Every week between now and January 10, when the nominations are announced, movies and stars will help themselves — or sometimes, hurt themselves — in the Oscar race. Vulture's Oscar Futures will listen for insider gossip, comb the blogs, and out-and-out guess when necessary to track who's up, who's down, and who's currently leading the race for a coveted nomination.
Let's check out the chart:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Hey, look what came roaring back this week! The Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globes went hard for Marigold, and SAG even nominated the film for Best Ensemble, its Best Picture equivalent.
Beasts of the Southern Wild. The beloved Beasts wasn't eligible for SAG and was shut out by the Globes … the very week that its Fox Searchlight stablemate Marigold came on strong. Is there room for both, or does Marigold now have the edge?
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln). After leading the nominations tally for both SAG and the Globes, Spielberg's film has become the frontrunner of a very unsteady race.
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook). Though Silver Linings picked up key nods this week, Russell was shut out of the Best Director category at the Globes.
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook). Slow and steady wins the race, and former dark horse Cooper has snuck into this once-impenetrable category, netting nods from SAG and the Globes.
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master). Of course, Cooper couldn't have managed that feat without knocking someone out of the final five, and after that SAG snub, it looks like Phoenix will be this year's Oscar also-ran.
Helen Mirren (Hitchcock). Hitchcock has underperformed with critics and audiences since its release, but Mirren still pulled off the SAG/Globes twofer. She's an awards favorite who shouldn't be counted out.
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour). No SAG. No Globes. No hope?
Javier Bardem (Skyfall). Bardem's a delight in Skyfall and his SAG nod was a major boost, but can he fend off the late-breaking performances from Django Unchained?
Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained). DiCaprio was snubbed by SAG, though he did manage a Globes nod. The real problem is that DiCaprio's solid Django work may lose votes to his showier costars Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson.
Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy). Kidman had a golden week that found her showered with unexpected nods from both SAG and the Globes. Could she possibly muster up an Oscar nomination for the utterly wackadoo The Paperboy? You'd better believe that host Seth MacFarlane is hoping so. Think of the material!
Samantha Barks (Les Miserables). There's room for movement in this category, but Kidman and Maggie Smith are the new names who are coming on strong, not Barks.