Someone asked me today what looks like a Best Picture winner in these early days, with many things seen, a few still to come. With so many having marks against them it's difficult to get a gauge on what could be "the one," and of course, it's silly to be mulling something like that over when the season has so many more secrets to tell. But my knee-jerk reaction was Tom Hooper's "Les Misérables."

Why? Well, it's in the enviable position of still being a bit of a mystery, for starters. Hooper, of course, is coming off his big win for "The King's Speech" in 2010, which made him a commodity in Hollywood. The campaign is taking flight, the early notes revolving around the live singing employed by the film (which, frankly, from a sound mixing standpoint, makes it immediately more interesting in the musical realm than most). But more to the point, there's a lot of tangible thematic resilience in the story that could find the right stride in today's world. Well, let's just say there's a case to be made on that score by a smart campaign, anyway.

In any case, we should be getting a new trailer soon enough, I'd imagine. And today, the first poster for the film has dropped, shrewdly calling back to the iconic Broadway poster featuring a nubile Cosette (played in youth by Isabelle Allen and older by Amanda Seyfried). It's such a defining image that it might have been a mistake not to call it out, and so Universal has.

The film was recently pushed back a few days to Christmas Day, not long before the Academy made its own announcement about key dates in the Oscar timeline (including an early January 10 date for nominations, which will put some strain on latter-year efforts like this and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained"). But it felt like the right move as there is a family audience waiting to be tapped that week.

Check out the new poster below and tell us what you think in the comments section.

Les Mis

Kristopher Tapley has covered the film awards landscape for over a decade. He founded In Contention in 2005. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Variety. He begs you not to take any of this too seriously.