There is a chicken/egg factor when we look upon the awards that preface each year's Oscar nominations. A month's worth of critic organizations and specialty guilds will have announced their nominations and/or winners while the lot of us speculate what is foreshadowing and what is merely prediction. On Thursday, Dec. 2 the National Board of Review will officially kick off awards season with their top ten and winner's list that has no time to wait for some of the year's late unscreened releases.
From there we will await word from the big cities -- L.A., N.Y. and Chicago -- with legitimate opinions. And then more party throwers from the Golden Globes to the Broadcast Film Critics Association; the latter always hoping to up their guesstimate percentages on the Oscar game. Each group eventually folds into part of a greater collective, though, and no matter if their choices match up to Academy voter tastes or are just playing a game to boost their rep, somebody might just be listening. And it could be the difference between a nomination and a snub.