Tallying Our Golden Tally: What Movies Have Already Cleaned Up

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The Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday and while that is the ultimate prize this year's movies are aiming for, a number of other honors have been handed out so far. We've been keeping track of some of those in regular posts we've called our Golden Tally, but now we're bringing it all together. MetaCritic keep track of most of those honors, mostly critics association awards and others like the Gotham Independent Film Awards. We've combined their list and ours, which features some Oscar success signifiers like the Capri, Hollywood Film Festival honors, to look at the state of the race as it stands now. (Some awards like the Critics' Choice Awards have yet to be given.) You can see the list of data for six top categories here, but we've also visualized some the races for you. 

Best Picture

As shown in this graph, the controversial Zero Dark Thirty is leading the pack for most honors in the top category, but is followed closely behind by Ben Affleck's Argo. While Zero Dark Thirty has won the prize handed out by the talked-about National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics' Circle, Argo's success is spread around the country. That film was honored by critics groups in places not normally considered film hubs like Oklahoma. Films that round out the pie include Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master —a divisive, but critically lauded film—and the appealing Silver Linings Playbook. French language film Amour and quirky Wes Anderson flick Moonrise Kingdom have two such awards each, while LincolnLife of Pi, and Safety Not Guaranteed have one. Safety Not Guaranteed, an indie starring Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass, is perhaps the biggest oddball to sneak away with a top honor, but the tale of time travel clearly won over the Indiana Film Journalists Association. 

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Best Actor: 

Just give Daniel Day-Lewis the prize already. The actor has by-far won the most accolades for his performance as Lincoln. Though—as we'll point out later—these awards aren't necessarily Oscar indicators, this race is all but set. Two other noteworthy contenders include The Master's Joaquin Phoenix, who has won five prizes, and Silver Linings' Bradley Cooper, with four. Holy Motors' Denis Levant won the Toronto Film Critics Association acting prize, while Flight's Denzel Washington took honors from the African American Critics Association. 

Best Actress: 

The race is far closer when it comes to who is cleaning up in the best actress race. Jessica Chastain won 12 prizes for her work as bin Laden-killer Maya in Zero Dark Thirty. Jennifer Lawrence picked up 10 for her performance as the unstable Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook. They are followed by French actress Emmanuelle Riva in Amour with five and the surprise contender, Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea with two. An indie trio of Emayatzy Corinealdi for Middle of Nowhere, Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Michelle Williams for Take This Waltz rounds out the pie.

These charts, however, do not reveal a perfect formula for predicting the nominations come Thursday. Critics—who are handing out a majority of the awards that make up this data—do not always think the same way as Oscar voters. Oscar voting can be fraught with industry politics, whereas critics honor films they genuinely loved. So while Zero Dark Thirty and Argo won many prizes already for best picture, and are all but locks for Oscar nominations in that category, you can bet that crowd-pleasers without critical acclaim like Les Misérables could shut out artsier films like The Master for nominations. The same goes for the acting categories: Expect the Chastain-Lawrence combo and mostly likely Riva to score nominations, but we're not placing our bets on Williams or Corinealdi. (Wallis has had a particularly buzz-y year though.) 

While they may not be perfect predictors, what these charts do aim to show is what films and performances people have liked this year. While many are obvious given the press coverage, some are not, so go outwatch them, and then decide for yourself, just how wrong you think the Academy is. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.