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Inside track on the Oscars' best picture and best director races

November 13, 2009 |  8:29 am

Oscars best picture race news

Two days ago the first installment of The Envelope's print edition was inserted into the L.A. Times. In each issue, the Gold Derby column breaks down the top races into lists for easy handicapping. Click here to see a gallery of the short "spotlight" articles that accompany the lists.

Below is how I size up the races for best picture and director. Bullets note the 10 flicks that I think will be nominated for best picture.


BEST PICTURE
FRONT-RUNNERS
• "Avatar"
"An Education"
• "The Hurt Locker"
• "Inglourious Basterds"
• "Invictus"
"Julie & Julia"
• "The Lovely Bones"
• "Nine"
• "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
• "The Road"
• "A Serious Man"
"Star Trek"
"Up"
• "Up in the Air"

POSSIBLE
"Bright Star"
"Brothers"
"District 9"
"The Hangover"
"It's Complicated"
"The Last Station"
"Sherlock Holmes"
"A Single Man"
"The Young Victoria"

BEST DIRECTOR
FRONT-RUNNERS
J.J. Abrams, "Star Trek"
Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"
James Cameron, "Avatar"
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, "A Serious Man"
Lee Daniels, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, "Up"
Clint Eastwood, "Invictus"
John Hillcoat, "The Road"
Peter Jackson, "The Lovely Bones"
Rob Marshall, "Nine"
Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air"
Lone Scherfig, "An Education"
Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"

POSSIBLE
Neill Blomkamp, "District 9"
Jane Campion, "Bright Star"
Nora Ephron, "Julie & Julia"
Tom Ford, "A Single Man"
Michael Hoffman, "The Last Station"
Nancy Meyers, "It’s Complicated"
Guy Ritchie, "Sherlock Holmes"
Jim Sheridan, "Brothers"
Jean-Marc Vallee, "The Young Victoria"

Photo credits: "Nine" (Weinstein Co.), "Up in the Air" (Paramount) 

OTHER POSTS

Quiz: What movie nabbed the most Oscars without winning best picture?

Hmmm ... Can 'Inglourious Basterds' pull off an upset at the Oscars?

Gold Derby nuggets: Disney nets nab 'Nine' | Dave Karger: Clooney vs. Damon twice? | Will another Disney flick down 'Up'?

20 animated films join a crowded Oscars derby (welcome, Alvin!)

Gold Derby nuggets: Kathy Griffin guests on 'SVU' | Is Meryl Streep playing favorites? | Denzel Washington returns to Broadway

Ooops — strike '2012' off your Oscars best-picture list

Gold Derby nuggets: Busy week for Clint Eastwood; 'Twilight' dominates People's Choice noms; identity crisis for 'A Single Man'; can 'District 9' land in top 10?

Oscars to arrive late at the 'Precious' party?

Gold Derby nuggets: Pundits predict top races at Globes and Oscars | Pete Hammond: 'Brothers' has Oscars pedigree | 'Mad Men' recap and forecast

Gold Derby nuggets: 'August: Osage County' vies for West End kudos | Dave Karger: 'Amazing achievement' of 'Precious' | 'Avatar' is half billion dollar baby

'Precious' star Gabby Sidibe sneaked in and was watching us!

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Precious' shatters box office record; Taylor Swift soars on 'SNL'; still mad for 'Mad Men'

Oscars rewind: 'Slumdog Millionaire' tied for most European Film Awards nominations

Oscars predix for best pix from 16 experts

Oscars quiz: Which movies won for writing, directing and acting, but failed to win best picture?

Quiz: What roles were nominated for both a Razzie and an Oscar?

Oscars predix for best pix: Now the real experts pipe in – our forum moderators

Oscars predix: Who's ahead in the best actress derby?

Oscars predix: Who's ahead in the best actor derby?

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