What a difference a month makes. After a mixed test screening of Selma, attended by AwardsWatch members, the Gold Rush Gang (and the forum members in general) have abandoned the film almost entirely, it’s down an astonishing 43 points. Currently, only Alexander, Evan, Kenneth and myself have Selma making it into Best Picture. I’m still bullish on it (you can also listen to us talk about it on the most recent podcast) and find the vacation of confidence of the film to be reactionary. Of course, if it proves true then clearly our predictions will move to reflect that. It looks like a trailer is due this week and AFI Fest will be showing 30 minutes of the film so it looks like marketing for it is just about to get underway.
But, in order to leave one film you have to attach yourself to another and that film is The Theory of Everything. The film posts the best increase in the top 10 by a huge margin (up 32 points and now in our top 5) and Focus Features has had its star Eddie Redmayne making fashion statements at every possible event around the globe. Boy knows how to schmooze and wear a suit. After proving to be strong Oscar campaigners last year with Dallas Buyers Club (albeit with different people heading it up), Focus is pulling out all of the stops to get The Theory of Everything in front of every Academy member possible, doing a bang up job out-Weinsteining Weinstein himself.
Still, Boyhood and The Imitation Game are the two frontrunners and both post increases from last month as well. Birdman remains pretty steady and Interstellar stays put as less than stellar reviews for the film have come out. Big move for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper as it debuts in the top 10, just ahead of Selma. A batch Entertainment Weekly covers and story plus a featurette showing off some fantastic singing from Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt has pushed Into the Woods into serious Best Picture contention.