Looking over this fall’s films for Oscar potential, there’s the usual crop of nice, medium-ambitious dramas, handsome literary adaptations, Meryl Streep, and the rare truly unique potential masterpiece that, in a place I like to call Perfect World, would leave all the safer challengers in the dust.

Unfortunately, we live in this world, but here are my picks for the flicks with the best chance for a ticket to the big dance: 

“LINCOLN” (Nov. 16): This is a biopic about the last days of Abraham Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Oscar chances: Just re-read that description. There has never been a more Oscar-y sentence written in the history of the world. How could this movie be more guaranteed an Oscar nomination? Um, maybe if, halfway through the picture, Lincoln tearfully confesses that he never learned to read. And then Meryl Streep teaches him. 

“THE MASTER” (Sept. 14): Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated, super-secret tale of a returning WWII vet whose self-destructiveness is curtailed upon his introduction to a charismatic intellectual’s mysterious, faith-based organization called “The Cause.” (Which is totally, 100 percent not Scientology, nosiree Bob.)

Oscar chances: In the aforementioned Perfect World, every one of Anderson’s films (“Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights,” “Punch Drunk Love,” “Magnolia,” “There Will Be Blood”) would have been Oscar nominees, at least. In the world we’re stuck with, however, the Academy is usually too timid to appreciate the director’s intensely weird vision, although with the possibility of up to 10 nominees this year, it might be hard to shut “The Master” out. Unless Tom Cruise (or Xenu) has anything to say about it … 

“TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE” (Sept. 28): Crusty Clint Eastwood plays a crusty aging baseball scout who ropes his estranged daughter (Amy Adams) into accompanying him on one last recruitment trip, since his eyes are going bad. Possibly because of all the crust.

Oscar chances: It’s a good sign that Clint is neither writing nor directing this one, as his penchant for complete prosaic obviousness in his own films has rendered his latter movies dramatically inert. (See “Invictus.” Or don’t.) But nobody does crusty old guy who breaks your heart better than Eastwood at this point, and the whole “we’d better give the beloved icon an award, you know, before it’s too late” angle should ensure at least a nomination. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good baseball movie, so sue me. 

“ARGO” (Oct. 12): In a lesser-known true story, during the Iranian revolution, six American diplomats hide out in the home of the Canadian ambassador, and a CIA agent tries to smuggle them out of the country.

Oscar chances: Snicker all you want, but Ben Affleck has revealed himself as a very talented director (his “Gone Baby Gone” was better than the same year’s other Boston-based crime drama “The Departed” in every way). And, with a compelling cast of character actors (Kyle Chandler, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Chris Messina, Clea DuVall), and the always attractive “true story” bait, don’t be surprised to see a Best Picture nod, among others. 

“ANNA KARENINA” (Nov. 16): Director Joe Wright re-teams with his “Pride & Prejudice leading lady Keira Knightly for another lavish prestige adaptation of a literary legend.

Oscar chances: This is the sort of pretty, noble literary period picture that usually guarantees an Oscar … nomination. 

“LIFE OF PI” (Nov. 23): In this lavish adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker Prize-winning fantasy novel, a young Indian boy ends up after a shipwreck on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger.

Oscar chances: Tricky. This is the sort of fantastical literary adaptation which, if done wrong, will inspire giggles (or snoozing) more than wonder. However, director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) knows the adaptation (and Oscar) waters well, and I’d count on him steering this one into a nomination. 

“HOPE SPRINGS” (released Aug. 10): A long-married couple (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones) sheepishly attend therapist Steve Carell’s weeklong marriage counseling workshop.

Oscar chances: A nomination lock for two reasons. One, Meryl “Oscar Bait” Streep is in it. And two, it’s a rare, well-reviewed romantic drama for adults and, with the majority of the Academy being well-off, white and late-middle-aged, let’s just say “Hope Springs” is in their demographic wheelhouse, so to speak. 

“HYDE PARK ON HUDSON” (Dec. 7): In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt must entertain the visiting king and queen of England while working out how to maintain his affair with distant cousin Margaret Suckley and his marriage to Eleanor.

Oscar chances: What could be yet another nice, crowd-pleasing historical drama your mom will love (like “The King’s Speech,” whose King George VI is a character here), “Hyde Park on Hudson” instead fairly crackles with promise, due to one thing — Bill Murray as FDR.

Murray has never been anything less than alive onscreen, and has proven his dramatic chops more than once at this point, but his casting here introduces an element of unpredictability and risk. In Perfect World, Bill Murray has more Oscars than Tom Hanks. In this world, the Academy may not be able to handle him. 

“LES MISERABLES” (Dec. 14): Speaking of “The King’s Speech,” director Tom Hooper’s followup is this big-budget adaptation of the monstrously successful, overpraised Broadway musical version of a novel by Victor Hugo that musical fans haven’t bothered to read.

Oscar chances: On the one hand there’s no way that this isn’t getting a Best Picture nomination. On the other, movies of Broadway musicals have serious trainwreck potential (ahem, “Phantom of the Opera.”) On the third hand, does anyone really want to hear Russel Crowe sing? I mean, I’ve heard his band … 

“THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY” (Dec. 14): In the first of three(!) planned hobbit-y prequels to his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, director Peter Jackson shows how Bilbo (a perfectly cast Martin Freeman) left Bag End, began his adventures and found the ring that caused all the troubles.

Oscar chances: It’s tempting to say this is a “Spielberg/Day-Lewis/Lincoln”-level lock for a Best Picture nomination, but there have been some troubling rumblings about Jackson’s infatuation with some new, untested digital filming technology. Plus, as with the LOTR films, voters might be waiting for the third film’s big finish to bestow the big prize. Still, I’m going to see it. 

Dennis Perkins writes the Indie Film column for GO.