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Best Picture 
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Post Best Picture
Ten nominees! Oooh, the prediction process is exciting this year. Let's start discussing some locks.

PRECIOUS
~It's been receiving buzz all year round. I'd say the only thing going against it is the fact that it's small, which isn't enough reason to discount it. Heck, for all we know, the film could become a blockbuster out of marketing. (That's unlikely, but you get what I mean.) We won't know until next weekend and we see the per theater average. In any case, I think it's safe to call this a nominee.

THE HURT LOCKER
~Pretty much everyone loved The Hurt Locker and it was reasonably successful to boot. People remember the film, so I think it's a lock.

UP IN THE AIR
~Reitman comes with another Toronto favorite. This film's been loved by everyone, drawing comparisons to the work of Billy Wilder. That's high praise for a man with only three films under his belt. It's a lock.

AN EDUCATION
~I'm not sure if this would be nominated given the five film limit, but the strength of the filmmaking and performances jettison this picture to a guaranteed nomination.

INVICTUS
~Even if it ends up being good but not great, it has enough star power (namely Freeman, Damon, and Eastwood behind the camera) to propel it to a nomination. I mean, the film looks very good from the trailer. All we were waiting for was a trailer.

I'm not saying these would be the nominated five were there five nominees, but they're locks nonetheless.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT: Nine, Avatar, The Lovely Bones, Inglourious Basterds, Bright Star, Up, A Serious Man, A Single Man, District 9, Star Trek, The Last Station, and The Road.


Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:13 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
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Post Re: Best Picture
At this point if I were to guess what the ten nominees would be it would probably be:


Up in the Air
Invictus
The Lovely Bones
Precious
Nine
Up
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Road
Avatar


Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:53 pm
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Post Re: Best Picture
Are they going to allow an animated film to be nominated for Best Picture this year?..or are you guys just speculating?

I don't have 10 but here are some that I think will get the most consideration:

Invictus
Up in the Air
A Serious Man
The Lovely Bones
Avatar (If it can get past the hype surrounding it and actually put naysayers in their place)
The Road
Nine

I can't see the Hurt Locker in for best picture. It was certainly a great film that kept you on the edge of your seat, but it just doesn't "feel" like an oscar film to me.


Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:07 pm
Post Re: Best Picture
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Are they going to allow an animated film to be nominated for Best Picture this year?..or are you guys just speculating?

It's always allowed, just a long shot because they semi-segregated animated films to their own category. I think Up certainly has a chance with the 10-nominee field this year.


Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:13 pm
Post Re: Best Picture
They'll never put an animated movie in the Best Picture category.

I would love to be proven wrong, of course.


Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:42 am
Post Re: Best Picture
Ken wrote:
They'll never put an animated movie in the Best Picture category.

I would love to be proven wrong, of course.


You'd be right if that was how Oscar voting worked.

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB123388752673155403.html?mod=blog

Right there's a great article from the Wall Street Journal that explains the very flawed voting system. There's really nothing in the article that would infer the reason animated films get kicked out of the top five is anything but the voters' fault. Let's go back to last year, for example. If the the number of nominees were expanded to ten, I GUARANTEE that WALL-E would have been nominated. I'm sure when it comes to ranking, The Dark Knight was number six and WALL-E was number seven. Going back to this year, I think it's VERY likely that Up will be nominated (especially because of the expansion). The only reason I didn't put it in the lock category is not because it's animated, but rather because I'm not 100% on how Oscar voters will swing for it.

This is what I consider to be a likely line-up, in order, assuming the three juggernauts live up to their promises:

Avatar
The Lovely Bones
Invictus
Precious
Up in the Air
Nine
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Up
Inglourious Basterds

Some personal thoughts:
~I don't think the Academy is going to embrace A Serious Man enough to nominate it. I've been wrong before, though.
~I think District 9 has more of a chance than Star Trek, but it's going to be vying with Inglourious Basterds for that last spot.
~I don't think The Road will be nominated. Some people will appreciate its unrelenting bleakness, but not everyone.
~The Last Station and A Single Man are wildcards. If they get some marketing behind them, don't count them out (especially if Avatar, The Lovely Bones, and Nine end up sucking).
~I don't know what to do about Bright Star. Jane Campion's got some respect within the Academy, but I don't see it nominated for Best Picture at this moment in time. In terms of box office, it kind of came and went, so I'm not sure who saw it.
~Yes, I do think if Avatar delivers on its promises, it could win. Not a nomination. A win. However, I can definitely see it losing to The Lovely Bones and Invictus, and even Precious. (This is if it's good, mind you.)
~I wonder if the grassroots campaign behind Moon (particularly for Sam Rockwell) is going to get anywhere.


Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:34 pm
Post Re: Best Picture
Pedro wrote:
~I don't know what to do about Bright Star. Jane Campion's got some respect within the Academy, but I don't see it nominated for Best Picture at this moment in time. In terms of box office, it kind of came and went, so I'm not sure who saw it.


I haven't seen it, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't nominated. One of the themes this year seems to be female directors, so I think both this film and The Hurt Locker have an excellent chance.


Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:24 pm
Post Re: Best Picture
ed_metal_head wrote:
Pedro wrote:
~I don't know what to do about Bright Star. Jane Campion's got some respect within the Academy, but I don't see it nominated for Best Picture at this moment in time. In terms of box office, it kind of came and went, so I'm not sure who saw it.


I haven't seen it, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't nominated. One of the themes this year seems to be female directors, so I think both this film and The Hurt Locker have an excellent chance.


I think Bigelow is going to win. The movie will get a nomination for Best Pic but won't win, but I really feel Bigelow taking the trophy, with her highest competition being Eastwood and Lee Daniels. Jackson should get nominated, then maybe Marshall? Who knows.

I think the following are locks:

Precious
Invictus
The Hurt Locker
Up in the Air
Nine

Everything else is a variable to me.


Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:49 am
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Post Re: Best Picture
I'll amdit I haven't heard of a lot of these movies, but I've been in Combat Training in New Jersey for almost all October and shipped to Afghanistan last week. I'll be on the lookout for these.


Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:27 am
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Post Re: Best Picture
Ken wrote:
They'll never put an animated movie in the Best Picture category.

I would love to be proven wrong, of course.



They've already nominated an animated movie in best picture. Beauty and the Beast was nominated in 1992.


Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:13 am
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Post Re: Best Picture
ilovemovies wrote:
They've already nominated an animated movie in best picture. Beauty and the Beast was nominated in 1992.
At the risk of stating the obvious, 17 years have passed between then and now. The Academy hasn't grown especially permissive in that time.


Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:04 am
Post Re: Best Picture
Ken wrote:
ilovemovies wrote:
They've already nominated an animated movie in best picture. Beauty and the Beast was nominated in 1992.
At the risk of stating the obvious, 17 years have passed between then and now. The Academy hasn't grown especially permissive in that time.


True. But... my guess is that, with 10 nominees, Up will see the nomination as Best Picture as a way awarding something non-Pixar in the Best Animated Feature category. The way the Academy plays, two wins in a row (first for Wall-E, second for Up) just feels unlikely. The Best Picture nod will be a consolation prize, of sorts.


Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:09 am
Post Re: Best Picture
majoraphasia wrote:
True. But... my guess is that, with 10 nominees, Up will see the nomination as Best Picture as a way awarding something non-Pixar in the Best Animated Feature category. The way the Academy plays, two wins in a row (first for Wall-E, second for Up) just feels unlikely. The Best Picture nod will be a consolation prize, of sorts.


That's an interesting thought. What do you think will win Best Animated Feature if not Up? I'd like to believe Mary and Max is a frontrunner, but it's probably not even going to be nominated.


Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:54 am
Post Re: Best Picture
Pedro wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
True. But... my guess is that, with 10 nominees, Up will see the nomination as Best Picture as a way awarding something non-Pixar in the Best Animated Feature category. The way the Academy plays, two wins in a row (first for Wall-E, second for Up) just feels unlikely. The Best Picture nod will be a consolation prize, of sorts.


That's an interesting thought. What do you think will win Best Animated Feature if not Up? I'd like to believe Mary and Max is a frontrunner, but it's probably not even going to be nominated.

Umm, can't it win best animated feature and also be nominated for best picture?

My thoughts on the best animated feature category:
What I would like to be nominated:
Astro Boy
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox (I am assuming, haven't seen it yet)
Ponyo
Up

What will be nominated:
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Disney’s A Christmas Carol
Ponyo
The Princess and the Frog
Up

I would be happy with Coraline, Ponyo, or Up winning (all ***1/2 films for me this year, no animated film got ****, at least so far).


Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:11 am
Post Re: Best Picture
Trevor wrote:
Umm, can't it win best animated feature and also be nominated for best picture?


Of course it can. My scenario was purely hypothetical.

That said, I think Coraline has the win in place. Since the inception of the Best Animated Feature category they haven't awarded a film that looks anything like Coraline. I believe they could take a break from the CGI features and give Selick his due. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit won but it just isn't the same.

Trevor's list is the same as my list, replacing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs with Coraline.

So...
Coraline
Disney’s A Christmas Carol
Ponyo
The Princess and the Frog
Up

Disney's hand-drawn affair is being heralded (via marketing) as their return to quality storytelling like that of The Lion King or the rest of the crowd prior to the Roseanne Barr Cow Flick.


Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:22 am
Post Re: Best Picture
Hmm, just realized I was starting to hijack a thread about best picture.

Further discussion of the best animated feature category can be found here.


Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:55 am
Post Re: Best Picture
Some updates:

1. The Lovely Bones has been premiered to some very mixed reviews. Most of them have either been glowingly positive or rather negative, with very little people in the middle ground. I recently listened to a podcast with Kris Tapley and Anne Thompson, and while both of their opinions were incredibly positives, they observed in their screenings that perhaps critics won't take to it as fondly as they did. Not only is the film dealing with a creative treatment of a sensitive subject, but it's also dealing with an adaptation of a book that deviates a bit from said source. It's hard to detach yourselves if you're familiar with the original source material, and not everyone's going to like that Jackson did this. Meanwhile, one my favorite film critics - Emmanuel Levy - gave the film an A-, so whatever.

2. The aforementioned Anne Thompson recently had a guest over for Thanksgiving dinner that had seen Avatar. Apparently, Cameron held a secret screening for forty or so of his filmmaking friends to get real feedback. The response? Game changer. This is allegedly the second source to report a similar opinion. Take that for what you will.

3. Invictus reviews have been coming in. They've been all over the place. The general consensus is that it's one of Eastwood's weaker efforts, but it's still going to be a Best Picture nominee. However, the number of nominations it might get will probably be low. From what I've read, editing and art direction at the very least are not in its future. Also, Matt Damon's role is allegedly not big enough to garner a Best Supporting Actor nomination. (And it might be boring, too.) We'll see.

4. Nine just might be a guilty pleasure. Cruz, Cotillard, and Dench have been getting positive responses, while Fergie and Hudson have... not been talked about, to put it politely. Nine's the kind of movie that's a labor of love that's not going to amount to a masterpiece. Kris Tapley argues that it should have been longer, to give more opportunities to breathe and develop characters. It doesn't really do that in its current incarnation, and that's going to prevent it from winning.

SO: I'm still not convinced The Lovely Bones is out of the running. We'll need to see more critic reviews before we judge properly. However, Invictus and Nine are not going to win if this information is to remain consistent. Again, take it for what you will.


Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:20 pm
Post Re: Best Picture
The LATimes has a nice little table with the "expert" opinions on the Best Picture race:

http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2009/12/avatar-hurt-locker-movies-news.html

It appears that the following are the front runners (in order):

Up in the Air
The Hurt Locker
Precious

It surprises me that Nine is still being talked about after receiving a critical pummeling. I mentioned this before but A.O. Scott gave the film 0.5/5 stars.

I did notice a headline from the same publication saying that Avatar is gathering considerable momentum.


Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:24 am
Post Re: Best Picture
I don't think UP will be in the mix of the ten best picture nominees. We have
Up In The Air
The Hurt Locker
Precious
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Invictus
Avatar
Nine
The Last Station

Frankly, I find this 10 nominees thing ridiculous. The five films from the above list which shouldn't be even on this list are: Invictus, The Last Station, Nine, Avatar and Precious. I hope they revert to five nominees in the following years.


Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:22 am
Post Re: Best Picture
gkanchan wrote:
I don't think UP will be in the mix of the ten best picture nominees. We have
Up In The Air
The Hurt Locker
Precious
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Invictus
Avatar
Nine
The Last Station

Frankly, I find this 10 nominees thing ridiculous. The five films from the above list which shouldn't be even on this list are: Invictus, The Last Station, Nine, Avatar and Precious. I hope they revert to five nominees in the following years.


I agree that this year is something of a weird year to try out the whole ten nominee thing, but it is what it is. Avatar has The Dark Knight to thank for its Best Picture inclusion, regardless of how you feel about it. I disagree on Up, though, and I don't think The Last Station is really in the discussion at all. I'm surprised more people on this board don't think An Education is a lock, especially given the strength of its cast, screenplay, and filmmaking elements. The only reason it's not as sure of a thing as it once was is the lack of Globe nominations - Mulligan aside. It made up for that with a SAG nomination for Best Ensemble, though.


Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:21 am
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