Oscar Watch: Tracking the ups and downs of the awards season

Oscar Watch: Will crowd-pleasers 'Patriots Day' and 'Live by Night' play with the academy?

Oscar predictions for best picture, lead actor and lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress and director. Also: Will crowd-pleasers "Patriots Day" and "Live by Night" play with voters?

Oscars 2016 preview: Waiting for the day when inclusion is no longer news

Five things to watch this Oscar season. Among them: Averting #OscarsSoWhite again, a crowded lead actress race and a December release winning best picture.

Oscar Watch: Make way for Denzel Washington's 'Fences' in updated Oscar predictions

Oscar predictions for best picture, lead actor and lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress and director. Also: A look at the coming-out party for Denzel Washington's "Fences."

Oscar Watch: The latest predictions and why Trump's election might be good news for 'La La Land'

Oscar predictions for best picture, lead actor and lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress and director. Also: A look at how the presidential election might affect the Oscars.

Oscar Watch: Latest predictions with good news for 'Moonlight' and 'Loving'

Last week’s initial Oscar predictions brought a query or two from readers questioning my certainty about the best picture chances of Jeff Nichols’ beautiful,

Oscar Watch: First round of predictions in wake of 'Billy Lynn's' NYFF premiere

Oscar predictions for best picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress and director. Plus a look at "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" at the New York Film Festival.

Oscar Watch: 'Billy Lynn,' Ang Lee's 'baby,' could use a pat on the head right now

Updated Oscar predictions with news on "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" and "Moonlight."

Oscar Watch: 'Spotlight,' 'Big Short' and 'Revenant' may be strongest contenders for best picture Oscar

'Spotlight,' 'The Big Short' and 'The Revenant' may be strongest Oscar contenders based on the SAG Awards 2016 and the Producers Guild awards.

Oscar Watch: Why the PGA Awards win cements 'The Big Short' as the Oscar front-runner

"The Big Short" took the Producers Guild of America's top prize Saturday night, catching many by surprise, including, judging from the looks on their faces, the film's producers, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.

Oscar Watch: Can 'The Revenant' or 'Mad Max' win best picture without a screenplay nod?

History, would seem to be against "The Revenant" and "Mad Max: Fury Road" winning the top Oscar this year.

Oscar Watch: The most-nominated movie will (probably) be ... wait, what? ... 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

What movie will lead the pack when Oscar nominations are announced Thursday?

Oscar Watch: 'Star Wars' for best picture? Never tell me the odds

Oscar voters -- they're just like us! At the same time that lines were snaking around multiplexes nationwide, academy members crowded Wilshire Boulevard Saturday afternoon outside the Samuel L. Goldwyn Theater to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Oscar Watch: 'The Big Short' holds an early lead over its December rivals

Now that the movies have been seen though, it's another December movie -- "The Big Short," a jaundiced look at the 2008 financial meltdown -- that's vacuuming up all the awards and nominations. Its director? The guy behind "Talladega Nights" and the "Anchorman" movies, Adam McKay.

Oscar Watch: 'Hateful Eight' goes over great

judging by how many academy members showed up at the 1,000 seat Samuel L. Goldwyn Theater for screenings this weekend, Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" would seem to have a leg up on its awards-season competitors.

Oscar Watch: 'Joy' belongs to Jennifer Lawrence

"Joy" with Jennifer Lawrence will likely be the first David O. Russell recent movies to not win multiple Oscar acting nominations.

Oscar Watch: The bell's about to ring for 'Creed'

Thirty-nine years ago, "Rocky," the rags-to-riches boxing movie that star Sylvester Stallone boasted he wrote in just half a week, won the best picture Oscar, beating "Taxi Driver," "All the Presidents Men," "Network" and "Bound for Glory."

Oscar Watch: What's funnier? The Hollywood Foreign Press or 'The Martian'?

Since word got out that Ridley Scott's sci-fi survival tale "The Martian" will be competing in the Golden Globes' comedy/musical categories, there has been a fair amount of weeping and gnashing of teeth over what is classified in awards circles as CATEGORY FRAUD. "A comedy's a film whose #1 goal is to make people laugh," Paul Feig, who knows a thing or two about the genre, tweeted. "If that wasn't the filmmakers' top goal, it's not a comedy." I'd give that tweet an "amen." Unfortunately, though, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has never abided by that sentiment.

Oscar Watch: Can a box office 'bomb' like 'Steve Jobs' still contend for best picture?

Variety called it a "bomb." The Wall Street Journal chalked it up as a casualty of a brutal "box office bloodbath." The hyperbole surrounding "Steve Jobs'" very bad weekend at the multiplex has been so wild that you might imagine the movie standing with Glenn on top of that zombie-surrounded trash dumpster on last night's "The Walking Dead," only the dumpster is also in the middle of Hurricane Patricia. On Black Friday. At the mall. How can it possibly survive? And, more importantly (for our purposes, at least), how can it go on to contend for all those Oscar nominations it was supposed to win?

Oscar Watch: 'Bridge of Spies' and 'Room' bow at academy; 'Big Short' a December surprise?

Oscar Watch, charting the smiles, the frowns, the ups and downs of the awards season, comes to you every Monday from now through the end of February. This week, we'll check in with a movie that just opened, one that has wowed its festival audiences and a title that isn't due until Christmas.

Oscar Watch: A premature ode to 'Joy'; 'Jobs' packs the academy

It's a little early to call David O. Russell's "Joy" an Oscar front-runner based solely on one report. "Steve Jobs," meanwhile, is the real deal, packing the film academy's screening. Watch out for "Brooklyn" and its lovely lead, Saoirse Ronan, too.