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Oscars' best-picture race: 12 front-runners

October 23, 2009 |  5:43 pm

Now that "Amelia" has dropped out of the Oscar sky, fewer possibilities remain on the best-picture horizon. As I size up the top race at this point, we have 12 front-runners for the 10 spots in that category plus a few other possibilities.

Avatar Nine Precious Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire The Road


"An Education"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"The Lovely Bones"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"The Road"
"A Serious Man"
"Up in the Air"

"District 9"
"The Hangover"
"It's Complicated"
"Julie & Julia"
"The Last Station"
"A Single Man"
"Star Trek"

"Bright Star"
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
"The White Ribbon"

Photo: 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Weinstein Co.

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The comments to this entry are closed.


Jake, I agree. I don't understand why Away We Go has gotten no love. What a wonderful film - it still resonates with me and is in the top three of the films I've seen thus far this year.

How do you base this garbage? Half of the movies on your list haven't even been released yet. They could stink. I don't see Sherlock Holmes up there on your list and it hasn't been viewed by the Academy members yet. The script for it was great. The mystery to be solved besides the action is great. Robert Downey Jr is also a fantastic actor. So he could be there. I also saw Up in the Air at the Toronto film festival and thought it was terrible. Same old Clooney material. It is not as promissing as everyone thinks it is. Yet, naturally George Clooney is an Oscar contender? Interesting? I also saw The Road in Toronto, not that great either. Some good moments some terrible, yet not fantastic. The same should be said for Inglorious Basterds. I didn't think it was a great movie. Brad Pitt was not even in the movie enough to call him the star. However, he's an Academy favorite so-he will be nominated? I do believe as I have for years that the Oscars are fixed. They have their favorites and that is who they choose. Why should Invictus be there? Because Clint Eastwood directed it? It is a limited run movie with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in it about Soccer in South Africa. Maybe 16 people will see it. Yet, it is Oscar worthy because of Clint Eastwood? Will all the actresses from Nine be there on Oscar day whether they can act or not? I saw the play 8 1/2 and it was terrible years ago all they did was change the number, not the script. Yet I am sure it will win large. The Oscars are a SERIOUS joke anymore that is why people do not watch them. Why care? The same garbage wins year after year. Do people really think adding 10 movies to the best picture list will make a difference? I still only see 5 decent movies there on your list right now. The rest haven't been viewed yet, YOU are making assumptions!

Two months to go, and you've not got one "Guaranteed." No guts; Sad year.

You can take The Road out of the front-runners list since most of the reviews of the film are negative.

Hey Tom:

Think you're missing a bet by leaving out these:

The Messenger
Capitalism: A Love Story
Where the Wild Things Are
500 Days of Summer
Sherlock Holmes


Of all of these "Up" is still my favorite .
An Education nobody will remember-its not great . The 10 slots is so films the public likes will be nominated . Just like they used to be before critics screwed it up. Think of 1939 - great films that year. So Star Trek is in , Sherlock Holmes could be in . Broken Embraces , Coco before Chanel what about them ? Last Station sounds like a new" Lion in Winter" - thats in, if it lives up to the hype- this could be best film .

(500) Days of Summer? That was a great movie.

how about A Single Man? or The Men Who Stare at Goats? really excited for both of those. I agree also about Wild Things

and i know i'm probably the only person who LOVED Away We Go, but i still think it could go in the long shots section, esp. since the academy got some shit for almost entirely snubbing revolutionary road last year....

I think that "Where the Wild Things Are" has more propability that District 9, Julie & Julia, The Hangover, Brothers and Fantastic Mr.Fox

helloooo... Public Enemies anyone??? it deserves to be on the list

Wish this had en edit button-(as you can see)
I've been odds-making *OSCAR since 1982-(a great movie year)
Did lousy until '86-(the yr of *"Platoon") & as I somewhat predicted here and elsewhere, I bet the pre-OSCAR Film Critics Awards go with something like "Hurt Locker" However, *ACADEMY as you of all fellow pundits agree, tend to vote for big flix, though within the last decade it did go for smaller films>*"Slumdog..." *"No Country for 0ld Man" *"Crash" I've just had a gut feeling for months "Nine" will likely lead the field come nomination day.
& of course R. Marshall has yet to win as well


To Tom, quite take back about not including "Amelia?"
Even though reviews may not be strong it's still the A-type of period pc & bio voters adore.
Don't know if you saw "Avatar" but some others have complained about it.
& though still very early, if you deducted 2 which would they be?


A Serious Man

Personally, I can't go for the fun and games aspect of "Inglorious Basterds".
The holocaust is too serious for me to go for it!

I just hope that the new generations don't take the holocaust lightly from now on. Just my personal opinion.

Re: "Amelia": I thought it was going to be a winner in all categories. It seemed to be handed to the filmmakers on a golden platter! Everything was there for the taking!

But then I remember the wit of whomever said: "Nobody starts out to make a bad picture!"

Very happy to see Avatar on your list of probables Tom.

In no way am I a "pre-hater" and my fingers are crossed that the film has a great narrative to go along with it's visuals.

How about Un prophete and The White Ribbon making the "possible" list? Or are they so unlikely they're both off the radar?



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