The 2010 Oscar Race Begins… ‘The Contenders’ Has Officially Opened

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I’ve talked about it for nearly a month and I can now officially say the 2010 edition of “The Contenders” is now live with Oscar nomination predictions nearly eight months in advance of their Tuesday, February 2, 2010 announce date as well as a list of 30 films I consider to be the top contenders for the major awards.

Of course, for those that followed my predictions and Oscar coverage last year, you already know this is just the start of things and I am getting started much sooner than I did last year. Last year “The Contenders” opened on September 1 and I didn’t offer up my first predictions until November 20. So yeah, these are early, early, early predictions, but we need a starting point and now we have one.

Things are a little bit different this year, but not much. You can still click on the contender titles for updated information (release date, studio, website, RopeofSilicon review), photos and the trailer, but this year I have also added the cast, director and MPAA rating information.

I have also developed a new admin to control the front page updates, which will now include instant links to any Oscar Contender related articles as well as a new “News” and “Links” feature pointing you to relevant articles around the Internet.

Speaking of links, I have also added a couple of new sites to the “Blogs to Watch” section, which now includes five of my personal favorites. Here’s a breakdown:

Awards Daily: Run by Sasha Stone with plenty of contributions by Ryan Adams, Awards Daily always finds excellent little nuggets of information as well as adds plenty of insight of their own. Just recently they posted a list of mid-year awards as voted on by their members, check it out here.

The Film Experience (NEW!) : Here’s a site I actually learned of last year, but didn’t really begin reading heavily until this year and along with excellent opinions on Oscar contenders, Nathaniel Rogers has a love for movies and knack for finding interesting links around the web you don’t want to miss. His most recent Oscar prediction updates can be found here, and trust me, you won’t find any others like ’em.

Hollywood Elsewhere (NEW!) : While Nat at Film Experience isn’t exclusive to Oscars he rarely goes too far off the topic of movies, which is the reason I debated on whether or not to include Jeff Wells’s site Hollywood Elsewhere. However, Jeff is far too entertaining and very often on the money it just felt like it would be a shame to leave him off. Just be warned, every now and again the cranky side of Jeff shows up and may do his best to offend you, but it’s all a part of the ride.

In Contention: A mainstay from last year and a site I wouldn’t leave off as Kris Tapley and his most loyal contributor Guy Lodge maintain an impressive awards-based site that stays on topic all year round. Tapley’s predictions are always available via the site’s main navigation and Guy just updated his right here.

Los Angeles Times Gold Derby: Tom O’Neil at the “Los Angeles Times” may be the only man on the Internet that can somehow find a way to take damn near any movie and create an awards conversation around it. Already this year he has returned Bette Midler’s stolen Emmy, considered the award chances for Transformers (link), Half-Blood Prince (link) and dished on The Hangover‘s chances. He’s a good read and the closer we get to the Academy Awards it gets better and better. Gold Derby is also attached to the Los Angeles Times’s “The Envelope” sub-section in which several folks around the web predict the Oscars in one big pool. I was a part of it last year and hope to return this year.

So, with all that said, if you haven’t ventured over there already, you can click here to check out the 2010 edition of “The Contenders”. You can also access the section at any time from the “Awards” drop-down from the navigation at the top of each page. There is an RSS feed available for all contender articles, links and news briefs that you can add to your RSS feed reader and as always, the main articles from the section will appear on the RopeofSilicon homepage.

I hope you like what I have put together and will stick around and make sure your voice is heard as things progress. If you would like to see how things looked last year and the year before, click on the links below for prior editions:

I’m sure you will notice things have changed quite a bit in three years.