Next year when they make the announcement of the nominees for Best Picture at the upcoming 2010 Academy Awards it will no longer be five, but ten nominees. This is not a new phenomenon with the highly traditional members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in fact it has been done before. During the early decades of the Oscar presentations back in the ’30’s and ’40’s they oftentimes recognized anywhere between 8 to 12 Best Picture nominations.
It will be interesting to find out what films will be nominated next year. Will it be indie, foreign, and arthouse type films like we’ve seen time and time again at the Oscars? Or will it finally have a mix of blockbuster and higher caliber films co-existing together? Here is a list of what I feel may be the ten best film potentials for the 2010 Oscar Awards that is based on industry buzz from blogs, articles, and other sources. I’ll list the titles, names of stars in the film, movie release dates, and a brief plot synopsis for each one.
10.) Michael Jackson’s This is It – Michael Jackson – October 28, 2009: A music documentary and concert film of the rehearsals and behind-the-scenes of Michael Jackson’s comeback tour that was called “This Is It” just days before his untimely death on June 25th. Unfortunately the film missed the deadline for a Best Documentary nomination, so the word is its vying for a spot to be nominated for Best Picture next year. Now the film is the highest grossing concert movie documentary ever in cinematic history.
9.) Inglorious Basterds – Brad Pitt – August 21, 2009: Directed by Quentin Tarantino is a war film with a twist of a “spaghetti western”, Italian and Spanish directed and produced westerns, meets World War II. The film centers on the story of two plots who set out to assassinate a prominent Nazi leader in German-occupied France. One plot is devised by a French Jewish proprietress and the other are American soldiers who call themselves the “Basterds”. Quentin Tarantino has been nominated for Oscars with his stellar film “Pulp Fiction”. This film got a lot of rave reviews for a summer released film, normally reserved later in the year.
8.) Up in the Air – George Clooney – December 25, 2009: A comedy-drama about a traveling executive whose job it is to terminate corporate employees. He lives the life of no relationships, but knows the ropes of many airports, the ins and outs of airport security, and acquiring frequent flyer miles with traveling incessantly. The director of the indie film “Juno”, Jason Reitman is this film’s director and co-screenwriter. His film “Juno” was nominated for many Oscars. The buzz on this film is extremely high and Clooney looks mighty fine in it too.
7.) A Single Man – Colin Firth and Julianne Moore – December 11, 2009: Based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood it’s about a gay British college professor living in Southern California, played by Colin Firth. It premiered at the Venice Int’l Film Festival where Colin won Best Actor and the film was nominated for Best Picture. It also garnered a lot of rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival.
6.) A Serious Man – Michael Stuhlbarg – October 2, 2009:There maynot be any big names in the film, but it is directed by the Oscar-wining team of Ethan and Joel Coen who gave us “No Country for Old Men”. Some movie critics have called it their most mature film to date. This dark comedy is loosely based on the Jewish biblical story of Job set in Minnesota during the 1970’s.
5.) The Lovely Bones – Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, and Saoirse Ronan – December 11, 2009 (limited release): Here is a film adaptation from the novel of the same name written by Alice Sebold and directed by the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy director, Peter Jackson. Taking place in 1973 when the young girl is murdered by a neighbor she then watches from” in between heaven” in her afterlife as her family grieves and she watches her killer plot to commit more murders. This film has been on many lists for potential films to be nominated for Best Picture at the 2010 Academy Awards.
4.) Brothers – Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal – December 4, 2009:The story of one brother who is a decorated Marine Captain who is on his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan and his black sheep brother. There is news of the Marine who is missing in action and presumed dead. Meanwhile, his brother becomes very close to his sister-in-law. It gets further complicated when the Marine is found alive and returns home with more than he can handle. It is directed by the Oscar nominated director, Jim Sheridan.
3.) Invictus – Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon – December 11, 2009:It’s the true story of Nelson Mandela, the President of South Africa, and the South African Rugby team captain vying for the Rugby World Cup to help bring the country together after apartheid. Clint Eastwood is the film’s director. I have seen the previews of this film at the movie theaters and on TV. This certainly looks like a shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination, especially with Morgan Freeman as Mandela.
2.) Nine – Daniel Day-Lewis and others – December 25, 2009:An extreme rarity to see a musical listed for Best Picture, not since “Chicago”. Based on the 1982 Broadway musical of the same name it’s inspired by the Frederico Fellini’s autobiographical film “8 1/2 “. It also stars a bevy of Academy Award winning actresses such as Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, and others. Rob Marshall, who gave us “Chicago” the first musical to win Best Picture since “Oliver” in the late ’60’s, is its director.
1.) Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire – Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique – November 6, 2009: From the award-winning novel is the story of a gifted student in math who is suspended from school, because of her second pregnancy. She then attends an alternative school. From there we learn what she has to endure with her abusive mother and other dysfunctional family members. This film has gotten rave reviews and is without question a definite nominee for Best Picture. I saw the movie and it is very powerful, especially from the two main actresses. Mariah Carey gives an impressive performance too. An absolute must-see.