Oscar Update: Tidying Up the Best Picture Race

I’ve been mulling around the Best Picture race in my head for quite some time and there are five films I am certain will be nominated; Invictus, Up In the Air, Precious, An Education and The Hurt Locker. Those are my five locks as of right now and if we were still looking at a five film race I think the conversation about which film will most likely win would be decided within a matter of months, once everyone saw Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, a film that just saw its trailer debut to much online love. Those final five spots, however, have been a cause for some prognosticating concern.

I am quite confident Nine and Up will receive nominations, but I could see Up get bumped just because the Academy would think to themselves, it has Best Animated Feature, why waste a spot for it here? It’s unlikely, but would we really be all that surprised if it happened?

Also, there is very little no word as to the quality of Nine, a film the Weinstein Co. has yet to even release a poster, which could mean the film isn’t up to par, or it could mean nothing. My vote is for the latter, as a lack of marketing from the Weinsteins is pretty much old hat at this point.

These leaves me with three open slots and as of my most recent update this morning those spots are owned, in order, by Avatar, Bright Star and newcomer to the list Inglourious Basterds. The first film to miss the cut is the Coens’ A Serious Man, a film I just don’t think will be embraced by the Academy.

My list gets tricky from that point on with a mixed bag of potential blockbuster additions such as Star Trek and District 9, the populist pick Julie and Julia and a film that could potentially blow us all away in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones.

Currently, my list of Best Picture contenders has 20 titles with the Duncan Jones’ Moon pulling up the rear. As a matter of fact, along with Inglourious Basterds, Moon is one of five brand new additions this week with Star Trek, District 9 and Julie and Julia all debuting this week. That’s right, it was time to add the box-office money to the equation and right now with Avatar and Inglourious Basterds in my top ten I am beginning to wonder if there is any room left for any more audience favorites.

I have listed my current rankings for the top ten contenders in order directly below and you can get the full chart right here.

  1. Invictus
  2. Up in the Air
  3. An Education
  4. Precious
  5. The Hurt Locker
  6. Nine
  7. Up
  8. Avatar
  9. Bright Star
  10. Inglourious Basterds

Anyone out there see anything they would change? Are any of you buying into the idea Michael Jackson’s This is It could be a Best Pictures contender? Anyone think either Star Trek or District 9 has more than a 50% shot at a nomination? Speak up in the comments below.

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