b e s t f i l m
The bookies favourite by what seems an unreasonably large distance is Spielberg's civil war behemoth Lincoln. Having already bagged oscar's for the dubiously worthy Saving Private Ryan and the completely worthy Schindler's List, the Academy doesn't owe spielberg anything but the temptation to award a 150 minute long biopic of one of America's most treasured leaders may prove too much to resist.
A more unlikely contender comes in the shape of ben Affleck's Argo. A storming 70's style thriller with just enough political grounding to clear the Oscar graveyard that is 'thrillers', this won't be Affleck's last showing at this event. a very close second favourite with the bookies (along side Les Mis - see below), Affleck himself has missed out on a nomination for best director, seemingly making this win less likely.
Another monstrous running time comes in the form of musical juggernaut Les Miserables. Tom Hooper's (I miss-typed that as Tobe Hooper's originally. Now there is a musical I would break the door down to see) literally all singing but possibly less literally all dancing adaptation of Hugo's less tuneful novel and perennial mother's day matinee in London west end favourite. broken shark reviewed the hell out of this here.
The middle of the field consists of Bigelow's fantastically lean thriller Zero Dark Thirty, Bradley cooper as a recovering A-Team cast member in Silver Linings Playbook (apologies, we haven't seen this one and may be wide of the mark on that description) and Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's cautionary tale of tiger ownership, Life of Pi. It's unlikely given the raging controversy around Zero Dark Thirty's portrayal of 'successful' torture techniques that Bigelow will be going home with a statuette and you have to wonder if the mental illness portrayed in Silver Linings Playbook is of the correct Rain Man style academy friendly variety.
Finally, the outsiders. broken shark would bet a reasonable amount of money that neither of these will be getting a look in. Beasts of the Southern Wild and Django Unchained both seem far too uncomfortable for the academy to bestow any form of award on. Except maybe for a ridiculously young actress maybe. Or best script for QT…..
Which leave amour as the one to put your money on if you only have a pound and you're not too worried if you don't bag between 33 and 66 pounds back. Free of controversy and universally loved (no pun intended) by critics, Haneke's tale of love slipping away must fall into the 'hope it wins' category.