Oscar ballots go out Monday to 2755 Academy members. Among the recipients will be 135 new voters. Every year the Academy invites new members such as Avatar producer Jon Landau. Ballots are due back January 14 for tabulation by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nominations will be announced January 25, and the winners on the Oscarcast February 27.
The holidays are the time of year when most voters catch up with their screener piles, whether on vacation in Sun Valley, Aspen (where their film society screens Oscar contenders) or Honolulu. At the top of Academy must-see lists are the films that critics, media and other awards groups like Screen Actors Guild have deemed worthy, such as The King's Speech and The Social Network.
Likely to be at the bottom, unfortunately, are well-reviewed but grim slogs such as John Cameron Mitchell's grief drama Rabbit Hole, which opened poorly over the holiday, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Spanish-language fest hit Biutiful, starring the incandescent Javier Bardem as a latter-day Job figure (December 29) and Danny Boyle's true survivor tale 127 Hours, which Fox Searchlight has been battling to persuade people to check out. The film is ending its run at close to the $10 million mark, but could enjoy a second awards-season life.
Meanwhile, postcard voting info to help select the winners of the Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding performances are being mailed on Dec. 30 to the active membership of SAG Screen Actors Guild across the country–nearly 100,000 actors. They will be voting via the SAG Awards election teller, Integrity Voting Systems; SAG is trying to discourage the use of paper ballots. Votes are due January 28.
Winners will be announced at the 17th SAG Awards live national simulcast on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT).