So, the announcement of the National Board of Review picks on December 3rd, as is tradition, sends the checkered flag down for the commencement of movie "awards season." I'm of the opinion that "awards season" goes on forever, but I think an anticipatory period is not out of the question. When Entertainment Weekly bumped up their publication of their "Holiday Movie Preview" Issue (I was surprised to see it in my mailbox on Friday) to the same weekend that the L.A. Times traditionally publishes its "Holiday Movie Sneaks" it just seems natural that this is the moment that we can all allow ourselves to stand around the water cooler and say the word "Oscar" without shame. Hence, Pre-Award Season Begins.
2007 is shaping up to be the best year yet this decade for movies, so I'm hoping and praying that the end-of-the-year Oscar fodder doesn't disappoint.
Entertainment Weekly has made a list of Oscar Contenders and my first glance opinion is that they are right on about everything except for Cate Blanchett's nomination for ELIZABETH-- I think everyone is Elizabethed-out. I think the most-likely "long shots" on their list to nab a nomination include: Emile Hirsch in INTO THE WILD (lead actor), Keira Knightley in ATONEMENT (lead actress), and Ruby Dee in AMERICAN GANGSTER (supporting actress). I expect INTO THE WILD, in particular, to gain Oscar momentum.
I'm happy to see, Oscar talk aside, a significant number of "popcorn" movies for the holidays. Can't wait to see: FRED CLAUS, BEOWULF, MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM, I AM LEGEND, NATIONAL TREASURE 2, and even possibly ALIEN VS. PREDATOR 2.