Save the Date for the 2013 Oscar Nominations

[caption id="attachment_33755" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Academy Awards"]Oscar[/caption]

Get out your calendars, folks!

Although the Oscars will still be held on the last Sunday of February next year (Feb. 24, to be exact), the day of the nominations announcement has been moved up a week to Jan. 15. (It was Jan. 24 in 2012).

What does that mean to you or me? Well, you'll have extra time to configure your most winning ballot so you can finally win the prize at your annual Oscar party. It also means a few more weeks for awards season stumpin'.

For the wanna-be nominees, that means more interviews, more schmoozing, more cheeks to kiss and more screenings to flog. Voters will have more time to see more movies, and while that won't quite take the sting out of February's story in the L.A. Times that they're mostly old white guys (shocker!), it could give the studios a little cushion of time to push more art-y offerings their way. Or maybe the voters need that extra time to remember to send in their ballots.

This shift could also take some of the hot air out of the Golden Globes, since the Oscar nominations will probably be announced before the Globes' big night.

Awards season experts keep a close eye on what's nominated in every category from almost every different type of critics' group or awards body, including the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Making an educated guess about that year's Oscar winners means studying these other groups as serious as the folks in "Moneyball" or, say, "The League." It could also mean that eventually the Oscars themselves will creep up earlier in the year. Because who doesn't want to spend a sunny summer afternoon watching movies about 9/11, the Holocaust or other Oscar bait-y topics?

Highlights of the 2012 Academy Awards