FEINBERG FORECAST: Oscar Race Heats Up as Voting Begins

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Poster Crop - H 2013
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Poster Crop - H 2013

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, as well as an acronyms key, scroll to the bottom of this post.

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  • Box office: Early returns suggest that the big winners at the box office over the Christmas long weekend included three awards hopefuls: Warner Bros.' second-weekender The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (which took in $19.8 million on Dec. 25 and Dec. 26), Paramount's Christmas Day release The Wolf of Wall Street (which took in $15.8 million between the two days) and Disney's Frozen ($15.5 million across the two days), which has been in theaters since November. Slightly behind them for Christmas and the day after: Sony's American Hustle ($13.8 million) and 20th Century Fox's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ($12.6 million).
  • Precursors: On Dec. 19, Final Draft announced the nominees for the second annual Screenwriters' Choice Awards, the winners of which will be announced on Jan. 7. ... On Dec. 20, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed its best foreign language film Oscar shortlist of nine films, from which the five Oscar nominees will eventually be chosen. (I wrote about some of the surprises and snubs.)

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  • Moments in the spotlight: On Dec. 17, Sue Kroll and Greg Silverman hosted a Warner Bros. cocktail reception and supper in celebration of Gravity at Lucques in Los Angeles. Best director hopeful Alfonso Cuaron and best actress hopeful Sandra Bullock were joined by Academy members including Jon Voight. ... On Dec. 17, Denzel Washington hosted a Weinstein Co. screening of Lee Daniels' The Butler at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills that was followed by an emotional Q&A and reception with director Lee Daniels; actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Elijah Kelley, David Oyelowo and Jesse Williams; costume designer Ruth Carter; producer Pam Williams; Rev. James Lawson (who is portrayed in the film by Williams) and The Original Freedom Riders. ... On Dec. 18, Paramount hosted a luncheon in celebration of The Wolf of Wall Street at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York. Actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie and Cristin Milioti, screenwriter Terence Winter, producers Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Irwin Winkler, costume designer Sandy Powell and film editor Thelma Schoonmaker were in attendance -- and all but DiCaprio and Powell participated in a midlunch Q&A (moderated by yours truly) -- as were Academy members including Bob Balaban, producer Jean Doumanian, Joel Grey and Sigourney Weaver, plus Lee Daniels' The Butler best original screenplay hopeful Danny Strong. ... On Dec. 18, Helen Mirren, who voices one of the characters in the best animated feature hopeful Monsters University, hosted a Disney "holiday toast" celebrating the film's directors, Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae, at The Royal Suite at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. ... On Dec. 18, the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady hosted a RADiUS-TWC screening of and reception for the best documentary feature Oscar hopeful Cutie and the Boxer at Technicolor in New York. Director Zachary Heinzerling was in attendance. ... On Dec. 19, The Late Show's bandleader Paul Shaffer and Toronto International Film Festival documentary section curator Thom Powers hosted a RADiUS-TWC caroling and cocktail party for the best documentary feature Oscar hopeful 20 Feet From Stardom at The Rum House at The Hotel Edison in New York. Director Morgan Neville and subjects Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer and Judith Hill were in attendance; the three celebrated backup singers performed. ... On Dec. 20, the animation studio GKIDS kicked off a two-week celebration of "five years of GKIDS classics" at the IFC Center in New York, screening several of its most acclaimed films of recent years and this year's best animated feature hopefuls Ernest & Celestine and A Letter to Momo. ... On Dec. 23, Warner Bros. released a featurette about the making of Gravity, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with many of the key people who worked on the film. ... On Dec. 23, thanks to a new Russian amnesty law, the third and final member of the all-female band Pussy Riot, which is the subject of the Oscar-shortlisted doc feature Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, was released from prison. ... On Dec. 23, the Associated Press announced that it had selected best supporting actress hopeful Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) as its "Entertainer of the Year." ... On Dec. 26, the Los Angeles Times ran an interesting profile of best supporting actress hopeful Julia Roberts (August: Osage County).

STORY: THR Awards Analyst Scott Feinberg's Top 10 Films

  • Announcements: On Dec. 18, the Palm Springs International Film Festival announced that it will honor best actress hopeful Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) with its Icon Award on Jan. 4 as part of the fest's 25th edition. ... On Dec. 23, the Visual Effects Society announced that best director hopeful Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) will receive the Visionary Award at the 12th Visual Effects Society Awards on Feb. 12. (Last year's recipient, Life of Pi director Ang Lee, went on to win the best director Oscar.) ... On Dec. 23, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced that it will celebrate the critically acclaimed Before trilogy -- Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and this year's Before Midnight -- by hosting screenings of all three films followed by a conversation with their writer-director Richard Linklater and his stars/co-writers (on the latter two) Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke on Feb. 9 as part of the fest's 29th edition. (This follows a recent announcement that the Film Society of Lincoln Center will also screen all three films between Jan. 3-9.)
  • Recommended reading: On Dec. 18, I shared my recent interview with 42's best supporting actor hopeful Harrison Ford. ... On Dec. 18, Playboy postulated that best actor hopeful Joaquin Phoenix's character in Her represents the male counterpart to the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl": the "Sad-Sack Sensitive Guy." ... On Dec. 24, I mused about how The Wolf of Wall Street would be received by older members of the Academy. ... The Dec. 25 release of controversial Wolf was greeted in all sorts of ways. Among the more interesting: a rave review in The New Yorker; a scathing condemnation from the daughter of one of the protagonist's collaborators on the LA Weekly website; and a behind-the-scenes account in the New York Post of the making of the film's airplane orgy scene by one of the nude extras who appears in it. ... On Dec. 26, the New York Times ran an interesting article about how foreign-language films compete for the best foreign language film Oscar. ... On Dec. 26, I revealed my top 10 films of 2013. ... On Dec. 27, I profiled two amazing members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, one a member of the documentary branch and the other a member of the foreign-language committee, who watched every one of this year's 147 longlisted docs and 76 longlisted foreign-language films, respectively. ... On Dec. 27, the Los Angeles Times wondered if the generally poor critical response to August: Osage County could hurt the prospects of the film's best actress hopeful Meryl Streep, who was generally better reviewed than the film itself.

Without further ado, here is the latest forecast …

12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight, 10/18, R, trailer) AFI, BSFC, TIFF, IFP, HFPA, SAG, BFCA, FI
Gravity (Warner Bros., 10/4, PG-13, trailer) AFI, LAFCA (tie), HFPA, BFCA
The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount, 12/25, R, trailer) AFI, HFPA, BFCA
American Hustle (Sony, 12/13, TBA, trailer) AFI, NYFCC, HFPA, SAG, BFCA
Captain Phillips (Sony, 10/11, PG-13, trailer) AFI
Saving Mr. Banks
(Disney, 12/20, PG-13, trailer) AFI
Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, 12/6, R, trailer) AFI
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features, 11/1, R, trailer) SAG
Nebraska (Paramount, 11/22, R, trailer) AFI
(Warner Bros., 12/18, TBA, trailer) AFI
Major Threats
Lee Daniels' The Butler (The Weinstein Co., 8/16, PG-13, trailer) SAG
Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Co., 7/12, R, trailer) AFI, SUN
Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics, 7/26, PG-13, trailer)
Philomena (The Weinstein Co., TBA, TBA, trailer)
August: Osage County (The Weinstein Co., 11/8, TBA, trailer) SAG
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Co., 11/29, PG-13, trailer)
All Is Lost (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 10/18, PG-13, trailer) FI

Enough Said (Fox Searchlight, 9/20, PG-13, trailer)
Rush (Universal, 9/27, R, trailer) HFPA
The Book Thief (20th Century Fox, 11/15, PG-13, trailer)
Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/24, R, trailer) IFP
Prisoners (Warner Bros., 9/20, R, trailer)
Lone Survivor (Universal, 12/27, R, trailer)
Long Shots
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (20th Century Fox, 12/25, PG, trailer)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus Features, 3/29, R, trailer)
Mud (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 4/26, PG-13, trailer)
The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros., 5/10, PG-13, trailer)

Blue Is the Warmest Color (Sundance Selects, 10/25, NC-17, trailer) CAN
Frances Ha (IFC Films, 5/17, R, trailer) FI

Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) LAFCA, NYFCO, HFPA, BFCA
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) NYFCC, BSFC, HFPA, BFCA, FI
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) BFCA
David O. Russell (American Hustle) HFPA
Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) HFPA, BFCA
Major Threats
Alexander Payne (Nebraska) HFPA, FI

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Spike Jonze (Her) NBR, BFCA
Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)
Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels' The Butler) HFA
Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)
Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club)
Stephen Frears (Philomena)

John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks)
Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said)
J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost) FI
Richard Linklater (Before Midnight)
Long Shots
Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners)
Peter Berg (Lone Survivor)

Ron Howard (Rush)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)

Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue Is the Warmest Color)

Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) IFP, HFA, HFPA, SAG, BFCA, FI
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) BSFC, NYFCO, IFP, HFPA, SAG, BFCA, FI
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) HFPA
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) HFPA
Robert Redford (All Is Lost)
Major Threats

Bruce Dern (Nebraska) NBR, LAFCA, CAN, HFPA, SAG, BFCA, FI
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler) SAG
Christian Bale (American Hustle) HFPA, BFCA
Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) IFP, HFPA, FI
Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) FI

Joaquin Phoenix (Her) HFPA
Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) HFPA
Hugh Jackman (Prisoners)
Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor)
Long Shots
Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Christian Bale (Out of the Furnace)
Isaiah Washington (Blue Caprice)

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) LAFCA (tie), NYFCC, BSFC, NYFCO, IFP, HFPA, SAG, BFCA, FI
Sandra Bullock (Gravity) HFA
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks) NBR
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) HFPA
Judi Dench (Philomena) HFPA, SAG
Major Threats
Amy Adams (American Hustle) HFPA
Brie Larson (Short Term 12) IFP, BFCA, FI
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said) HFPA
Kate Winslet (Labor Day) HFPA
Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) LAFCA (tie)
Julie Delpy (Before Midnight) HFPA, FI
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) HFPA
Berenice Bejo (The Past) CAN
Long Shots
Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) IFP, FI
Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief)
Scarlett Johansson (Don Jon)

Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers ClubLAFCA (tie), NYFCC, NYFCO, HFPA, SAG, BFCA, FI
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) HFPA, BFCA
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) HFPA, SAG, BFCA
Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks)

Major Threats
Daniel Bruhl (Rush) HFPA, SAG, BFCA
James Gandolfini (Enough Said) BSFC, SAG, BFCA, FI
Will Forte (Nebraska) NBR, FI
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
George Clooney (Gravity)

Steve Coogan (Philomena)
Harrison Ford (42)
Chris Cooper (August: Osage County)
John Goodman (Inside Llewyn Davis)

James Franco (Spring Breakers) LAFCA (tie)
Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief)
Jeremy Renner (American Hustle)

Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners)
Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back)
Long Shots
Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines)
Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels' The Butler)

Josh Brolin (Labor Day)
Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine)
Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine)
Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine)

Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) LAFCA, NYFCO, HFPA, SAG, BFCA, FI
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) NYFCC, HFPA, SAG, BFCA
Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler) SAG
June Squibb (Nebraska) BSFC
Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club)

Major Threats
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) HFA, HFPA, SAG, BFCA
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) HFPA, FI
Scarlett Johansson (Her) BFCA
Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station) NBR
Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)
Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) FI
Long Shots

Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave)
Melissa Leo (Prisoners)
Lea Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Color)

12 Years a Slave (John Ridley) HFPA, BFCA, FI, SC
The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter) NBR, BFCA, SC
Before Midnight (Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater) LAFCA, HFA, BFCA, FI, SC
Captain Phillips (Billy Ray) BFCA, SC
Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope) HFPA, BFCA, SC
Major Threats
August: Osage County (Tracy Letts) BFCA
The Spectacular Now (Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber) FI
The Book Thief (Michael Petroni)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (William Nicholson)
Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)

Long Shots
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
(Steve Conrad)
Labor Day (Jason Reitman)

American Hustle (David O. Russell, Eric Singer) NYFCC, HFPA, BFCA
Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen) NBR, BFCA, SC
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen) BFCA, FI, SC
Her (Spike Jonze) NYFCO, HFPA, BFCA, SC
Nebraska (Bob Nelson) HFPA, BFCA, SC
Major Threats
Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron) SC
Saving Mr. Banks (Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith)
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (Danny Strong)
Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener) BSFC, FI

All Is Lost (J.C. Chandor)
Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton)
The Way Way Back (Nat Faxon, Jim Rash)
Prisoners (Aaron Guzkowski)
Frozen (Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris)
Long Shots
Rush (Peter Morgan)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance, Bob Coccio, Darius Marder)
Mud (Jeff Nichols)
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig)
The Past (Asghar Farhadi)

Frozen (Disney, 11/27, G, trailer) HFPA, BFCA, IAFS
The Croods (DreamWorks Animation, 3/22, PG, trailer) HFPA, BFCA, IAFS
The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibili, 11/8, PG-13, trailer) NBR, NYFCC, BSFC, NYFCO, BFCA, IAFS
Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 7/3, PG, trailer) HFPA, BFCA, IAFS
Monsters University (Disney-Pixar, 6/21, G, trailer) HFA, BFCA, IAFS
Major Threats
Ernest & Celestine (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer) LAFCA, IAFS
A Letter to Momo (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer) IAFS
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony, 9/27, PG, trailer)
Epic (20th Century Fox, 5/24, PG, trailer)
Free Birds (Relativity Media, 11/1, TBA, trailer)
Turbo (DreamWorks, 7/19, PG, trailer)
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,
Long Shots
Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury (TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA)
The Fake (TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA)
O Apóstolo (TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion (TBA, TBA, TBA, TBA)

The Square (Noujaim Films/Netflix Originals/Participant, 10/25, NR, TBA) IDA, FI
The Act of Killing (Drafthouse Films, 7/19, NR, trailer) IFP, EFA, NYFCO, BSFC, IDA, BFCA, FI, CEH
Blackfish (Magnolia, 7/19, PG-13, trailer) IDA, BFCA
Cutie and the Boxer (RADiUS, 8/16, R, trailer) CEH
Tim's Vermeer (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, trailer) BFCA
Major Threats
Stories We Tell (Roadside Attractions, 5/10, PG-13, trailer) NBR, LAFCA, NYFCC, IDA, BFCA, CEH
20 Feet From Stardom (RADiUS, 6/14, PG-13, trailer) BFCA, FI
The Crash Reel (Phase 4 Films, 7/5, TBA, trailer) IFP
Life According to Sam (still seeking U.S. distribution)

God Loves Uganda (Variance Films, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
The Armstrong Lie (Sony Pictures Classics, 11/8, R, trailer)
Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington (HBO Films, TBA, TBA, TBA)
First Cousin Once Removed (HBO Films, 9/13, TBA, trailer) IFP
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (HBO Films, TBA, TBA, TBA) BIFA
Dirty Wars (IFC Films, 6/7, NR, trailer)

Italy (The Great Beauty) EFA, BFCA, FI
Denmark (The Hunt) HFPA, BFCA, FI
Belgium (The Broken Circle Breakdown)
Cambodia (The Missing Picture)
Germany (Two Lives)
Major Threats
Palestine (Omar)
Hungary (The Notebook)
Hong Kong (The Grandmaster)
Bosnia-Herzegovina (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker)

Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki) LAFCA, BSFC, BFCA, IPA
Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel) NYFCC
12 Years a Slave (Sean Bobbitt) BFCA, FI, IPA
Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael) BFCA
The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)

Major Threats
Prisoners (Roger Deakins) BFCA, IPA
Her (Hoyte von Hoytema)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Rodrigo Prieto)
Captain Phillips (Barry Ackroyd)
All Is Lost (Frank G. DeMarco)
Rush (Anthony Dod Mantle) IPA
The Great Gatsby (Simon Duggan)
To the Wonder (Emmanuel Lubezki)
American Hustle (Linus Sandgren)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Stuart Dryburgh)
Long Shots
Frances Ha (Sam Levy)
Saving Mr. Banks (John Schwartzman)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Andrew Lesnie)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (Andrew Dunn)
Spring Breakers (Benoit Debie)

American Hustle BFCA
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Lone Ranger

Major Threats
The Great Gatsby
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Dallas Buyers Club
Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters

Gravity (Steven Price) HFPA, BFCA
12 Years a Slave (Hans Zimmer) HFPA, BFCA
The Book Thief (John Williams) HFPA
Saving Mr. Banks
(Thomas Newman) BFCA

Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)

Major Threats
Monsters University (Randy Newman)
All Is Lost (Alexander Ebert) HFPA
Rush (Hans Zimmer)
Captain Phillips (Henry Jackman)
Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett) BFCA
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Alex Heffes) HFPA
The Croods (Alan Silvestri)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (James Newton Howard)
42 (Mark Isham)
August: Osage County (Gustavo Santaolalla)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Howard Shore)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (Rodrigo Leao)
Long Shots
The Lone Ranger (Hans Zimmer)
Oz: The Great and Powerful (Danny Elfman)
Star Trek Into Darkness (Michael Giacchino)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Theodore Shapiro)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Mike Patton)
The Great Gatsby (Craig Armstrong)

"Let It Go" (Frozen) HFPA, BFCA
"So You Know What It's Like" (Short Term 12)
"Young and Beautiful" (The Great Gatsby) BFCA
"Happy" (Despicable Me 2) BFCA
"I See Fire" (The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug)
Major Threats
"Ordinary Love" (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) HFPA, BFCA
"Unfinished Songs" (Unfinished Song)
"In the Middle of the Night" (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
"The Moon Song" (Her)

"Desperation" (20 Feet from Stardom)
"Atlas" (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) HFPA, BFCA
"Rise Up" (Epic)
"Last Mile Home" (August: Osage County)

Long Shots
"Sweeter Than Fiction" (One Chance) HFPA
"Amen" (All Is Lost)
"A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" (The Great Gatsby)

Gravity BFCA
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug BFCA
World War Z
Major Threats
Star Trek Into Darkness BFCA
Pacific Rim BFCA
The Lone Ranger
Iron Man 3 BFCA
Thor: The Dark World

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).


Contenders' names are followed, when appropriate, by acronyms of the major awards groups (see below) that have already named them winners (in orange) or nominees (in purple). Some nominations are still pending (they appear in italics).

ACE = 64th Eddie Awards

ADG = 18th Art Directors Guild Awards

AFI = 14th American Film Institute Awards

ASC = 28th American Society of Cinematographers Awards

BAFTA = 67th British Academy Film Awards

BFCA = 19th Critics' Choice Movie Awards

BSFC = 34th Boston Society of Film Critics Awards

BIFA = 16th British Independent Film Awards

CAN = 66th Cannes Film Festival

CAS = 50th Cinema Audio Society Awards

CDG = 16th Costume Design Guild Awards

CEH = 7th Cinema Eye Honors

DCAC = 12th D.C. Area Film Critics Awards

DGA = 66th Directors Guild of America Awards

EFA = 26th European Film Awards

FI = 29th Independent Spirit Awards

HFA = 17th Hollywood Film Awards

HFPA = 71st Golden Globe Awards

IAFS = 41st Annie Awards

IDA = 29th International Documentary Association Awards

IFP = 23rd Gotham Independent Film Awards

IPA = 18th Satellite Awards

LAFCA = 39th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

MPSE = 61st Golden Reel Awards

NBR = 85th National Board of Review Awards

NSFC = 48th National Society of Film Critics Awards

NYFCC = 79th New York Film Critics Circle Awards

NYFCO = 13th New York Film Critics Online Awards

PGA = 25th Producers Guild of America Awards

SAG = 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards

SC = 2nd Screenwriters Choice Awards

SUN = 29th Sundance Film Festival

TIFF = 38th Toronto International Film Festival

USC = 26th USC Scripter Awards

VES = 12th Visual Effects Society Awards

WGA = 66th Writers Guild of America Awards

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg