Photo: Warner Bros
"Even though there's been a lot of buzz for 'Les Miz,' I'm an 'Argo'-naut at this point in terms of Best Picture," our Thelma Adams told Awards poobah Tom O'Neil in a podcast chat with his site, Gold Derby. "Because 'Silver Linings Playbook' hasn't played yet, we don't really know the roll-out. I would say that those two are the front-runners."
Why so hot on "Argo?" It scored at the box office, has great word of mouth, and proves without a doubt that popular star Ben Affleck is a bankable director. And it doesn't hurt that Hollywood saves the day in this fact-based thriller set during the Iran hostage crisis.
But don't expect Affleck to carry the day against Daniel Day-Lewis as Honest Abe "Lincoln" in the Best Actor category. Day-Lewis holds the frontrunner spot among leading actors, but O'Neil has doubts that the picture will come out on top, or that director Steven Spielberg has a lock. Hey, O'Neil said, we know how the movie ends!
Meanwhile, the pair agreed that when the Academy expanded the number of Best Picture nominees to a possible 10 after "The Dark Knight" got snubbed in 2009, the change didn't fix the bias against blockbusters. The proof: The odds remain against big-budget popular studio films like "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and "The Avengers" bringing home the top prize.
Have a listen to the feisty and informed insider chat between Adams and O'Neil, who have been predicting the Oscars together since the dawn of Goldderby.com in 1999.