Silent crowd-pleaser received the most number of Golden Globe nominations - hardly a foolproof indicator, but not one to ignore in this grab bag year. Richard Rushfield handicaps in the Daily Beast:
Many have complained that this silent film tribute to the silent film era is too slight, too two-dimensional to be a serious best pic contender--that it may be a crowd pleaser, but in the end the film is a formalist game, treading upon well-covered ground. All that may be the case, but the French silent film is also one other thing right now: the Oscar front runner. After taking the highest number of Globe nominations (six), including Best Picture (comedy/musical) and acting and directing nods, and a flurry of top prizes and Best picture listings from various critics associations (Las Vegas, Indiana, San Diego, Broadcast Critics, Detroit, NY Online, Boston, Houston), the film stands--based on the information available today--as the likeliest candidate to sweep the Oscar field.
I see that Intrade, the online trading exchange, gives it a 36.5 percent chance of winning best picture, more than double what it was just three weeks ago. Again, hardly foolproof, but notable.