October 4, 2009

It's So Quiet...

It has been insanely quiet on the Oscar front for the past week and a half. Many films are being pushed back, some are coming to fruition, and other films are still a mystery.

The Lovely Bones, Nine, Avatar, and Invictus are the biggest question marks of the season, especially Clint Eastwood's film. We don't even have a poster for the Nelson Mandela biopic starring (supposed) Oscar front-runner for Best Actor Morgan Freeman.

As you may know, Peter Jackson's Oscar hopeful has been on the top of my prediction list all year. It may be a complete biased towards the book or it may be just the undying belief in Jackson himself. Until the first official review hits the web, I'll hold on to the notion of it as long as I can.

The next prediction update will include and omit many films and actors. The big question mark in my mind today is distributors on certain films. Toronto didn't produce all the things we hope for in a film festival. A lot of films not being picked up, other films being pushed back to 2010, it's becoming such a headache. If by October 14th, the day when I sit down to update my predictions, if a film is not slated yet for a release in 2009, I will leave it off. This rings most loudly for Edward Norton's praised performance in Leaves of Grass and Annette Bening's tour de force in Mother and Child. These are two actors anyone would love to see have a statue in their hands someday soon.

Other things is the lack of front-runner status that any film seemingly wants to take at this point. In the next Podcast with Staff Writer Myles Hughes and I, we touch a lot on this point. There are "default" front-runners that bloggers are taking onto but nothing that stands out. Could this be one of the weaker year in films? Could be. Maybe I'm just speaking for myself but there aren't too many films I have the jitters about like I did in past years.

What is there to look forward to in the next couple of weeks/months? This week we have the releases of An Education, Trucker, and The Damned United, all slated to have some of the strongest performances of the year. The former film is the only Best Picture hopeful in the lineup but it's great to see Michelle Monaghan getting buzz along with Michael Sheen, once again, getting raves, but of course Sheen will probably be absent as in previous times.

Staff Writer Joey Magidson has not been quiet about his excitement for Where the Wild Things Are based on the popular children's book. After looking at TV spots for the Spike Jonze picture, I share this excitement. Is it a contender? I'm leaning towards a probably not but in technical categories, it'll be a great addition. There have been some raves for lead child actor Max Records thus far which would be a pleasant surprise and addition to the already stacked Best Actor race.

This is all mumblings at this point since there isn't too much news out there.

In regards to The Awards Circuit, the writers and myself were on a conference call and started discussing Academy Idol and what film stands out as a front-runner on that subject. Some were throwing out Inglourious Basterds (a definite Best Picture contender if others fall by the wayside), The Hurt Locker (our very close to a 'lock' in that category), Avatar (for nothing else than it's a complete mystery), and Star Trek (the popular summer blockbuster).
Other question arose such as, do we have a Knocked Up on our hands this year? The answer is who the hell knows. When voting starts we'll see. A great finale would include perhaps District 9 and Avatar, or The Lovely Bones and Nine, and maybe even A Serious Man and Up in the Air. This is going to be a very head scratching season.
Anyways, comment. Start a discussion. Talk amongst yourselves.


  1. I know it must be frustrating for you. Yet I quite enjoy learning a contender has been moved back a year, the frontrunner has rubbish reviews, but the small indie film has broken through.
    This is what makes the race exciting. How and why everything changes is what makes this site so cool and neccesary, giving reason to pay better attention every week.


  2. it's an experience, let's call it that haha

  3. Yea, I gotta agree with you Joey. At least as far as I can tell, you're kinda mixed on this, as are most people I talk to about this year in film.

    At this point, I'm still the most upset over "Shutter Island" being pushed back, along with "Green Zone" which is really a great film (I saw it at a preview screening).

    I'm already extremely annoyed that "Invictus"'s status literally hasn't changed for months.

    Right now, I'm only expecting just a few other great films to come out this year, making 2009 an even worse year in film than 2008 (and that's saying something, imo).

    I guess what makes the least sense out of all this mess is that, again imo, 2007 is by far the best year for film in this decade. I dunno, maybe I'm just recalling that too much these days.

  4. I'm mixed in the sense that this is the first year I can remember where so far I'm way more enamored with the first half of the year as opposed to the second half (at the moment)...the year's not over though, so we shall see...

  5. I'd say 2008 had it's share of great films (The Dark Knight, WALL-E, Milk, Synecdoche NY even though I'm the only one who loved that flick), but it was only a small amount. This year has had some strong ones, but none that could enter my favorite films ever list, and I'd say only a small few (Up in the Air comes to mind) that have much of a chance. I'm also looking forward to all the great releases next year (Shutter Island, Green Zone, Iron Man 2, and of course my current future favorite, Inception). So we'll see how it goes.

  6. I must say that I was not a huge fan of the films in 2007 (in response to the previous post), but last years films I really enjoyed. The current year's slate seems to be heavy in small, genuine pictures, but lacking in all-time best list contenders. I'm thinking of the wonderful "little" movies "In The Loop," "(500) Days of Summer" and "Adam" for starters. Not really Best Picture material, imo, but enjoyable and interesting.

  7. On January 1st we'll be able to make a better judgment...