I’m picking up little signals from my insect antennae that suggest things are shifting in the awards race. Things always shift, of course. Nothing is static. And I’m not saying I have better information that anyone else — far from it. But over the last 7 to 10 days little tingly intuitions have been telling me that (a) The Fighter is about to break out big-time, (b) The Social Network is in a kind of level holding pattern — it hasn’t dropped or gained but people keep saying it’s too temperamentally cool and there’s no one to root for (bullshit…root for the smart guy who knows exactly what he’s doing!), and (c) The Kids Are All Right is slowly slipping down the slope.

Or maybe the movement is elsewhere and I’m not getting a reading. So I’m asking — what allegedly award-worthy films have been dropping or gaining ever so slightly?

I’ve been talking to various people outside the journalist-industry loop over the last few days, and one of the things I’ve been hearing (and I’m not saying this to cause any grief) is “why are people so in love with The Kids Are All Right? It’s okay but it’s not that great. And I don’t get the Annette Bening thing either.” I explain to them that there’s a certain novelty and intrigue in wading into the life of a bright, somewhat neurotic, upper middle-class professional gay woman who’s dealing with what she regards as a serious threat to her family, and also that there’s an industry consensus that Bening has lost twice before and is therefore “due.” And they seem unmoved when I say this. Mostly they say, “Okay, but she’s just all right…what’s the boola-boola?”