Monday, July 6, 2009

Empire's Early Contenders

Since the Academy has announced the Best Picture category will have ten nominees this year, numerous early speculations have been made as to which films will make the list. I always found it pointless this early in the game to try to guess who will make the Best Picture list because some films which get nominated aren't on anyone's radar (Frost/Nixon, The Reader and winner Slumdog Millionaire from last year weren't on a lot of early shortlists) but it gives a good idea on which films to watch to see if they live up to the early buzz, who to look at for acting, directing and screenwriting noms. On Empire's Internet site I saw a slideshow of 31 films believed to be early contenders for next year's Oscar race. They included what they believe to be their chances to pick up a nomination by marking their status. I'd like to share with you what they think of the films they mentionned according to the status they chose:
Locks: Up, Invictus, Nine, Shutter Island, The Lovely Bones
Looking Good: Green Zone, Public Enemies, The Informant, The Road, The Tree of Life, Avatar, Funny People, Brothers
Dark Horses: The Hurt Locker, A Serious Man, Inglourious Basterds, Cheri, 500 Days of Summer, Julie & Julia, Where the Wild Things Are, A Christmas Carol, The Twilight Saga's New Moon, My Sister's Keeper
Rank Outsiders: In the Loop, I Love You Phillip Morris, Star Trek, Watchmen, An Education, The Time Traveler's Wife
Dead in the Water: Away We Go (their argument is its mixed reviews, indie status and summer release will hurt its chances at an Oscar nom. While not saying I believe this film will end up in the top 10, personally I loved it and seeing films like Watchmen and New Moon ranked as Outsiders or Dark Horses, I would consider this film having a better chance than the latter, but that's just my opinion).
And as the winner (forcing Empire to dive up the top of mappin house in despair) they jokingly declared the untitled Nancy Meyers Comedy.
According to the Internet movie database, Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life is scheduled only for a 2010 release, so that would mean if you include the top 2 categories, we would have 12 potential films vying for the 10 spots, meaning these would make the shortlist:
Shutter Island
The Lovely Bones
Green Zone
Public Enemies
The Informant
The Road
Funny People
While this list might seem good right now, there are a few films I could name we could try to categorize, notably Amelia, Precious which is getting good reviews especially for Mo'Nique's performance, Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces and Jason Reitman's next project, Up in the Air starring George Clooney and Jason Bateman. Of course, there will probably more films to speculate on in the following months most of us haven't heard of yet, some could get pushed back to next year or some will not live up to the hype. Needless to say, I expect this list to change somewhat in time and I think around October, probably November we will have a better idea on which films to include in that prestigious top 10. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this early posting on what the buzz is on these big pictures. Matt Damon in three of the Best Picture nominees? I would like that. I am hearing some disturbing stuff about 'The Lovely Bones' that I hope will not be visible in the finished cut. Is Grandma Lynn's role big/showy enough for Susan Sarandon to get another Oscar nomination? Hard to believe she is playing a grandmother because she still looks amazing, but I just don't see Mark Wahlberg as the dad nor Stanley Tucci as the bad guy [sorry if that's a spoiler but it's all over the internet]. It sure seems to me that 'Nine' and 'Invictus' are the ones to beat, but 'Shutter Island' could be a dark horse because it certainly looks dark! Excited that talk about the Oscar race is happening so early because there's certainly nothing at the multiplexes right now except 'Public Enemies' and 'Up' that will be considered.

Anonymous said...

After seeing both these movies, I would move 'The Hurt Locker' up one category to Looking Good and move 'Funny People' out of contention for anything - except for most hyped, most boring film of the year.

Time for a new post, doncha think?