THE ARTIST- There is no doubt that it will be nominated. It is the front –runner to win the big prize. It has won around 40 other film awards this year. The critics don’t have anything negative to say about it and it would make for a great story, a silent black and white film winning Best Picture in 2011. The only thing keeping it back could be the box office. Right now it has only grossed around $9.5 million in limited release. It opens wider this weekend. I think that the average Joe who goes to the movie theater 4 or 5 times a year is not going to want to see a silent film. THE ARTIST is for the real cinaphile and celebrates the art of film making. But in this case I don’t think the Box Office is a real problem. Its chances of winning Best Picture go up every day.
THE DESCENDANTS- Also a shoe in for a nomination and a close 2nd to win Best Picture. It has been nominated for most of the critic awards including a DGA which almost always matches the Best Picture nominees.
HUGO- Another likely nominee. Just like THE DESCENDANTS it has been nominated for numerous critic awards and Scorsese is a DGA nominee. HUGO also celebrates the art of film making. The first half is a little slow, but so visually stunning that it doesn’t matter. The whole thing pays off in the end. The problem with HUGO is that it cost $190 million and so far has grossed $55 million. It is unlikely to make a profit at this rate.
MONEYBALL-Depending on how many nominees there are depends on if MONEYBALL makes the cut. It doesn’t seem to have the legs it had earlier in the year. It does have a great shot at Best Adapted Screenplay.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS- Many say it is Woody Allen’s best and is sure to win Best Original Screenplay. Look for a nomination.
THE HELP- The Summer surprise that came out of nowhere. Not much was said about THE HELP until it was released. The reviews were great and so far it has grossed close to $205 million. The acting performances have rocketed it to a pretty sure thing.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO-This movie was one of the most anticipated of 2011. Unfortunately it was released on Christmas Day. It is not really something the family is going to run out and see during the Holidays. It opened to disappointing numbers, the reviews were mixed and it’s Oscar chances faded. In fact Director David Fincher wanted no parts of an Oscar campaign. Then came the unexpected DGA nomination for Fincher and NOW THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO has a pretty decent chance of a Best Picture nomination. (If there are more that 6 or 7 nominees.)
WAR HORSE-Oh WAR HORSE, you tried so hard and had so much going for you. I mean you had Spielberg, the music, a horse and 2 and half hours of Oscar bait. It just may have been too much for people to embrace. Spielberg not getting a DGA nomination was a huge shocker and might have hammered the final nail into the stall. All is not lost, but it will be a surprise if it gets nominated at this point.
BRIDESMAIDS-What? A Judd Apatow comedy nominated for Best Picture? It doesn’t sound so ridiculous anymore. The Golden Globe nomination and the love for Melissa McCarthy could make it the big upset.
DRIVE-The love that people have for this movie cannot be ignored. I keep reading how everyone is hoping that the Academy surprises us with a nomination for DRIVE and yes it would be a surprise. I don’t think that it has enough support and the violence may be a big turn-off.
TREE OF LIFE-This movie is all over the place. People love it or hate it. I had counted it out after the summer, but it still seems to have some momentum going into February.
THE IDES OF MARCH-Another one that had a lot of buzz in the beginning, but mediocre reviews and too much competition this year leaves it out.
J. EDGAR-In the beginning of the year people we convinced Leonardo DiCaprio was going to win Best Actor with J.EDGAR as Best Picture. Well a lot has changed. Mostly bad reviews and bad box office.
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE-Another one that we heard about all year. It was rushed to be considered for this year’s Oscar consideration. Unfortunately not many people like which doesn’t make for a Best Picture.