What's it all mean?! SAG and PGA revisited, plus Rick's films to see



Saturday night's SAG awards seemed to have cemented several Oscar front runners: while Lupita proved she wasn't out of the race, McConaughey, Leto and Blanchett took long strides ahead of the competition. American Hustle winning the acting ensemble pointed signs that they were the favorite to beat in March. But the SAG ensemble award doesn't always forecast the Best Picture winner--a much better prognosticator of that is the Producers Guild Award, since they have matched the Oscar for the last six years in a row and twelve additional times before that.

The PGAs were announced Sunday night and for the first time in their 25 year history, a tie was given for the top award, shared by Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. And suddenly American Hustle was no longer a foregone conclusion for the Oscar.

As I've said repeatedly (frankly, as most have said), 2013 was a fantastic year for film. There were so many incredible pictures that at least 3, arguably as many as 5, perfectly viable candidates did not garner a Best Picture nomination. (The strongest signal that the formula for deciding the number of films between five and ten needs to be tweaked.) I've read several articles declaring their favorite picture was the one that should have held that 10th spot--and almost all of them refer to a different film.

It all boils down to the fact that Best Picture is still up in the air, but probably honing in on three very different films, each in their own way deserving of the nod. In any other year, any could easily be the lone front runner. But the main thing to keep in mind is that we still have five weeks before ballots are due. Anything can happen between now and then.

In the meantime, I have 16 films to watch in order to have seen all the nominated films, not as good as last year, but still not in bad shape. As I'm doing that, I'm also working on a couple of my Best of 2013 lists (which, admittedly are a bit late). I'll be posting my Best Performances soon. The films on my list to see are:
ALL IS LOST
ALONE YET NOT ALONE
CUTIE AND THE BOXER
DESPICABLE ME 2
ERNEST & CELESTINE
JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA
LONE SURVIVOR
OMAR
THE ACT OF KILLING
THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN
THE CROODS
THE GREAT BEAUTY
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
THE MISSING PICTURE
THE SQUARE
THE WIND RISES

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