By John C.
While half the world will be watching come Tuesday morning to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, the other half will be watching as the nominee's for the 82nd Academy Awards are announced.
The moments leading up to the announcement for the nominees, are almost more nerve-wracking than watching the perfect procession of the Oscars ceremony unfold. It’s always easier to play the game, once you know which cards you’re playing with. And this year it will be even more exciting, because, for the first time since 1943, 10 films will be competing for the top prize of Best Picture.
We have watched the rise and fall of several films, that, this time last year were the predicted contenders. Namely The Lovely Bones and Nine. We’ve seen Inglourious Basterds go from end of summer film, to, just in the last few months, a more than likely Best Picture nominee. The film that arguably started the summer of ‘09, Star Trek, is also now a very real contender.
Last July, The Hurt Locker opened to meager box office takings, but bona fide critical raves. It took a back seat as we watched Precious and Up in the Air each get their two weeks of being the front runner, and as The Lovely Bones and Nine fell down. Then along came Avatar, and The Hurt Locker shot back into top spot. This race has become, regardless of whatever’s nominated, neck-in-neck between The Hurt Locker and Avatar.
After many months, 9 films have emerged as more than likely contenders for Best Picture. But there are many more that could fill in that tenth spot. The 9 that I’m almost certain will get through?
A Serious Man
The Hurt Locker
Up in the Air
And that tenth spot will likely go to something like Star Trek or District 9. But I have a feeling it could go to a total dark horse like The Hangover, The Messenger, or even Fantastic Mr. Fox. Which were all roundly raved about by critics, but Star Trek, Mr. Fox and The Hangover, had the added bonus of pure audience appreciation.
The Messenger, to my knowledge, doesn’t even have a Canadian distributor yet, so if it does manage to get through, hopefully it would be pushed into distribution.
The Blind Side is another film that could end up with a nomination. It’s the tenth film that Roger Ebert is predicting will get through. Though the film wasn’t critically acclaimed in all circles, I for one really enjoyed it. It’s definitely a possible and worthy contender.
What do I predict the tenth spot will go to? Well, it changes all the time. The other day, as I waited for the lights to go down on St. John of Las Vegas, I proudly predicted in my notebook that it would be going to The Hangover. Probably not, but like I said, my thoughts on “# 10” are changing all the time.
I think it will likely be one of the really popular choices, something that struck a chord with audiences, like Star Trek, The Hangover, or even The Blind Side. But The Blind Side had the added bonus of an Oscar-worthy storyline and performances. No matter what, there’s going to be a surprise come Tuesday morning.
Check back tomorrow morning for full coverage of the nominees, starting at 8:30 AM EST.