Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Who and What Could Snare Oscar Noms?

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Who and What Could Snare Oscar Noms?

Article excerpt

Place your bets, ladies and gents. With the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globes and Producers Guild nominations in hand, the lineup for the 2013 Oscars tightens. But beware: There are no sure wagers. Until the academy's roster is announced Thursday morning, many tantalizing mysteries remain.

My top 10 guesses for Best Picture nominations, alphabetically:

"Argo" is a spy-movie crowd-pleaser about Hollywood, solidly directed by Ben Affleck, whose evolution from star to director is the sort of backstory that industry types love. Having everybody's pal, George Clooney, as producer doesn't hurt, either.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is the art-house movie everyone embraced last year, proof that a starvation budget and a singular vision can make an outsider-chic masterpiece.

"Django Unchained" is Quentin Tarantino's most mature film yet, a stylistically flip, grisly yet morally serious slave revenge saga. True to the form of classical Westerns yet infused with audacious, knowing wit, it lassoed audiences and critics.

"Les Miserables" is grandiose in scale and passion. Director Tom Hooper creates a you-are-there vitality no other musical can equal. It's an epic to warm the hearts of oldsters who love "Doctor Zhivago," "Gone With the Wind" and "Cabaret."

"Life of Pi" is sheer enchantment on-screen, the movie with the highest degree of difficulty in the lineup. One boy, one tiger, one boat, one transcendent odyssey that never loses its grip on verisimilitude.

"Lincoln" stands tall beside Steven Spielberg's best work. Following the political intrigue surrounding the end of slavery, it gives us an indelibly vivid sense of President Abraham Lincoln, leader and man.

"Moonrise Kingdom" is Wes Anderson's sweetest, best-constructed film, a pre-teen Romeo-Juliet yarn as seen from the vantage point of kids watching the adults around them behave like children. …

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