For the last month, Oscar season has been dominated by one presence: Uggie the dog "The Artist," the presumed Best Picture frontrunner thanks to a bevy of awards season plaudits. Following the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night, that conversation changed: Could "The Help" -- buoyed by SAG wins from Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and the entire cast -- unseat "The Artist" atop the Oscar heap?

Short answer: probably not. Despite the strong showing during the SAG Awards, "The Help" is facing a herculean task in its charge for Best Picture.

"'The Help' wasn't able to score a single nomination in other branches," wrote Grantland's Oscar guru Mark Harris, "so where is the Best Picture support going to come from?"

Translation: "The Help" didn't earn nominations from the directors' branch, writers' branch or editors' branch. If it wins Best Picture, "The Help" would be the first film since "Grand Hotel" in 1930 to win the award without being nominated for either Best Director, Best Screenplay or Best Editing.

As if historical precedent weren't bad enough, the stars of "The Help" are still swatting away accusations that the film is racist. After her SAG award win on Sunday night, E! Online's Ted Casablanca asked Viola Davis why it took a white woman to effect change within the black community -- which is what happens in "The Help" when Skeeter (Emma Stone), a journalist, attempts to get the help's side of the story.

"Great, thanks for the loaded question," Davis responded. She continued by saying that while she saw merit in his query, it wasn't exactly appropriate. "[Y]ou have to wonder why someone would ask this question."

Casablanca didn't understand what Davis was getting at, "exactly" and revisited his point about needing a white author to "get the job done."

The actress explained that despite the protagonist's involvement, "it is the black women who risked their lives in this movie."

"Like I said," Davis smiled, "it's a loaded question."

Certainly is! But it's one Oscar voters might find themselves asking when they go to choose Best Picture.

[via E!, Grantland]
categories Movies