Time to give a little bit of Oscar contender attention.
Some movies are emerging as front-runners and some are sitting on the sidelines. Some are yet to be seen but the trailers have created interest.
Of course now that there are 10 Best Picture nominations it opens up the field a bit.
But really it is the films that also pick up director and screenplay noms that are to be taken seriously.
1. The Social Network.
David Fincher’s film about the creation of Facebook. The film has had excellent reviews. It has an Aaron Sorkin script that harks back to the 70’s dialogue driven films, and it is doing very well at the box office – it is a shoo in.
2. Toy Story 3.
3. 127 Hours
Danny Boyle’s first film since his Oscar winner “Slumdog Millionaire”. The true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston who, after being trapped under a boulder for 5 days, cuts off his own arm to survive. It has had excellent reviews and James Franco should be up for an actor nomination – long overdue.
Christopher Nolan’s mega hit film both popular with audiences and critics. It can’t be ignored with 10 slots to fill. It is an intelligent blockbuster film – how often does that happen? Everytime Chris Nolan helms a film I guess! The Academy will want to amend his much talked about lock out with “The Dark Knight” a couple of years back – some say the reason the list has been expanded from 5 to 10.
5. True Grit.
Unseen but with a terrific trailer, the new film by Oscar darlings – The Coen Bros is generating buzz. It is a remake of the 1969 western that starred John Wayne. Jeff Bridges takes on the role of Rooster Cogburn so he should expect another nom after his win last year. Apparently this version follows the novel it is based on more closely than the previous film.
This years “Blind Side”? A film about a racehorse that wins the American triple crown. Diane Lane stars as the horses owner. This kind of feel-good movie always does well with the Academy, even if the critics are lukewarm.
7. Black Swan.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky who won favour with the Academy a few years back with “The Wrestler”. This psychological thriller set in the tough world of ballet stars Natalie Portman who has the critics raving. It could be a bit too dark.
8. The Kids Are All Right.
A critical hit and respectable box-office earner over the US summer, this little indie film should fill the “Little Miss Sunshine” slot. Annette Bening should also be recognised. It’s one of my faves so far this year.
9. The Kings Speech.
A hit at Venice and Toronto film festival. It could be this years “The Queen”. The critics and audiences seem to love it. Colin Firth & Geoffrey Rush look likely to nab a nom each.
10. Another Year
British director Mike Leigh’s latest, another kitchen sink comedy/drama – The Academy love him and he is yet to win. He has a couple of wonderful actresses Leslie Manville & Ruth Sheen who could join other previous ‘Leigh’ ladies on the Oscar trail.
Of course there are a lot more not on this preliminary list. As it develops I will update. In further posts I will look at other categories.