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NOV
11
9 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: 'Saving Mr. Banks,' 'Out of the Furnace' Unveilings Shake Up Race

With 16 weeks until the 86th Oscars, THR's awards analyst weighs the impact of the past week's two big AFI Fest premieres and a slew of events/announcements.

Fruitvale Station 2 - H 2013
The Weinstein Co.
Ariana Neal and best actor Oscar hopeful Michael B. Jordan in "Fruitvale Station"

Every week until the 86th Oscars on March 2, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter's lead awards analyst, Scott Feinberg, will post an updated "Feinberg Forecast," wherein he presents a summary of developments since the last update that helped to shape this one and then lists his revised projections. For more about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  • Screening notes: The U.S. premiere of Disney's primary Oscar hopeful Saving Mr. Banks kicked off the 27th AFI Fest on Nov. 7 at Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre, where Mary Poppins, which inspired the film, also premiered 49 years ago. ... On Nov. 9, the AFI Fest hosted the world premiere of Relativity Media's primary Oscar hopeful Out of the Furnace.
  • Box office: The top-selling film of the weekend was, as expected, Marvel Studios and Disney's Thor: The Dark World, which blew away the competition with an $86.1 million debut. The highest-placing film with legitimate awards hopes was Gravity, which finished in the sixth spot for a sixth-weekend take of $8.4 million (bringing its total domestic haul to $231.1 million). Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave placed seventh after expanding from 410 to 1,444 theaters and banking $6.6 million in its fourth weekend in release. Eighth place, meanwhile, belonged to Sony's Captain Phillips, which added $5.8 million in its fifth weekend to up its domestic total to $91 million. The weekend's highest per-theater average belonged to 20th Century Fox's The Book Thief, which raked in $108,000 from just four theaters, or $27,000 per location.
  • Announcements: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 19 films have been submitted for consideration for this year's best animated feature Oscar category. If 16 or more officially qualify, then that will guarantee that the category will eventually include five nominees. ... The Palm Springs International Film Festival announced that its Desert Palm Achievement Award will be presented to Dallas Buyers Club's best actor Oscar hopeful Matthew McConaughey on Jan. 4. ... The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced that its Outstanding Performer of the Year award will be presented to Blue Jasmine's best actress Oscar hopeful Cate Blanchett on Feb. 1. ... The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced that it will host a retrospective of the five films that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty's best director/best actor Oscar hopeful Ben Stiller has directed from Dec. 6-8. ... The IFP announced that Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave and The Weinstein Co.'s Fruitvale Station are among the five films that will vie for the Gotham Independent Film Awards' Audience Award, which will be revealed at the group's awards ceremony on Dec. 2. ... Fox Searchlight announced that 12 Years a Slave will screen at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on Nov. 13.
  • Precursors: On Nov. 6, The Cinema Eye Awards, which aim to recognize the year' top documentaries, announced their 2013 nominations, and TWC-RADiUS' Cutie and the Boxer leads the field with six noms. Drafthouse Films' The Act of Killing was close behind with four mentions. ... On Nov. 9, the European Film Awards announced their 2013 nominations. Belgium's best foreign language Oscar submission The Broken Circle Breakdown leads the field with five nominations. Winners will be revealed on Dec. 7. ... On Nov. 9, BAFTA L.A. hosted its 22nd annual Britannia Awards, at which the honorees included August: Osage County producer/best picture Oscar hopeful George Clooney (introduced by the film's best supporting actress Oscar hopeful Julia Roberts), 12 Years a Slave supporting actor Oscar hopeful Benedict Cumberbatch (introduced by the film's best actor Oscar hopeful Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom best actor Oscar hopeful Idris Elba (introduced by Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of the film's subject, Nelson Mandela).
  • Moments in the spotlight: On Nov. 4, Vanity Fair hosted cocktails and a screening of The Weinstein Co.'s Fruitvale Station at Los Angeles' Soho House in honor of the film's best actor Oscar hopeful Michael B. Jordan. The film's producer/best picture Oscar hopeful Forest Whitaker, best director/best original screenplay Oscar hopeful Ryan Coogler and best supporting actress Oscar hopeful Octavia Spencer were also in attendance, as were several Academy members. ... On Nov. 6, The Hollywood Reporter hosted a big party at Los Angeles' Hammer Museum in honor of the 20th anniversary of its NextGen issue. Attendees included DreamWorks Animation chair Jeffrey Katzenberg, Paramount vice chair Rob Moore, Captain Phillips' best supporting actor Oscar hopeful Barkhad Abdi, Lee Daniels' The Butler screenwriter Danny Strong, The Croods co-director Kirk De Micco and American Hustle producer Richard Suckle. ... On Nov. 6, former U.S. president George H. W. Bush hosted a screening for family and friends of 20th Century Fox's The Book Thief in Houston, Texas. The film's best director Oscar hopeful Brian Percival, best actress Oscar hopeful Sophie Nelisse and best supporting actor Oscar hopeful Geoffrey Rush were in attendance for a post-screening Q&A, as was the author of the book that inspired the film, Markus Zusak. ... On Nov. 7, Saving Mr. Banks' best actress Oscar hopeful Emma Thompson had her handprints and footprints immortalized in cement during a ceremony outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre. ... On Nov. 8, Lee Daniels' The Butler's best actor Oscar hopeful Forest Whitaker participated in a Q&A at Santa Monica's Aero Theatre as part of an American Cinematheque retrospective of his career. ... On Nov. 8, the AFI Fest hosted "A Tribute to David O. Russell" at which the Oscar-nominated writer-director screened a clip from his forthcoming film American Hustle, which will be released by Sony. That film's best supporting actor Oscar hopeful Bradley Cooper and best supporting actress Oscar hopeful Jennifer Lawrence were among those who attended a pretribute reception. ... On Nov. 8, in promotion of Saving Mr. Banks, Disney hosted "An Evening with Richard Sherman," the co-composer of the songs from Mary Poppins, at the Beverly Hills Hotel's Polo Lounge, which also figures in to Banks. Guests -- including many Academy members -- were treated to dinner and a sing-along with the 85-year-old legend. ... On Nov. 10, IFC/Sundance Selects hosted a screening of/Spago dinner for Hirokazu Koreeda's Like Father, Like Son, which won the Jury Prize at May's Cannes Film Festival but was inexplicably passed over by Japan for the nation's best foreign language film Oscar submission. Koreeda and his executive producer Tom Yoda were among those in attendance.
  • Potpourri: On Nov. 3, I moderated a Q&A following the Academy's official screening of 20th Century Fox's The Book Thief with the film's director Brian Percival, lead actress Sophie Nelisse and supporting actor Geoffrey Rush. 13-year-old Nelisse stole the show with humorous remarks about her co-stars and serious remarks about the importance of films about the Holocaust. ... On Nov. 8, I moderated an AFI Fest Q&A at the TCL Chinese Theatre following a screening of The Weinstein Co.'s August: Osage County with the film's writer Tracy Letts, director John Wells, producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov and castmembers Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson and Misty Upham. Unfortunately, the microphones didn't work, so only the first few rows of the 932-seat theater heard any of our conversation.

Without further ado, here is the latest forecast…

BEST PICTURE
Front-runners
12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight, 10/18, R, trailer)
Gravity (Warner Bros., 10/4, PG-13, trailer)
Saving Mr. Banks (Disney, 12/20, PG-13, trailer)
Captain Phillips (Sony, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
American Hustle (Sony, 12/13, TBA, trailer)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount, 11/15, TBA, trailer)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (The Weinstein Co., 8/16, PG-13, trailer)
Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics, 7/26, PG-13, trailer)
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features, 11/1, R, trailer)
Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, 12/6, R, trailer)

Major Threats
Philomena (The Weinstein Co., TBA, TBA, trailer)
August: Osage County (The Weinstein Co., 11/8, TBA, trailer)
All Is Lost (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 10/18, PG-13, trailer)
Nebraska (Paramount, 11/22, TBA, trailer)
The Book Thief (20th Century Fox, 11/15, TBA, trailer)
Lone Survivor (Universal, 12/27, R, trailer)
Enough Said (Fox Searchlight, 9/20, PG-13, trailer)
Possibilities
Her (Warner Bros., 12/18, TBA, trailer)
Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/24, R, trailer)
Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Co., 7/12, R, trailer)
Prisoners (Warner Bros., 9/20, R, trailer)
Blue Is the Warmest Color (Sundance Selects, 10/25, NC-17, trailer)
Out of the Furnace (Relativity Media, 12/6, R, trailer)
Long Shots
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Co., 11/29, TBA, trailer)
Rush (Universal, 9/27, R, trailer)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (20th Century Fox, 12/25, TBA, trailer)
The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros., 5/10, PG-13, trailer)
Mud (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 4/26, PG-13, trailer)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus Features, 3/29, R, trailer)

BEST DIRECTOR
Front-runners
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
Major Threats
Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)
Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Spike Jonze (Her)
Stephen Frears (Philomena)
Possibilities
Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club)
J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost)
Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)
Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said)
Richard Linklater (Before Midnight)
Peter Berg (Lone Survivor)

Long Shots
Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners)
Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace)
Ron Howard (Rush)
Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Brian Percival (The Book Thief)
Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)

BEST ACTOR
Front-runners
Robert Redford (All Is Lost)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Major Threats
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)
Possibilities
Joaquin Phoenix (Her)
Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Hugh Jackman (Prisoners)
Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)
Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor)
Long Shots
Christian Bale (Out of the Furnace)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman)
Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings)
Isaiah Washington (Blue Caprice)

BEST ACTRESS
Front-runners
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Major Threats
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said)
Kate Winslet (Labor Day)
Possibilities
Brie Larson (Short Term 12)
Berenice Bejo (The Past)
Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief)
Long Shots
Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman)
Scarlett Johansson (Don Jon)
Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now)
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Front-runners
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks)

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Chris Cooper (August: Osage County)
Major Threats
George Clooney (Gravity)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Jeremy Renner (American Hustle)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
Steve Coogan (Philomena)
Harrison Ford (42)
Possibilities
Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners)
David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine)
Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine)
Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine)
Long Shots
Casey Affleck (Out of the Furnace)
Woody Harrelson (Out of the Furnace)
Josh Brolin (Labor Day)
James Franco (Spring Breakers)
Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back)
Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Front-runners
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club)

Major Threats
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
June Squibb (Nebraska)

Scarlett Johansson (Her)
Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave)
Possibilities
Melissa Leo (Prisoners)
Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)
Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)
Long Shots
Lea Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Emily Watson (The Book Thief)
Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn Davis)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)
Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
Before Midnight (Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater)
Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
Major Threats
August: Osage County (Tracy Letts)
The Book Thief (Michael Petroni)
Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)
Possibilities
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (William Nicholson)
Labor Day (Jason Reitman)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Steve Conrad)
Long Shots
The Invisible Woman (Abi Morgan)
The Spectacular Now (Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
American Hustle (David O. Russell, Eric Singer)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
Her (Spike Jonze)
Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener)

Major Threats
Saving Mr. Banks (Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith)
Nebraska (Bob Nelson)
Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (Danny Strong)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron)

All Is Lost (J.C. Chandor)
Possibilities
Frozen (Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris)
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
Prisoners (Aaron Guzkowski)
Rush (Peter Morgan)
Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton) NEW
The Way Way Back (Nat Faxon, Jim Rash)
Long Shots
Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper, Brad Inglesby)
The Past (Asghar Farhadi)
Mud (Jeff Nichols)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance, Bob Coccio, Darius Marder)

Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig)
Bethlehem (Yuval Adler, Ali Wakad)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Front-runners
Frozen (Disney, 11/27, G, trailer)
The Croods (DreamWorks Animation, 3/22, PG, trailer)
The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibili, 11/8, PG-13, trailer)
Monsters University (Disney-Pixar, 6/21, G, trailer)
Ernest & Celestine (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Major Threats
Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 7/3, PG, trailer)
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony, 9/27, PG, trailer)
Free Birds (Relativity Media, 11/1, TBA, trailer)
Epic (20th Century Fox, 5/24, PG, trailer)
Turbo (DreamWorks, 7/19, PG, trailer)
Possibilities
Khumba (Millennium Entertainment, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Planes (Disney, 8/9, PG, trailer)
The Smurfs 2 (Sony, 7/31, PG, trailer)
The Legend of Sarila (Phase 4 Films, TBA, TBA,
trailer)
A Letter to Momo (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Long Shots
Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury (TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA) NEW
The Fake (TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA) NEW
O Apóstolo (TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA) NEW
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion (TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA) NEW

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Front-runners
The Square (City Drive Entertainment Group, 10/25, NR, TBA)
Tim's Vermeer (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, TBA)
20 Feet From Stardom (RADiUS, 6/14, PG-13, trailer)
Stories We Tell (Roadside Attractions, 5/10, PG-13, trailer)
American Promise (Rada Film Group, 10/18, NR, trailer)

Major Threats
The Act of Killing (Drafthouse Films, 7/19, NR, trailer)
Let the Fire Burn (Zeitgeist Films, 10/2, NR, trailer)
Blackfish (Magnolia, 7/19, PG-13, trailer)
Casting By (HBO, 11/1, NR, trailer)
Dirty Wars (IFC Films, 6/7, NR, trailer)
The Unknown Known (RADiUS, TBA, TBA, TBA)
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (Focus World, 5/24, R, trailer)
God Loves Uganda (Variance Films, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
After Tiller (Oscilloscope, 9/20, TBA, trailer)
Jodorowsky's Dune (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (Lionsgate, 4/5, NR, trailer)
Call Me Kuchu (Cinedigm, 6/14, NR, trailer)
Inequality for All (RADiUS, 9/27, PG, trailer)
The Crash Reel (Phase 4 Films, 7/5, TBA, trailer)
The Armstrong Lie (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Gideon's Army (Trilogy Films, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Possibilities
Muscle Shoals (Magnolia, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Seduced and Abandoned (HBO, 10/18, NR, trailer)
Salma (Women Make Movies, 1/?, TBA, trailer)
For No Good Reason (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Salinger (The Weinstein Co., 9/6, TBA, trailer)
Cutie and the Boxer (RADiUS, 8/16, R, trailer)
Our Nixon (Cinedigm, 8/30, NR, trailer)
First Cousin Once Removed (HBO Films, 9/13, TBA, trailer)
Sound City (Roswell Films/Variance Films, 2/1, NR, trailer)
99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (Participant Media, 9/6, TBA, trailer)
Rising From Ashes (First Run Features, 8/2, NR, trailer)
Blood Brother (Tugg, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Herblock: The Black & the White (TSC Dist. Services, 8/16, NR, trailer)
Long Shots
Leviathan (Cinema Guild, 3/1, NR, trailer)
12-12-12 Concert (The Weinstein Co., 11/15, R, trailer)
Terms and Conditions May Apply (Variance Films, 7/12, TBA, trailer)
Fire in the Blood (International Film Circuit, 9/6, NR, trailer)
Linsanity (Ketchup Entertainment, 10/4, NR, trailer)
Informant (Music Box Films, 9/13, TBA, trailer)
Narco Cultura (Cinedigm, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Running From Crazy (OWN and Vitagraph Films, 11/1, TBA, trailer)
At Berkeley (Zipporah Films, 11/8, TBA, TBA)
56 Up (First Run Features, 1/4, NR, trailer)
Valentine Road (BMP Films, TBA, TBA, trailer  )
Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird (6th Avenue Productions, 10/11, TBA,   trailer  )  
A.K.A. Doc Pomus (TBA, 10/4, TBA, trailer
)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Front-runners
Iran (The Past)
Israel (Bethlehem)
Denmark (The Hunt)
Saudi Arabia (Wadjda)
United Kingdom (Metro Manila)
Others, listed alphabetically
Afghanistan (Wajma)
Albania (Agon)
Argentina (Wakolda)
Australia (The Rocket)
Austria (The Wall)
Azerbaijan (Steppe Man)

Bangladesh (Television)
Belgium (The Broken Circle Breakdown)
Bosnia-Herzegovina (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker)

Brazil (Neighboring Sounds)
Bulgaria (The Color of Chameleon)
Cambodia (The Missing Picture)
Canada (Gabrielle)

Chad (GriGris)
Chile (Gloria)
Colombia (La Playa DC)

Croatia (Halima's Path)
Czech Republic (The Don Juans)

Dominican Republic (Quien Manda?)
Ecuador (The Porcelain Horse)
Egypt (Winter of Discontent)
Estonia (Free Range)
Finland (The Disciple)
France (Renoir)
Georgia (In Bloom)
Germany (Two Lives)
Greece (Boy Eating the Bird's Food)
Hong Kong (The Grandmaster)
Hungary (The Notebook)
Iceland (Of Horses and Men)
India (The Good Road)
Indonesia (Sang Kiai)

Italy (The Great Beauty)
Japan (The Great Passage)
Kazakhstan (The Old Man)
Latvia (Mother I Love You)
Lebanon (Blind Intersections)
Lithuania (Conversations on Serious Topics)
Luxembourg (Blind Spots)
Mexico (Heli)
Moldova (All God's Children)
Montenegro (Ace of Spades -- Bad Destiny)
Morocco (Horses of God)
Nepal (Soongava: Dance of the Orchids)
Netherlands (Borgman)
New Zealand (White Lies)
Norway (I Am Yours)
Pakistan (Zinda Bhaag)
Palestine (Omar)
Peru (The Cleaner)
Philippines (Transit)
Poland (Walesa)
Portugal (Lines of Wellington)
Romania (Child's Pose)
Russia (Stalingrad)
Serbia (Circles)
Singapore (Ilo Ilo)
Slovak Republic (My Dog Killer)
Slovenia (Class Enemy)
South Africa (Four Corners)
South Korea (Juvenile Offender)
Spain (15 Years Plus a Day)
Sweden (Eat Sleep Die)
Switzerland (More Than Honey)
Taiwan (Soul)
Thailand (Countdown)
Turkey (The Butterfly's Dream)
Ukraine (Parajanov)
Uruguay (Anina)
Venezuela (Breach in the Silence)

About the Feinberg Forecast

Scott has been forecasting the Oscars since 2001 and has one of the strongest track records of all awards pundits. His best showings came in 2006 and 2013, when he correctly called 21 out of 24 winners. He was the only pundit to project best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), among many other surprises.

He factors into his projections personal impressions (based on advance screenings of hundreds of films each year), 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), precursor awards (some awards groups have historically correlated with the Academy more than others), and conversations with industry insiders (including fellow members of the press, awards strategists, filmmakers and awards voters).

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg