State of the Best Picture Awards race: Can ‘Lincoln’ prevail?
Photo: Dreamwork/Columbia Pictures/Warner Bros
Finally, audiences have been able to view the majority of movies that have risen to the top of a very competitive Oscar pack. Although of the five contenders, "Zero Dark Thirty" remains in limited release and may not have made it to your local Cineplex. It still hasn't played Poughkeepsie.
As academy members fumble to choose the slate of nominees electronically for the first time, the vote has been delayed for 24 hours, until January 4, to accommodate the group's virtual version of hanging chads. Here are the likely contenders for best picture when they do tally their votes:
"Lincoln": Steven Spielberg's biopic of the 16th president's political battle to pass the 13th Amendment and emancipate the slaves has its passionate supporters. It also has the kiss of death: those who respect the movie and don't love it, some of whom feel they should love it because it's good for them. And then there are those who see it and, well, went to sleep. The drama has powerhouse performances that will clearly score Oscars, including the titanic Daniel Day-Lewis in lead and Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Fields in support. And no one will deny Tony Kushner his best adapted screenplay nomination for creating a serious film about a serious topic, which turns on humanizing the Civil War leader with a naughty sense of humor and a side of political intrigue. "Lincoln" received seven Golden Globe nominations and a massive 12 Critics Choice noms. Still, there are signs of weakness: Only the Dallas Film Critics honored "Lincoln" with the best picture to date, and Steven Spielberg has been overlooked repeatedly as best director by the critics.
Box office: Success! The Disney film has crossed the $100 million mark with domestic grosses of $131,867,159 by the end of 2012.
Runtime: Two hours, 25 minutes
Hollywood pat-on-the-back factor: This movie is clearly good for the audience, expanding historical knowledge on one of America's brightest moments as a country -- eradicating slavery.
Bottom line: Current front-runner, likely to get most nominations at the Academy Awards to be announced on January 10, but "Lincoln" may sacrifice best picture to other contenders in favor of acting and writing awards.