Heatmeter: ‘Argo’ and Jennifer Lawrence lead the Oscar pack


“Argo” producer George Clooney, producer-director-star Ben Affleck, and producer Grant Heslov.

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

A flurry of ceremonies over the last 2 1/2 weeks -- the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild prizes and the Screen Actors Guild awards -- has separated pretender from contender in Hollywood’s 2012-13 awards season.

According to the L.A. Times HeatMeter, which measures the overall traction of personalities and films, a number of things are coming into focus. (The Times’ Data Desk compiles rankings based on a formula of nominations and wins; see key below.)

The lead actor category has become a one-man field thanks to the dominance of “Lincoln” lead Daniel Day-Lewis. In the supporting actress category, Anne Hathaway of “Les Miserables” has 117 points -- more than twice her nearest challenger.

The lead actress competition is starting to separate too after the SAG win for Jennifer Lawrence of “Silver Linings Playbook.” But the supporting actor contest continues to heat up: Wins in recent weeks for Christoph Waltz of “Django Unchained” and Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln” have ensured one of the most tightly bunched standings this season.


And, of course, there’s the best picture scramble. Three weeks ago, “Argo” had been in the middle of the pack. But after taking home the Golden Globe best drama statuette, the SAG cast award and the top Producers Guild award, it’s now top of the heap.

Next up: Directors Guild awards Saturday, the Writers Guild on Feb. 17 and the Oscars on Feb. 24.

--Steven Zeitchik, Doug Smith and Oliver Gettell

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Today’s Categories

Lead actress*

It’s been a nip-and-tuck kind of year for Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain. But after the SAG Award for female actor in a leading role went to Lawrence, she opened up a sizable lead. While actresses like Helen Mirren, Rachel Weisz and Marion Cotillard won’t be able to make up any further ground -- the only place left for actors to score is at the Oscars, and they were left out -- several others, including Chastain, can still add points if they snag a golden man.

1. Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings” 155

2. Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty” 92

3. Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour” 55

4. Rachel Weisz, “Deep Blue Sea” 47


5. Naomi Watts, “The Impossible” 44

6. Marion Cotillard, “Rust and Bone” 24

7. Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock"24

8. Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” 20


Supporting actor*

Tommy Lee Jones may have won a SAG award on Sunday, but he’s still trailing Christoph Waltz in the overall standings. Meanwhile, early season favorite Robert De Niro will need an Oscar win if he hopes to catch anyone in the seasonal race -- he’s behind six actors, including two who weren’t even nominated for Oscars.

1. Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained” 71


2. Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln” 58

3. Alan Arkin, “Argo"29

4. Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master” 29

5. Matthew McConaughey, “Magic Mike,” “Bernie"21

6. Dwight Henry, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” 21

7. Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook” 19


Best picture*

As it piles up wins, “Argo” has taken a huge lead in the HeatMeter rankings. Its presumptive main challenger at the Oscars, “Lincoln,” is down in sixth place, behind even “Searching for Sugar Man” (a documentary that has won several awards and is vying for the Oscar in that category but is not nominated for best picture).

1. “Argo” 191

2. “Amour” 114

3. “Les Miserables” 69

4. “Zero Dark Thirty” 64

5. “Searching for Sugar Man” 49

6. “Lincoln” 41

7. “Silver Linings Playbook” 37


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*Scoring Key

The best way to accumulate heat is via the Oscars, with a nomination or a win worth more than a nomination or a win at any other award event. Contenders get more for a win than a nomination. Today’s scores are based on the following:

New York Film Critics Circle: 35 points for a win

Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.: 35 points for a win, 17.5 points for runners-up; points split for a tie

Golden Globes: 12 points for best picture drama nomination and 60 for a win, 8 points for best picture comedy/musical nomination and 40 for a win

Screen Actors Guild: 12 points for a nomination and 60 for a win; cast award counts toward best-film tally

Producers Guild of America: 6 points for a nomination and 60 for a win