a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Tom O’Neil, the grand-daddy of us all, has tried to kick start this year’s Oscar race by throwing his Gold Derby pundits’ guesses(and it’s all guesses) at this point as no one seen the pictures they are talking about, by saying “Lincoln” loud and clear for Best Picture AND Best Actor, a third win for Daniel Day Lewis.

Now, I don’t know about that. If Steven Spielberg does to Lincoln what he did to “War Horse”, we are gonna be drowning in schmaltz, once again. Shocked, kinda, that this is the Best Picture frontrunner, from Tom and his ditto-heads. I would’ve thought it would be “Les Miserabables.” The long-awaited film version of the musical directed by Academy Award Winner Tom Hooper of “The King’s Speech.”

Me? Give me “The King’s Speech” any day over “War Horse.”

You can’t over-sentimentalize Abraham Lincoln and his tragic struggles to free the slaves.  I mean, look what happened with “The Help” this year. It only won Best Supporting Actress when all is said and done. And that’s ALLLL it got. It made a lot of money for Disney, sure. But it lost to the not-so-successful at the box-office “The Artist.” But “The Artist” was black and white and silent. I guess B.O. comparisons can’t be made anymore when you’re talking about Oscar as he exists today. The Academy is NOT looking at the bottom line.”The Artist” and “The King’s Speech” prove it.

For Best Actress, Gold Derby has anointed Laura Linney, of the also still sight  unseen, “Hyde Park on the Hudson” which is about FDR and his mistress, and Laura’s the mistress. Now that sounds more likely. Laura has been nominated three times, but hasn’t won. It’s a small, character-driven art film, and she’s playing a real person. Not a very well-known real person, but a real person still, and she, like Meryl Streep last year in “The Iron Lady”, gets to age DECADES.

Day Lewis already has two Best Actor Oscars and Spielberg two Best Director Oscars.

So Laura is OVERdue. And DDL and SS aren’t due anything from the Academy,IMHO..

In Supporting, they’ve all agreed that the Best Supporting Actress race has coalesced already around Anne Hathaway’s  astounding rendition of the “I Dreamed a Dream” which has just exploded all over the internet, in the past few days. She is playing the part of the tragic Fantine in “Les Miserables.” And that video which you can see over at Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone’s http://www.awardsdaily.com is stunning.Moving. Unforgettable. Surprising.  One of the best trailers I’ve ever seen.

Anne Thompson over at http://www.indiewire.com actually got her gigantic list of Oscar possibles up first earlier this week, and all I remember from them is that Annie is placed by Anne in the Best Actress category! Category confusion all over the place! I’ll have to look at what St. Anne said, again, now that Tom-O has thrown down his Oscar guantlet, too. Anne, I think, had NOBODY in the frontrunner section for Best Supporting.

Gold Derby seems to think it’s going to be Joaquim Phoenix for the Weinstein Co.’s Christmas offering “The Master” about Scientology. The controversial Phoenix plays the Master’s(Phillip Seymour Hoffman) most ardent pupil. Not so sure about this one. But they seem to think he’s going to go head to head with Leonardo Di Caprio’s villainous slave-master in “Django Unchained.”

“Django Unchained” and “The Master” were both sneaked at Cannes by TWC and perhaps they are right in thinking, over at Gold Derby, that this is where Harvey W. will win this year.

Nobody’s predicted a third in a row for the Weinstein Co. After “King’s Speech” and “The Artist” both winning Best Picture two years in a row, Harvey was on a roll. But now it seems more like a croissant. With Best Supp. Actor, the Weinstein Co.’s best shot.

I think “Les Miz” is going to get more Oscar nominations in more categories across the board than any other film. It’s from Universal. And also this prognostication, early though it is, leads us to believe that it’s going to be a very studio-driven Oscars this year.

We shall see.

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