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. However, this year, The EW Holiday Movie Preview issue was pushed a week throwing the whole system off. I think next year my blog entry for "Pre-Awards Season Begins" will be for the L.A. Times/ EW/ or the announcement of the Cecil B. DeMIlle— whichever comes out first. But with all three out now, 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, though, to me, are the equivalent of playing Christmas music in July. There is a chart of Oscarists' predictions of what will WIN Best Picture currently online... this is SO weird.)
EW lists their Oscar nominations predictions, separating a "top five" for Best Picture (lest we forget AMPAS in their infinite wisdom decided to expand BP to ten noms) in their Holiday Movie Preview. This year, curiously, four of the five are not upcoming releases: Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The Social Network, Toy Story 3. The lone upcoming title is: The King's Speech.
There are several acting "locks" it seems coming into the season, leaving little wiggle-room for surprise. Take Best Actor, for example: Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception), Robert Duvall (Get Low), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Colin Firth (The King's Speech), and James Franco (127 Hours)... that's five... but of course, we'll see how it all pans out.
Films I look forward to seeing this holiday season include: Black Swan, How Do You Know, The King's Speech, Narnia: Dawn Treader.