Yesterday Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone posted a list of 2013’s likeliest Best Picture contenders along with lists from Rope of Silicon‘s Brad Brevet, In Contention‘s Kris Tapley and Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil. For what it’s worth my own list is as follows (and in this order): American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, All Is Lost, August: Osage County, Gravity, Fruitvale Station, Saving Mr. Banks, Inside Llewyn Davis, Captain Phillips, The Monuments Men, Before Midnight, 12 Years A Slave, Foxcatcher, Parkland…what is that, 14? Maybe half of these will be nominated. Okay, eight or nine.
But we also know that one or two will be subjected to takedown campaigns for this or that reason. It’s in the nature of what Oscar campaigning has become over the last 10 or 15 years.
What was the ugliest, most reprehensible Best Picture takedown campaign of 2012? The one against Zero Dark Thirty, hands down. (I have a list of names of those who pushed against it due to the bogus notion that the Mark Boal‘s narrative excused or advocated torture.) Yes, I suppose on some level I contributed to an anti-Lincoln conversation last November, December and January except I never said it was a bad film and/or unworthy of Best Picture consideration — I merely said it wasn’t good enough to be a finalist in the conversation. In any event I can’t imagine contributing to any such efforts this year. All of the above-named 14 films seem solid, respectable and well-ordered.
The top nine are American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, All Is Lost, August: Osage County, Gravity, Fruitvale Station, Saving Mr. Banks, Inside Llewyn Davis, Captain Phillips. The most likely winner at this stage? Forget it, but the biggest dogs will probably be American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street and August: Osage County. My money is on the David O. Russell but even muttering that at the end of short piece like this is a jinx move.