Universal's "Lone Survivor" faces two big tests: reception by general audiences and by Oscar voters. The film begins a qualifying run on Dec. 25, then opens wide Jan. 10. Despite being short-changed in awards handouts so far, the film could do well when Oscar noms are announced Jan. 16.
At early industry screenings, the reception was enthusiastic, and that continued at subsequent screenings. So the question has been asked more than once: "This film is terrific, why isn't it getting more awards attention?" The answer is that it’s a crowded year, but there are other factors.