I really do need to know which ten 2010 films are going to be nominated for Best Picture. It's not too early to figure this out. All the Oscar-campaign publicists have been hired, they all know what's going on, and we at least need to take a reading. Obviously things will evolve and develop over the next four or five months, but anyone who says it's too early to get a fix on things now just isn't being candid.
Definitely Inception and Toy Story 3 -- both pretty much locked as we speak. I'm told that The Kids Are All Right has burrowed right in among the liberal Academy set. Almost certainly The Social Network, even though director David Fincher, I'm hearing, doesn't want to formally "campaign." And possibly The Conspirator, which is going into Toronto guns blazing and is looking at a serious fall-winter campaign. (It seems odd to hear that Robin Wright Penn is going for Best Supporting Actress, considering that she has the female lead role.) So that's two solids, one likely and two semi-probables.
In a fair and just world Biutiful (which Sony Classics will distribute, I'm told) ought to be among the ten. So should Fair Game, which I creamed over in Cannes. (I'm aware that other critics aren't as enthusiastic, but this is a smart and solid piece of work with top-grade performances.) If they both land a nomination that'll make seven.
The remaining three will come from a pack composed of True Grit, Hereafter, Conviction, Everything You've Got, London Boulevard, Love and Other Drugs, Your Highness. Maybe this list should also include Aaron Schneider's Get Low, Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go and/or Tom Hooper's The King's Speech (which has a shot at a Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor nomination for Colin Firth).
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The fact that The Tree of Life by the Endlessly Dilly-Dallying Terrence Malick isn't doing Telluride/Toronto/Venice doesn't mean it's folding its tent altogether, but the fact that folks close to the action are saying "who knows?" and "all bets are off" doesn't exactly imply strength and confidence.
Greenberg and The Ghost Writer are still among the year's best so far. I don't care what anyone else says about this. Anyone who disagrees, I mean.
Mike Leigh's Another Year will open and be well reviewed and go away.