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NOV
4
1 years

FEINBERG FORECAST: Updated Projections (With 16 Weeks Until the 85th Oscars)

THR's awards analyst offers his latest assessment of the race.

Life of Pi Film Still - H 2012
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
"Life of Pi"

Every Sunday through the Oscars on Feb. 24, The Hollywood Reporter's awards analyst Scott Feinberg will release a new "Feinberg Forecast," a post in which he recaps the most noteworthy awards-related news of the past week and shares his latest assessment of the standings in each of the major awards categories. (For more information about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, see the bottom of this post.)

NOTEWORTHY DEVELOPMENTS SINCE LAST WEEK'S FORECAST:

  • Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast (including the temporary closure of a popular screening room in New York), it was a busy weekend at the U.S. box-office. Disney's best animated feature Oscar hopeful Wreck-It-Ralph topped the leaderboard with $49.1 million in domestic ticket sales, the highest opening-weekend gross for a Disney film ever (breaking the record set over the Thanksgiving weekend two years ago by Tangled). Paramount's Flight, for which Denzel Washington is a strong best actor contender, came in second, raking in a larger-than-anticipated $25 million (almost its entire production budget). And best picture frontrunner Argo continued its impressive run, claiming third place in its fourth weekend with $10.2 million, bringing its domestic total to just under $76 million. Meanwhile, overseas, moviegoers flocked to Skyfall, the newest James Bond film, to the tune of $156 million, bringing its international total to $287 million. The critically acclaimed actioner will open stateside Friday.
  • The 26th AFI Fest kicked off with the world premiere of Fox Searchlight's Hitchcock (most Oscar buzz about the film centered around best actor hopeful Anthony Hopkins and best actress hopeful Helen Mirren), as well as gala screenings of 20th Century Fox's Life of Pi, Sundance Selects/IFC Films' On the Road, and DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians. Still to come: four more days and nights of the fest that will include screenings of Summit's The Impossible, Sony Pictures Classics' Rust and Bone and, to close out the fest, DreamWorks' Lincoln.
  • The Academy revealed that 21 animated features were submitted for consideration in the best animated feature Oscar category. According to Academy rules, the submission of 16 or more films automatically causes the Oscar category to expand to its maximum size, meaning that it will feature five nominees, rather than three or four.
  • The European Film Academy announced the nominations for the 25th European Film Awards. The six nominees for best European Film of 2012 include four nation's entries for the best foreign language film Oscar -- Austria’s Amour, Germany’s Barbara, Italy’s Caesar Must Die and France’s The Intouchables -- plus Denmark’s The Hunt (the Danes opted to instead submit A Royal Affair) and the U.K.’s Shame (which was Oscar-eligible last year). Other major EFA noms with potential Oscar implications: Michael Haneke (Amour) for best director and best screenwriter; Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour) for best actor; and Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) for best actress.
  • The Cinema Eye Honors announced the nominees for the sixth annual Nonfiction Film Awards‏, which includes several doc-related categories and which this year were determined by a 25-person nominations committee. The Imposter and Searching for Sugar Man led the field with five noms each; Detropia, Only the Young, Room 237 and Vivan Las Antipodas! wound up with four each. Six films were nominated for the top prize, outstanding achievement in nonfiction feature filmmaking (which was chosen by the nominations committee and more than 60 directors of this year’s eligible films): the aforementioned Detropia, The Imposter and Searching for Sugar Man, plus 5 Broken Cameras, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present and Only the Young.
  • The godfather of 3D, Avatar director James Cameron, has offered a strong endorsement of Life of Pi, on which his 3D production company Cameron Pace Group worked. Cameron tells the Los Angeles Times that the film "breaks the paradigm that 3D has to be some big, action fantasy spectacle, superhero movie" and "is visually amazing, inventive and works on you in ways you’re not really aware of. It takes you on a journey, and unless you’ve read the book -- which I hadn’t -- you have no idea where that journey is going. It does what good 3D is supposed to do, which is, it allows you to forget you’re watching a 3D movie."
  • Following a packed screening of The Dark Knight Rises on Thursday night at the DGA in Los Angeles, the film's director, Christopher Nolan, participated in a Q&A that was moderated by fellow director Ron Howard. Nolan's last public appearance prior to that event was on Oct. 22, when he presented his longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister with the Hollywood Cinematographer Award, for his work on The Dark Knight Rises, at the Hollywood Film Awards.
  • The Weinstein Co. released a long clip of its best picture Oscar hopeful Silver Linings Playbook, featuring the scene in the diner in which best actress Oscar hopeful Jennifer Lawrence excites best actor Oscar hopeful Bradley Cooper by recounting her sexual past.
     

THIS WEEK'S FORECAST:

BEST PICTURE
Front-runners
Argo (Warner Bros., 10/12, R, trailer)
Les Miserables (Universal, 12/25, TBA, trailer)
Lincoln (DreamWorks, 11/9, TBA, trailer)
Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Co., 11/21, TBA, trailer)
Zero Dark Thirty (Sony, 12/19, TBA, teaser)
The Master (The Weinstein Co., 9/14, R, trailer)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight, 6/27, PG-13, trailer)
Django Unchained (The Weinstein Co., 12/25, R, trailer)
Life of Pi (20th Century Fox, 11/21, PG, trailer)
The Impossible (Summit, 12/21, PG-13, trailer)
Major Threats
Flight (Paramount, 11/2, TBA, trailer)
Promised Land (Focus Features, 12/28, R, trailer)
Hitchcock (Fox Searchlight, 11/23, TBA, trailer)
The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros., 7/20, PG-13, trailer)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight, 5/4, PG-13, trailer)
Amour (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/19, TBA, trailer)
The Sessions (Fox Searchlight, 10/19, TBA, trailer)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros., 12/14, TBA, trailer)
Possibilities
Anna Karenina (Focus Features, 11/16, TBA, trailer)
Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features, 5/25, PG-13, trailer)
Arbitrage (Roadside Attractions, 9/14, R, trailer)
Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros., 10/26, R, trailer)
Skyfall (Sony, 11/9, PG-13, trailer)
End of Watch (Open Road Films, 9/21, R, trailer)
Rust and Bone (Sony Pictures Classics, 11/23, TBA, trailer)
Hyde Park on Hudson (Focus Features, 12/7, R, trailer)

BEST DIRECTOR
Front-runners
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Tom Hooper (Les Miserables)
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)
Major Threats
Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
Michael Haneke (Amour)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises)
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Gus Vant Sant (The Promised Land)
Peter Jackson (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (Cloud Atlas)

Possibilities
Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible)
Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
Sam Mendes (Skyfall)
Robert Zemeckis (Flight)
Joe Wright (Anna Karenina)
Sacha Gervasi (Hitchcock)
Ben Lewin (The Sessions)
Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone)
John Madden (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Walter Salles (On the Road)

BEST ACTOR
Front-runners
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)
John Hawkes (The Sessions)
Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock)
Major Threats
Richard Gere (Arbitrage)
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour)
Matt Damon (Promised Land)
Jack Black (Bernie)
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson)
Possibilities
Jake Gyllenhaal (End of Watch)
Tom Hanks (Cloud Atlas)
Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi)
Tom Holland (The Impossible)
Omar Sy (The Intouchables)
Liam Neeson (The Grey)
Tommy Lee Jones (Hope Springs)
Clint Eastwood (Trouble with the Curve)

Christopher Plummer (Barrymore)

BEST ACTRESS
Front-runners
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)
Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Helen Mirren (Hitchcock)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Major Threats
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed)

Maggie Smith (Quartet)
Judi Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Meryl Streep (Hope Springs)
Barbra Streisand (The Guilt Trip)

Possibilities
Halle Berry (Cloud Atlas)
Frances McDormand (Promised Land)
Leslie Mann (This Is 40)
Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea)
Laura Linney (Hyde Park on Hudson)
Amy Adams (Trouble With the Curve)
Melissa Leo (Francine)
Michelle Williams (Take This Waltz)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Front-runners
Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Alan Arkin (Argo)
John Goodman (Argo)

Major Threats
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Michael Pena (End of Watch)
Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Hal Holbrook (Promised Land)
Russell Crowe (Les Miserables)
John Goodman (Flight)
Ewan McGregor (The Impossible)
Possibilities
Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)
Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi)
Nate Parker (Arbitrage)
NEW
Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty)
David Strathairn (Lincoln)
William H. Macy (The Sessions)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Jude Law (Anna Karenina)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Front-runners
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Amy Adams (The Master)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Samantha Barks (Les Miserables)
Major Threats
Ann Dowd (Compliance)
Kelly Reilly (Flight)
Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)
Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Susan Sarandon (Arbitrage)
Emily Blunt (Looper)
Possibilities
Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)
Christina Hendricks (Ginger & Rosa)

Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty)
Kristen Stewart (On the Road)
Emma Watson (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
Argo (Chris Terrio)
Lincoln (Tony Kushner)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin)
Les Miserables (William Nicholson)
Major Threats
Life of Pi (David Magee)
The Sessions (Ben Lewin)
The Intouchables (Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano)
Hitchcock (John McLaughlin)
Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski)
The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Philippa Boyens, Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh)
Possibilities
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Ol Parker)
Quartet (Ronald Harwood)
Anna Karenina (Tom Stoppard)

Rust and Bone (Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain)
Rise of the Guardians (David Lindsay-Abaire)
On the Road (Jose Rivera)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

The Grey (Joe Carnahan, Ian Mackenzie Jeffers)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal)
Amour (Michael Haneke)
Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
Major Threats
Looper (Rian Johnson)
Promised Land (Matt Damon, John Krasinski)
Flight (John Gatins)
Arbitrage (Nicholas Jarecki)
The Impossible (Sergio G. Sanchez)
Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh)
End of Watch (David Ayer)
Possibilities
Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay)
Brave (Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman)
Ginger & Rosa (Sally Potter)
To Rome With Love (Woody Allen)
The Guilt Trip (Dan Fogelman)
Hyde Park on Hudson (Richard Nelson)
Ted (Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild)
Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan)
Celeste and Jesse Forever (Rashida Jones, Will McCormack)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Front-runners
Brave (Pixar, 6/22, PG, trailer)
Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks Animation, 11/21, TBA, trailer)

Wreck-It Ralph (Disney, 11/2, TBA, trailer)
Frankenweenie (Disney, 10/5, TBA, trailer)
ParaNorman (Focus Features, 8/17, PG, trailer)
Major Threats
Zarafa (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Le Tableau (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Sony Animation, 4/27, PG, trailer)
Possibilities
Hotel Transylvania (Sony Animation, 9/28, TBA, trailer)
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (DreamWorks Animation, 6/8, PG, trailer)
From Up on Poppy Hill (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Rabbi's Cat (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Front-runners
The Gatekeepers (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, clip)
Searching for Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics, 7/27, PG-13, trailer)

Detropia (Loki Films, 9/7, TBA, trailer)
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Sundance Selects, 7/27, R, trailer)
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (HBO Documentaries, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Major Threats
West of Memphis (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/25, TBA, trailer)
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (Music Box Films, 6/13, NR, trailer) NEW
Central Park Five (Sundance Selects, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Invisible War (Docurama, 6/22, NR, trailer)
The House I Live In (Charlotte Street Films, 10/5, NR, trailer)
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (Roadside Attractions, 10/5, TBA, trailer)
How to Survive a Plague (Sundance Selects, 9/21, TBA, trailer)
The Imposter (Indomina, 7/13, R, trailer)
Head Games (Variance Films, 9/21, PG-13, trailer)
Samsara (Oscilloscope, 8/24, PG-13, trailer)
The Queen of Versailles (Magnolia, 7/20, PG, trailer)
Paul Williams: Still Alive (Abramorama, 6/8, NR, trailer)
Possibilities
Brooklyn Castle (Producers Distribution Agency, 10/19, TBA, trailer)
The Waiting Room (International Film Circuit, 9/26, TBA, trailer)
First Position (Sundance Selects, 5/4, NR, trailer)
Marley (Magnolia, 4/20, PG-13, trailer)
Love, Marilyn (HBO Documentaries, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Chasing Ice (Submarine Entertainment, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Scenes of a Crime (New Box Productions, 3/30, NR, trailer)
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (Samuel Goldwyn Films, 9/21, NR, trailer) NEW
Ethel (HBO Documentaries, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Side by Side (Tribeca Films, 8/31, TBA, trailer)
The Zen of Bennett (Abramorama, 10/24, TBA, trailer)
Bully (The Weinstein Co., 3/30, PG-13, trailer)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
Front-runners
Austria -- Amour
France -- The Intouchables
Denmark -- A Royal Affair

Israel -- Fill the Void
Switzerland -- Sister
Major Threats
Romania -- Beyond the Hills
South Korea -- Pieta
Germany -- Barbara
Canada -- War Witch
Chile -- No

Australia -- Lore
Belgium -- Our Children
Philippines -- Bwakaw
Netherlands -- Kauwboy
Japan -- Our Homeland

Possibilities
Norway -- Kon-Tiki
Mexico -- After Lucia
Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Children of Sarajevo
Hungary -- Just the Wind
Bulgaria -- Sneakers
Greece -- Unfair World
Portugal -- Blood of My Blood
Serbia -- When Day Breaks
Morocco -- Death for Sale
Sweden -- The Hypnotist
Iceland -- The Deep
Czech Republic -- In the Shadow

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Front-runners
The Master
Django Unchained

Lincoln
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Major Threats
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Cloud Atlas
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
The Dark Knight Rises

Anna Karenina
Possibilities
Samsara
Hitchcock
Flight
Moonrise Kingdom
Argo
The Hunger Games
Sister

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Front-runners
Anna Karenina
Snow White and the Huntsman

Les Miserables
Django Unchained
Lincoln

Major Threats
Argo
The Master
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Cloud Atlas
Moonrise Kingdom

Possibilities
Life of Pi
Hitchcock
The Hunger Games
The Avengers
Mirror Mirror

BEST FILM EDITING
Front-runners
Zero Dark Thirty
The Master

Lincoln
Django Unchained
Argo

Major Threats
Silver Linings Playbook
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
The Dark Knight Rises
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Cloud Atlas
The Bourne Legacy

Possibilities
Flight
Hitchcock
Moonrise Kingdom
The Avengers

The Hunger Games
The Impossible

End of Watch
Samsara

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Front-runners
Cloud Atlas
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Lincoln

Major Threats
The Master
Django Unchained
The Dark Knight Rises
Anna Karenina
Hitchcock

Possibilities
Men in Black 3
The Impossible
The Hunger Games
Hyde Park on Hudson

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Front-runners
The Master (Johnny Greenwood)
Zero Dark Thirty (Alexandre Desplat)

Argo (Alexandre Desplat)
Lincoln (John Williams)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin)
Major Threats
The Dark Knight Rises (Hans Zimmer)
Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Howard Shore)
Moonrise Kingdom (Alexandre Desplat)
Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
Django Unchained (Mary Ramos)

Hitchcock (Danny Elfman)
Rise of the Guardians (Alexandre Desplat)
Possibilities
On the Road (Gustavo Santaolalla)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Thomas Newman)
Rust and Bone (Alexandre Desplat)
The Hunger Games (James Newton Howard)
The Impossible (Fernando Velazquez)
Cloud Atlas (Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer)
Flight (Alan Silvestri)
Samsara (Marcello De Francisci, Lisa Gerrard, Michael Stearns)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Front-runners
Les Miserables
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained

Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty
Major Threats
Cloud Atlas
The Master
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Dark Knight Rises
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Argo
Moonrise Kingdom

Possibilities
Life of Pi
The Impossible
Snow White and the Huntsman
Flight
The Avengers
The Hunger Games
Skyfall

BEST SOUND EDITING
Front-runners
Django Unchained
The Dark Knight Rises

The Avengers
Zero Dark Thirty

Lincoln
Major Threats
Skyfall
The Impossible
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
The Master
Argo

Flight
Possibilities
The Amazing Spider-Man
Cloud Atlas
The Impossible
The Bourne Legacy
The Hunger Games

BEST SOUND MIXING
Front-runners
Django Unchained
The Dark Knight Rises
The Avengers
Les Miserables

Lincoln
Major Threats
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty
The Impossible
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
The Master
Argo

Flight
Possibilities
The Amazing Spider-Man
Cloud Atlas
The Impossible
The Bourne Legacy
The Hunger Games

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Front-runners
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Cloud Atlas
Life of Pi

The Dark Knight Rises
The Avengers
Major Threats
Skyfall
The Amazing Spider-Man
Flight

Possibilities
The Impossible
The Bourne Legacy

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Front-runners
The Education of Mohammad Hussein (Loki Films)
Open Heart (Urban Landscapes Inc.)
Kings Point (Kings Point Documentary, Inc.)
Mondays at Racine (Cynthia Wade Productions)
Inocente (Shine Global, Inc.)
Major Threats
Paraiso (The Strangebird Company)
The Perfect Fit (SDI Productions Ltd.)
Redemption (Downtown Docs)

* * *

ABOUT SCOTT FEINBERG AND THE "FEINBERG FORECAST"

Scott Feinberg is one of the film industry's most trusted awards analysts and has one of the world's best track records at forecasting the Oscars, something that he has been doing since 2001. His best showings came in 2006 (when he correctly called 21 of 24 winners) and 2004 (when he correctly called 20 of 24 winners). He was the only pundit to project long-shot best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011).

Scott factors into his projections personal impressions (based on advance screenings at festivals or elsewhere), publicly available information (release dates, genres, talent rosters and teasers/trailers often offer valuable clues), historical considerations (comparing and contrasting how other films with similar pedigrees have resonated with the Academy), precursor awards (some awards groups have better track records than others of correlating with the Academy) and regular conversations with industry insiders (including fellow members of the press, awards strategists, filmmakers and voters).