With Into the Woods and Unbroken opening so well over Christmas, one has to think that their Best Picture chances have been bolstered. Both are currently in that foggy area of "will they or won't they?" a siamese twin to "how many Best Picture nominees will we get?" punditry.
If you look to the current Best Picture Chart, I think you'll agree that the eventual fates of anything beyond the top five (Selma, Birdman, Boyhood, The Theory of Everything, and The Imitation Game) seem uncertain. If you compare my chart to the current Gurus of Gold (in which we made suggestions as to what films voters should be screening this week) you'll see that the top ten films are basically the same albeit in a slightly different order and with the consensus being that I'm underestimating Foxcatcher and overestimating Into the Woods.
Obviously Grand Budapest Hotel will be enjoying multiple nominations but can it manage the biggies like Best Picture & Best Director & Best Actor? If we were still in ye olden times of only 5 nominees would it be our 'lone wolf' auteur triumph? I am undoubtedly the most bearish of any of the pundits about its fate but it's only because I have long lamented the fate of Wes Anderson pictures with AMPAS. One sounds like a complete nutter when one says it out loud but the following statement is in fact true "No Wes Anderson live action picture has ever been nominated for ANYTHING outside of Best Screenplay." No, not even Best Production Design which nearly all of them have deserved.
And what of the Fincher continuum? Will Gone Girl be another Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which justmissed a Best Picture nomination despite love across multiple Academy branches?
We're at war here.
It's been ages and ages since an NBR Best Picture winner didn't make the Oscar lineup but did the simmering A Most Violent Year open too late (i.e. two days after voting even begins) for a race that requires the full boil around New Years?
One of These Will Win Birdman, Boyhood, Selma
Sure Things The Imitation Game, Theory of Everything
Probably? Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash
But What About? Gone Girl, Unbroken, Into the Woods, Foxcatcher, A Most Violent Year
Longshots Interstellar, Nightcrawler, Mr Turner, American Sniper
Why Aren't They In the Conversation? Wild, Ida
So many questions. So many theoretical answers. Oscar ballots go out tomorrow so the next week is absolutely crucial. If we get 9 Best Picture nominations again I think it's safe to say that the Academy's executives just need to admit that their shifting number of Picture nominees experiment is a failure and round it back up to a Top Ten or return to the old five-wide standard.
How many nominees do you think we'll get?