Yes, if you ask me, "Avatar" will be a best-picture nominee despite the longstanding curse against sci-fi flicks at the Oscars. (Only two have been nominated for the top prize: "Star Wars" and "E.T.") "Avatar" is among the long-shot contenders in top races cited in a thread you should check out in our forums. It asks: "Dark horse nominees? Who are we underestimating?" Here are some sample responses:
seanflynn — My shot-in-the-dark prediction on "'Avatar." James Cameron decides that no screeners will be sent out — the film is meant to be seen in 3D, thus academy members (and other guilds) need to see it that way or not at all . . . . This is going to be a real issue in future years as more live action Oscar contenders are made in 3D, at least until we have 3D TV.
Addison DeWitt — Having just seen "Precious" in NY, I think we're underestimating Mariah Carey. She is in some of the most compelling scenes of the film, and she's actually unrecognizable and great.
Puxzkkx — Best actor: Sharlto Copley, "District 9." Best actress: Shohreh Aghdashloo, "The Stoning of Soraya M."
LonePirate — Robert DeNiro, "Everybody's Fine"
Cassius — Best picture: 'Star Trek.' Many people have said that the reason for opening up the race to 10 movies is to give a movie the masses embraced a place at the table. Well, this is the one that seems to have the mix of popularity, critical praise, and artistry to get in, although its title is probably its biggest weakness.
MicheBel — "The Messenger": best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, best screenplay, best editing (IMHO). Ben Foster is absolutely fantastic. He has an incredible monologue that just screams: Hand this man an Oscar!
Photo: 20th Century Fox