Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Lining Playbook, Life of Pi

Weinstein; 20th Century Fox

In one theater for Thanksgiving: a brand-new Best Picture contender. In another theater: A new-to-you Best Picture contender.

How to tell Ang Lee's Life of Pi and the Bradley Cooper- and Jennifer Lawrence-led Silver Linings Playbook apart:

One Has a Big Cat: That would be the based-on-a-novel Life of Pi, an adventure tale about a teen (Suraj Sharma) and his Bengal tiger, out everywhere this weekend.

One Has a Team of (Philadelphia) Eagles: That would be the based-on-a-novel Silver Linings Playbook, about a mentally ill man (Cooper) and his football-obsessed family, out in a lot more theaters this weekend after a 16-screen launch last weekend.

One Has Slightly Better Reviews Than the Other—on Metacritic: At last look, the "transcendent" Life of Pi was at 83 percent to Silver Linings Playbook's 81 percent.

One Has Slightly Better Reviews Than the Other—on Rotten Tomatoes: At last look, the "crazy good" Silver Linings Playbook was at 91 percent to Life of Pi's 88 percent. 

One Is a Legit 9-to-1 Shot to Win Best Picture: That would be Life of Pi, per the U.K.-based oddsmaker

One Is a, Well, Legit 9-to-1 Shot to Win Best Picture: That would be Silver Linings Playbook, also per the UK-based oddsmaker

And the Tie Goes to…: Silver Linings Playbook, which has been riding big-time buzz since the Toronto portion of awards season, and is being given the slightly better overall odds.

If It Makes Life of Pi Feel Better: Both it and Silver Linings Playbook are pegged by those same oddsmakers to lose Best Picture to Argo, Lincoln and/or Les Misérables.

If It Makes Silver Linings Playbook Feel Better: The pundits at are giving its David O. Russell a better shot at Best Director than Lee. 

Then Again…: The pro line-makers think Lee has the edge for the fifth and final Best Director nomination spot, edging out Russell.

If It Makes Tobey Maguire Feel Better: Rafe Spall, the actor who replaced Maguire in Life of Pi, isn't in the Best Supporting Actor discussion anymore than the excised former Spider-Man is. 

If It Makes Lawrence Feel Better: She's everybody pick to win Best Actress.

If It Makes Lawrence Feel Worse: Her momentum for Silver Linings Playbook is so strong that there's no push left for her work in The Hunger Games.

If It Makes Cooper Feel Better: While he's nobody pick (right now) to win Best Actor, he is in an apparent dog fight with Hugh Jackman (Les Miz) and Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) for the last presumed up-for-grabs Best Actor slot.

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