For the first time in Oscars history, ten nominees--not just five--will be announced very soon in the Motion Picture category. I can't remember the official reason why the Academy made this move, but I think it had something to do with including summer blockbusters and other popular movies among the critical successes.
I'm not convinced that's such a great criteria. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was the highest grossing movie in 2009, at least until Avatar: Revenge of the Cameron hit every theater on the face of the earth. I'm not sure what the demographics look like with regards to the movie-going public, but should we let the accolades go to movies that pander to ... you know what, I'm going to stop that sentence right there before I write something I'll regret.
So, there are ten slots to be filled this year and I don't think I've seen a single film from 2009 yet that has a chance at being nominated. But, I can make some educated guesses.
Up in the Air - Jason Reitman and George Clooney are practically locks for receiving nominations in the director and leading male categories, but I'm willing to bet the movie gets a nomination too.
Avatar - It won the Golden Globe, and I don't think a winner at those awards has been denied a nomination by the Oscars.
The Hurt Locker - It looks like a really good movie, something I'd eagerly sit down to watch, and the film--and Bigelow too--have received heaps of praise.
An Education - Something for the Brits. I say that facetiously, but you must admit that this sounds like the kind of movie that would be right up Oscar's alley.
Invictus - Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Matt Damon tied to the same movie? I'm surprised it didn't get more recognition at the Golden Globes.
Precious - This might be the first time in ages that a film tied to Oprah Winfrey gets some love from Oscar.
Crazy Heart - It's got Jeff Bridges. 'Nuff said. He should have gotten an award for The Big Lebowski, but I'm not bitter. The Dude abides.
Inglorious Basterds - I'd nominate this movie for the trailer alone. I think this is the most antipicated DVD for me right now.
District 9 - Would it be so bad if a smart action, sci-fi movie got nominated? Would it?
Nine - It's a pseudo-musical with a metric ton of star names attached. If it's not nominated, I'll eat my hat.
That's my list. We'll find out what's officially nominated on February 2nd. Anyone have some dark horse picks to make? Or some obvious ones that I missed?