball the more people talk about the unstoppable strength of The Artist and War Horse. There are only so many times you can register disgust and spit on the sidewalk.
Effort to Promote The Descendants for Best Picture: A, but Alexander Payne‘s film has pretty much sold itself.
Effort to Diminish The Standing of The Artist: F.
Effort to Diminish The Standing of The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius: F.
Effort to Diminish The Standing of War Horse: C-minus.
Effort to Diminish The Standing of War Horse director Steven Spielberg: C-minus.
Effort to Diminish The Standing of Hugo: B-minus. But this hasn’t been an abiding passion. I don’t hate this film. I just don’t think it really takes off until the last 25 minutes.
Effort to Promote Moneyball and Tree of Life‘s Brad Pitt as Best Actor finalist: B. Variety‘s Jeff Sneider has claimed on Twitter that Pitt will be nominated but won’t win. We’ll see about that.
Effort to Promote A Better Life‘s Damian Bichir as worthy Best Actor contender: A-minus, judging by Bicihir’s SAG nomination.
Effort to Promote Drive‘s Albert Brooks as leading Best Supporting Actor contender: B, but then everybody is on the train.
Effort to Promote Young Adult‘s Patton Oswalt as leading Best Supporting Actor contender: F.
Effort to Promote Tyrannosaur‘s Olivia Colman as a worthy Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress contender: F, but I managed through that screening-room fundraising drive to at least throw her name into the hopper and goad other Oscar prognosticators to kick it around.
Effort to Respectfully Point Out That The Help‘s Viola Davis, good as she is, is not really a Best Actress contender given the clearly supporting nature of her role: D-minus. No one seems to give a shit about this opinion.
Effort to Promote The Descendants‘ Judy Greer as worthy Best Supporting Actress contender: F.
Effort to Promote Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation as the leading Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar contender: A, but then everybody is on the train.
Effort to Promote Gerardo Naranjo‘s Miss Bala as a worthy Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar contender: Incomplete.