Mid-Week Oscar Poll: Best Picture 2013

Oscar time is here again. The annual Academy Awards ceremony airs this Sunday, February 24th. As we get ready to watch Hollywood celebrate itself once more, let’s find out which of this year’s nominated movies you think will win the coveted Best Picture trophy. More importantly, which do you think should win?

Please note that I’ve divided this topic into two separate polls below. In the first, you should vote for the movie that you think will win Best Picture. Regardless of whether you liked the movie or not, this vote is strictly a prediction for the film you believe the Academy voters will go for.

Which Movie WILL Win Best Picture 2013?

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I’m terrible at predicting award winners, and I think that this year is one of the most difficult to guess in recent memory. I don’t see any clear-cut winners from this batch. While Steven Spielberg’s historical bio-pic ‘Lincoln’ leads the nomination count, I just haven’t seen all that much enthusiasm for the film from either critics or audiences, even those who’ve admired it.

‘Argo’ has picked up a lot of important awards that are generally considered predictors for Oscar glory, including the AFI Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. It seems to have built up steam in recent weeks. However, the lack of a nomination for director Ben Affleck may sour its chances at winning Best Picture. The same goes for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’.

Mrs. Z is convinced that the momentum is with ‘Silver Linings Playbook’. Maybe I’m just short-sighted, but I don’t see that at all, and none of the others strike me as having much of a chance.

I’m going to play it safe here by assuming that the Academy will also play it safe. I predict that ‘Lincoln’ will ultimately triumph.

In our next poll, tell us which movie you think should win the prize.

Which Movie SHOULD Win Best Picture 2013?

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I still haven’t seen a damn one of these movies, and so can’t comment.

A final note: We had a lot of fun live-blogging the Oscar ceremony the last couple of years. Unfortunately, due to many complications that have resulted from my moving and the current shambles that my home theater room is in, it looks very unlikely that I’ll be able to host another live-blog this year.


  1. HuskerGuy

    Only seen three of them so I didn’t vote in the second poll. Went with Lincoln for the first one though.

    I’ve seen Silver Linings, Zero Dark, and Les Mis. All were pretty great, but I don’t think either necessarily warrants a best picture awared.

  2. Tom Haggas

    Thanks to the media and a-holes like Tom ONeill, there are no more surprises. When the Oscar ratings go in the tank, they can thank Oscar pundits for sucking all of the fun out of it.

  3. Drew

    It’s almost a sure bet that ‘Lincoln’ will win. I’ve seen every one of the nominees, and it’s just as sure of a bet that it definitely SHOULD NOT win. It’s a very good film, but not a great one. It’s not the best picture of 2013, or practically any other year.

    I’ve now had the opportunity to see ‘Argo’, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, and ‘Zero Dark Thirty, twice each. After seeing each of them the first time, I would have said that ‘Argo’ is the finest of the year. However, after an additional screening of each, I came away convinced that ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ was superior to any other film, this year.

    Regardless, I would have an extremely difficult time picking a certain winner, out of those three. They are clearly the three best of 2013, but it’s hard to determine which one stands out, among it’s peers. Part of me feels like the only reason why I haven’t decided that ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ is the best, is because I subconsciously want my best film of the year to be more “serious.” After all, I grew up in an era where it is impossible for a comedy — or any film that is even remotely humorous/comical — to win best picture. Just look at the list of winners from 1982 going forward…

    • Tom Haggas

      The Artist, Chicago and Shakespeare in Love all won despite being comedies. And Argo will win on Sunday. It won every single guild award. It’s about as much as a lock as you can get. Plus, with Argo getting best pic, it clears the way for Lincoln to pick up Director and Actor.

      It’s one of those everyone-gets-an-Oscar years.

  4. Drew


    ‘The Artist’ and especially ‘Chicago’, are musicals, not comedies. There’s a big difference. Don’t go being all Golden Globes-like, and lumping anything that’s not a drama into being a comedy. 😉

    ‘Shakespeare in Love’ is a more worthy example, but it’s hardly a comedy. It’s a drama, through and through.

    ‘Lincoln’ is as close to a lock as you can get. I would bet my mortgage. The Academy told everyone what they thought of ‘Argo’, when they failed to nominate Affleck. That was their way of saying there’s no way we are giving your film best picture, and you better consider yourself honored that we threw you a bone and gave you a nomination.

    • Tom Haggas

      Eh. The Artist and Chicago were more funny than not. And the Artist wasn’t a musical.

      If you want to judge Lincoln’s chances on what happened two months ago, go ahead, but betting the mortgage is a huge mistake. In the two months since people submitted nominations, Argo has won every single Guild Award (including directors) and the Golden Globe for Best Pic. Argo is a lock.

  5. Drew

    ‘Chicago’ isn’t funny at all. Have you seen it? There’s literally no comedy, whatsoever. ‘The Artist’ has it’s moments, but it’s definitely not a comedy.

    ‘Argo’ won all of the guild awards because the voters were all taking pity on Affleck. Obviously, the Academy feels differently, or they would have nominated him for best actordirector.

    • Tom Haggas

      Drew, you need to learn about where nominations come from and who gets to vote for the Guild and Oscar winners. (Also, proper use of the word “literally.”) Until then, this conversation is going nowhere.

      99% of the Academy are people who belong to one guild or another. If Argo has swept the Guild awards, it would make sense for it to do pretty well on Sunday. Academy nominations come from the respective fields. So directors nominate directors, but when it comes to the winner, the Academy as a whole gets to vote, regardless of the field. That means the same SAG members who awarded Argo best ensemble (their best picture equivalent) and are far and away the largest block of Academy voters are going to give Argo a huge advantage. Additionally, Affleck is an actor first, which goes a long way with his fellow SAGgers.

      Affleck’s directing snub will be movie-talk fodder for years. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. We’d have to look at directors within the Academy, since they do the nominating. Those same directors, then turned around and gave him the DGA Award, which is just odd. My only guess is that his snub was an accident. The result of a lot of directors wanting to nominate someone outside the mainstream. They assumed that Affleck was so assured a nomination that he didn’t need their vote and somehow he fell through the crack. That’s just a guess and we’ll never know, so it’s really pointless to speculate.

      Anyway, the Guild and the Academy can’t “feel differently about Affleck” because they are one and the same. The overlap in membership is pretty thick. Now I will grant you that there is one caveat. SAG membership covers TV and film actors and Argo has a solid supporting cast of TV actors. So I could be slightly overselling SAGs effect on Sunday’s results, but since Argo swept the guild awards, it’ll most likely be a moot point.

      Lastly, Chicago was frickin’ hilarious and the IMDb agrees with me. The top genre listed for both Chicago and The Artist is: Comedy.

    • Tom Haggas

      I’ll just say that as much as I enjoy talking about the movie industry, it’s this crap that ticks me off when it comes to the Oscars. Are we talking about the best film of the year? No. We are talking about marketing and release dates. We are talking about Weinsteins and whisper campaigns. Every year we have to distinguish who WILL win and who SHOULD win, underlining the Oscars’ complete irrelevance. We openly admit that the best film won’t win and spend weeks discussing everything except the films themselves.

  6. Zero Dark Thirty was a snooze fest. I fell asleep 30 minutes in. Argo was a gripping, albeit, slightly inaccurate film. I didn’t care about that though, I judge the film on it’s merits as a film. It was gripping, tense, captivating, edge of your seat entertainment. It was extremely well made with a few standout performances from Alan Arkin and John Goodman, but the remaining casts were all very solid. Lincoln is a beautifully, intimate masterpiece. When Spielberg goes smaller, the results are often wonderful. It is a very subtle film that is very moving thanks to powerful presence of DDL. I wept during my viewing of Lincoln. Overall, I would give best picture to Argo because I utterly enjoyed it and haven’t felt that satisfied from any other film this past year save for The Avengers.

  7. Drew

    Just the fact that you gained the same level of satisfaction from ‘The Avengers’ as you did from ‘Argo’, pretty much says it all. I do agree with every word you said about ‘Argo’, however.

    To call ‘Lincoln’ a masterpiece, is to say that ‘Saving Private Ryan’ is a bonafied American treasure, top 5 film of all time, and a genuine gift from God. After all, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ is significantly better than ‘Lincoln’, and you’re calling ‘Lincoln’ a masterpiece. ‘Lincoln’ is very good, albeit flawed. It’s far away from being close to masterpiece territory. ‘Saving Private Ryan’ isn’t even in that classification. The only film in Spielberg’s cannon that could have a masterpiece argument made on it’s behalf is ‘Schindler’s List’ (Okay, I’ll throw in ‘Jaws’, as well, or I’ll never hear the end of it).

    If you thought ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ was a snooze fest, you have only your self to blame, compadre. You simply must not have an interest or affection for captivating subject matter, directed with precision and edited with expertise.

    • I should say that I myself am a filmmaker and have worked in the industry as an assistant in sound editing, sound mixing, as well as digital effects creation. I respect your opinion and that’s all good for you but for me, Lincoln was elevated to a small masterpiece by just the sheer presence and majesty of Daniel Day Lewis. And the fact that I was satisfied by The Avengers doesn’t really say anything about my film prowess. It is simply a personal preference. I mainly go to the movies to be entertained and The Avengers entertained me more than any other movie this past year. I’ve been a comic fan for roughly about 25 years and have a comic collection that numbers around 5600 comics. That was a landmark movie for me as I had been waiting my entire life for that movie so you have to excuse me for my admiration of that film. I’m sorry that I couldn’t get into Zero Dark Thirty the way you did. I also couldn’t get into the Hurt Locker either. I just simply don’t like Katherine Bigelow and find her to be an overrated director.

    • I don’t have an interest in captivating subject manner, precision directing or expert editing. Didn’t I just get done explaining my love for Argo for exactly these reasons?

      I said Lincoln is an intimate masterpiece as opposed to Saving Private Ryan which was told on a far grander scale. I differentiate between intimate masterpiece and grand scale masterpiece. It is a film with great cinematography. It was subtle and unobtrusive. It never overshadowed the great performances. The lighting always fit the mood. The score was grand when it needed to be and subtle when it needed. The editing was spot-on. And Spielberg is enough of a pro to know when to move the camera and when to leave it alone and let the actors carry the scene. I don’t really see how it isn’t a masterpiece. Anything Daniel Day Lewis does is a masterpiece.

      But like I said, this is my opinion and it’s cool you don’t agree with me. I don’t care about that, just don’t tell I’m wrong or don’t know any better. I’ve been studying film since I was 10 years old and have literally read over 500 books about filmmaking. I have more film knowledge in my pinky than most of the general public have in their bodies. Art is subjective. What you see as brilliant is different from what I see as brilliant.

  8. Beasts Of The Southern Wild is a sorely under seen film. Of the nominated films, it is head and shoulders above the rest. Argo will win, but it didn’t make my personal top ten. I’ve seen all except Amour and Life Of Pi-hated Les Miz, disappointed by SLP. Lincoln was good, but could have been trimmed by about twenty minutes. Same goes for Django. 0D30 felt a little blah to me, but Jessica Chastain’s performance was very good.
    Moonrise Kingdom and Looper both got robbed.

    • Looper got robbed? A movie like Looper was never in contention for best film my friend…we can only hope that someday a movie like Looper could be seen as a great film with movies like Argo, but that will never happen outside of the 3rd party awards shows like MTV or Spike’s Scream awards.

      I dont think I’ve been able to see anything on the best film list this year except for Les Mis and although I love Les Mis, I’m not finding the musical/movie to be worthy of a best film award. Argo I have no desire to see, never cared about Zero Dark Thirty and at some point I will watch Lincoln as I’ve always loved that time period and most anything done about the Civil War, so really I could care less who gets the award, which is the way I feel most years 🙂

  9. Drew


    I understand, quite well, where the nominations come from, and who gets to vote. You proved my point, in your last paragraph. Most people in the industry, believe that it was the SAG effect, that allowed ‘Argo’ to come away victorious in certain guild races. You pointed it out yourself. Television actors make up at least half of the SAG, if not the majority of it. There’s also one more important thing that you must keep in mind. Regardless of whether a particular guild member voted for a specific film/performance, in the guild awards, it doesn’t mean that the very same guild member will vote that same way, for the Academy Awards. Again, many of these guild members were probably voting for ‘Argo’, out of pity/remorse for not nominating Affleck for best director. That doesn’t mean that they are going to vote for ‘Argo’ to win what they all consider to be a much more prestigious award.

    I’ve read about your theory that not nominating Affleck for best director was a mistake. There’s no way that’s plausible. Think about it. They’re not supposed to be nominating someone that they feel might not be nominated, if they don’t vote for them. Their job is to nominate whomever they feel was the very best. Anyway, you might end up being correct. Time will tell. I just strongly believe that the lack of a best director nomination is a clear indicator that there are enough voters, that will be participating in the voting process for the Academy Awards, that are completely indifferent about ‘Argo’. ‘Argo’ is very much a directors film. If it’s not nominated in that category. It’s a very strong statement about what the body of voters thinks of it. If the voting body of directors weren’t impressed enough to nominate it in that category, you really think that the writers, executives, and producers are going to vote for it?

    I will concede that I took liberty with my use of the word “literally.” ‘Chicago’ does have comedic elements. However, please don’t try to kid yourself into thinking that you might believe that ‘Chicago’ is a comedy. And don’t play the IMDB card. You know that it’s not a comedy. It was praised as one of the films that resurrected the musical genre. You know it’s a musical. You also understand that I was talking about an outright comedy, when I made my initial statements about a comedy not being able to win the top prize, during the modern Oscar era.

    • Tom Haggas

      No Drew, if Argo was not nominated for direction it is only is an indication of what a small fragment of the Academy (accredited directors) thinks of it. Not the Academy as a whole.

      The biggest thing we’ve forgotten is Argo’s a movie about filmmakers being able to do what politicians could not. I’m pretty sure that’s going to go over pretty well with the folks in Tinsel Town.

      We’ll know in about 72 hours.

  10. Drew


    I know you haven’t seen ‘Argo’, so, please trust me when I say that the lack of a nomination for best actor, for Affleck, was most certainly not a snub. 🙂 I intended to write “best director.” Please revise, if possible.

  11. I’ve seen two, Lincoln and Les Mis. I didn’t care for Lincoln at all. Les Mis was one of the better movies I have seen this year, but I don’t know if I would call it Oscar worthy.Actually, I take that back, both are exactly the kind of movies that the Oscars go for. I doubt that either would win a People’s Choice Award, though.

  12. Drew

    Tom, that’s exactly what I’m saying. So, if the voting body of accredited directors didn’t even think enough of it to nominate it for best director, what makes you think that the panel of writers, producers, and executives that will be voting, are going to believe it to be the best film of the year? The actors won’t be enough. How many times, in history, has a film that wasn’t even nominated for best director, won the Academy Award for best picture. I don’t know the exact figure, but I know it’s quite rare. I hope you’re right. I really don’t want ‘Lincoln’ to win. I just feel like the academy will play it safe. It’s like our old friend Jane Morgan used to say… What would grandma vote for? I don’t believe the answer is ‘Argo’. You don’t have to go back too far to look at the last time a film essentially swept the guild awards, but was denied best picture. ‘The Social Network’ was in a position very similar to the one that ‘Argo’ is in now. However, grandma voted for ‘The King’s Speech’. Look how that worked out…

    • Josh Zyber

      The last time the awards for Best Picture and Director were split was 2005. Best Picture for Crash, Best Director for Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain). Then we go to 2002 (Chicago vs. Roman Polanski). The 2000 (Gladiator vs. Steven Soderbergh).

      The last time a movie won Best Picture without even being nominated for Best Director was Driving Miss Daisy from 1989 (Oliver Stone won for Born on the Fourth of July.)

      According to Wikipedia:

      “The Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture have been very closely linked throughout their history. Of the 85 films that have been awarded Best Picture, 62 have also been awarded Best Director. Only three films have won Best Picture without their directors being nominated (though only one since the early 1930s): Wings (1927/28), Grand Hotel (1931/32), and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). The only two Best Director winners to win for films which did not receive a Best Picture nomination are likewise in the early years: Lewis Milestone (1927/28) and Frank Lloyd (1928/29).”

    • Tom Haggas

      “So, if the voting body of accredited directors didn’t even think enough of it to nominate it for best director, what makes you think that the panel of writers, producers, and executives that will be voting, are going to believe it to be the best film of the year?”

      Um, because the writers, producers, actors and directors guilds all named it as the best movie since the nominations came out.

      Also, A King’s Speech won the PGA, DGA, Art Directors and SAG awards.

  13. Drew

    Well, Josh, there we go. Thank you. Three films in history, and only one since 1931 won best picture, without the director even being nominated. This all but completely rules out any chance for ‘Argo’. 3 out of 84… That means ‘Argo’ has less than a 3.6% chance to win, going by historical figures.

    Tom, this has been the point all along. You can factor in the overlap in guild voters, compared to Academy voters all you want, but when it comes right down to it, ‘Argo’ is faced with nearly impossible, and substantially dire circumstances.

    • Josh Zyber

      Conversely, the number of times a movie that won the DGA Award (which Argo did this year) didn’t go on to take the Best Picture Oscar has a similar history: Brokeback Mountain in 2005, Crouching Tiger in 2000, Saving Private Ryan in 1998, Apollo 13 in 1995, Born on the Fourth of July 1989, The Color Purple 1985, then a jump all the way back to 1968 for The Lion in Winter. Perhaps slightly less rare, but only slightly.

      The DGA even predicted Chicago’s win in 2002.

  14. As my best friend jokingly says:

    “Daniel Day Lewis can make a masterpiece out of anything. He could play Scooby Doo and win an Oscar for Best Actor. If someone makes a bio film of Chuck Norris, they could cast Daniel Day Lewis as Chuck and he would be more convincing than the real Chuck Norris.”

  15. Tom Haggas

    “You can teach a rhesus monkey how to be a director in a day.”

    This is why the Academy’s directors left Ben off the nomination list. Hard to not take this personally, especially by group as self-centered as film directors.