The announcement of the National Board of Review's picks on December 3rd, as is tradition, will bring down the checked flag for the start of Awards season. Here at One Line Review, Pre-Awards season begins with the simultaneous publication in the first weekend of November of the Los Angeles Times's "Holiday Movie Sneaks," Entertainment Weekly's Holiday Movie Preview Issue [see note, however] (which contains their early guesses in Oscar's Best Picture, Directing, and Acting races), and Awards-Season Previews in the trades. Note: This year, The EW Holiday Movie Preview issue was pushed a week (presumably because it was the first FULL weekend in Nov.) I therefore delayed my blog entry to today. On Monday, I feel we can safely stand around the water cooler and say the word "Oscar" without fear of "already?" (These year-round Oscar websites, however, to me, are the equivalent of playing Christmas music in July.)
Going straight to the belly of the beast, I was struck yet again by how DISASTROUSLY STUPID the Oscars are in DOUBLING the number of Best Picture contenders. I APPLAUD EW for STILL only listing five predictions! I bet they originally had ten and then they saw how totally unwieldy the list was and went 'oh hell' and brought it back down to five. What's so sad is I think 2009 is a GREAT year for movies-- I could already put together a top ten-- and EW's predix for the top five Best Pictures-- Hurt Locker, Invictus, Lovely Bones, Precious, Up in the Air, make it look so deadly dull. I don't know, for some reason the magic is gone.
There are at least six acting "locks" it seems coming into the season: Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia), Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), Mo'nique (Precious). Also with a big chance for an acting nom is Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker).
Films I look forward to— Oscar or otherwise— include: 2012 (don't pretend you don't too), Avatar, Broken Embraces, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Me and Orson Welles, Nine, and Sherlock Holmes.
Like I said earlier, I already have more than enough films to create a top ten from, so even if a few of the upcoming films turn out to be great, it will make for one heck of a movie year.