At the end of his 11.10 report about Tuesday’s AFIFest screening of The Fighter, Deadline‘s Pete Hammond wrote the following: “With The Fighter now finally unveiled for the masses and press screenings starting this week on both coasts, there are very few mysteries left in the season.

“Paramount’s other holiday entry, the Coen BrothersTrue Grit (12.22), is still to be seen and just about the last that could provide fresh Oscar meat , at least in the major categories. Otherwise, the lineup is fairly clear with no surprises on the horizon — unless Yogi Bear (Dec 17) is better than anyone dreamed.”

The next day it hit me that Hammond had failed to mention the latest film from director James L. Brooks, whose unopened films were once presumed to be at least potentially award-worthy. And yet Hammond, who always hears what’s going on, didn’t mention How Do You Know (Sony, 12.17). I’m not suggesting this is any definitive indicator, but it feels like some kind of telling anecdote. There once was a time (i.e., pre-Spanglish) when such an omission would have been unthinkable.