A Few Minutes With Feinberg: the View of the Race from the Windy City (Video)

Thanks for checking out the seventh installment of A Few Minutes with Feinberg, THR’s weekly video series in which I spend — you guessed it — a few minutes dissecting the race to the Oscars. This week, I'm coming to you from Chicago, and, in our brief time together, to address a wide variety of recent events and coming attractions.

The 48th Chicago International Film Festival is now underway. The third oldest U.S. film festival -- the San Francisco Inernational Film Festival is 55 and the New York Film Festival is 50 -- is structured this year around three films that were directed by Windy City natives. Its opening night screening, last Thursday night, was the world premiere of Fisher Stevens' Stand Up Guys; its centerpiece screening, later tonight, will be Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski's (along with Tom Tykwer's) Cloud Atlas; and its closing night screening, next Thursday night, will be Robert Zemeckis' Flight.

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The two strongest best picture Oscar contenders that have already premiered, in my estimation, are Argo and Lincoln, both of which have begun to screen more widely on both coasts for members of the press and select others. The former was first unveiled at Telluride and also played at Toronto before heading to Los Angeles and then New York; the latter was first unveiled as a work-in-progress screening at New York and will officially premiere at the AFI Fest on Nov. 8.

Meanwhile, we are finally seeing trailers for the last remaining 2012 awards hopefuls that have not yet screened: The Hobbit, Promised Land, Hitchcock, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained.

The awards race heads back to Tinseltown next week for the 16th Hollywood Film Awards and, a week later, the 26th AFI Fest. I'll be live on the ground at both events and recording the next A Few Minutes with Feinberg from there. In the meantime, though, I hope that you'll continue to follow THR's unparalleled coverage, both in print and online, for all of your must-know awards news and analysis.