Main Page


2011 - Best Picture II.


  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (previously #2)
      It could be just temporary buzz, but the fact is, the trailer ROCKS and Fincher is widely considered overdue after last year. If the film will be as good as the trailer indicates, we could be back to the new, edgy wave of best picture winners after last year's unexpected return to the 'Oscar-movie'.
  2. The Tree of Life (previously #3)
      The reviews are truly excellent, although the film was supposed to divide critics. It didn't and that's a very good sign. It also won the Palme d'Or and thanks to the popular stars, it should be doing solid arthouse-business in the coming months.
  3. War Horse (previously #1)
      I still think this will emerge as a remarkably strong player, I'm just not entirely sure that after The King's Speech, the Academy would go for another obvious 'Oscar-movie'.
  4. J. Edgar (previously #5)
      December release date + Eastwood + DiCaprio + biopic = Oscar...right ?
  5. Hugo Cabret (previously #4)
      Some footage would be welcome now, but until then the Scorsese-name will be enough to keep this one high on the list.
  6. Carnage (previously #8)
      It has a distributor, a confirmed Venice premiere, a Tony-winning play as the source material, 3 Oscar-winners in the cast and Polanski behind the would be foolish NOT to consider it seriously.
  7. A Dangerous Method (previously #7)
      It sounds like Cronenberg's most 'Oscary' project to date (period biopic / love triangle), hopefully it will result his first Academy Award nomination, as well.
  8. Midnight in Paris (previously #24)
      A big jump for Woody Allen's latest which exceeded expectations and is widely considered one of his best films of recent years. The reviews are great and the Box Office is extremely promising. The early release date could be a problem in the long run, but taking everything into account, there WILL be a comedy in the category and for now, this has the best shot at getting that slot.
  9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (previously #9)
      Although there is still no release date set, I am kind of expecting a Toronto premiere and a Holiday release, and if that happens – and Daldry once again delivers – this could take the 'heart slot', if there is such a thing.
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (previously #10)
      I'm sticking by this one, I firmly believe that considering how consistent the franchise has been with critics and audiences alike, giving a best picture nomination to the final film would be the perfect – and more importantly, perfectly logical – way of awarding the decade-old phenomenon as a whole.
  11. The Descendants (previously #6)
      Loved the source material and a Payne-Clooney collaboration definitely sounds tailor-made for the Academy, so I still think it has an excellent shot at landing a best picture nomination...I'm just not that sure it will be the easy ride (top6) I first expected.
  12. The Iron Lady (previously #43)
      The biggest jumper of the bunch. That's how much landing a killer distributor HELPS a contender. The Weinsteins will campaign the hell out of this one and since Meryl Streep WILL give a powerhouse-performance, they could make it look like the whole film is  as great as her turn even if it isn't. One thing is for sure : after The King's Speech, the Weinsteins have experience how to handle the biopic of a controversial British leader.
  13. Beginners (previously #21)
      Critics love it and the studio did secure a best picture nomination last year for a similar film : The Kids are all right was also a summer comedy with a gay storyline featuring popular actors.
  14. My week with Marilyn (previously #14)
      The Weinsteins could have a great year, they have two biopics of two of the most famous icons of the 20th century. Hopefully both films will be actually good to great and if that will be the case, they won't pick a favourite.
  15. Wuthering Heights (previously #15)
      If there were only one whisper of (positive) early word, I would put it in my top10 without any hesitation. That's how strong my hunch is about this one : the Venice-premiere, the late release date, the source material, the brilliant yet underrated female director, the British-factor all scream Oscar to me.

  1. Young Adult (previously #11)
      It will come down to how 'light' it is : if it works more like a well-executed romantic comedy, the film might just miss the best picture nomination, if it is more 'dramedic' and gets an Academy-friendly release date, it might just get in.
  2. The Ides of March (previously #12)
      George Clooney pulling a 2005 and receiving a bunch of nominations ? The premise is promising, that's for sure.
  3. Moneyball (previously #13)
      Very Oscary sports-drama directed by Bennett Miller (Capote) with Brad Pitt in the lead role, also featuring the long-overdue Robin Wright.
  4. We need to talk about Kevin (new entry)
      Early word is great, so hopefully the Academy will not only NOT snub Tilda Swinton this time around (it pretty much became a habit of theirs since her victory), but they will also consider the film in other important categories, as well.
  5. Jane Eyre (previously #18)
      It has a very good 'Oscar-studio', a fantastic acting ensemble, top-notch crew (Academy Award-winning costume designer, composer) and still it has to overcome one extemely damaging factor : a March release date. If Jane Eyre pulls off a best picture nomination, it will be the 'earliest' nominee since Fargo (1996). The fact that Wuthering Heights is coming out late fall/early winter might hurt its chances, as well. For what it's worth, it HAS the reviews...
  6. One Day (previously #17)
      This is the film that will prove without a doubt, whether Lone Scherfig is a one-trick-pony or not. My guess is...not. Although the trailer could have been better.
  7. We bought a Zoo (previously #28)
      I recently revisited Almost Famous and it made me realize how great Cameron Crowe is when he IS getting it right. Hopefully it will be more 'Jerry Maguire' than 'Elizabethtown'.
  8. The Skin I live in (new entry)
      Almódovar is an Academy-darling therefore the idea of a best picture nomination isn't that far-fetched in a 10-slot system. If they went for Black Swan, they might just go for this. We'll see...
  9. Contagion (previously #27)
      So here's the deal : the Academy is not big on actions, sci-fi-s and thrillers...and this is an action sci-fi thriller so despite the great director and impressive cast, I have to automatically assume, they won't go for it.
  10. The Rum Diary (new entry)
      The source material and the people involved are definitely promising, although all those delays  (filming ended 2 years ago) and the fact that despite the star power, a tiny distributor managed to get it, are slightly suspicious.
  11. The Artist (new entry)
      Cannes put it on the map, now we'll see whether it can stay on the radar or not.
  12. Like Crazy (new entry)
      Somehow I overlooked this Sundance-film the last time, although it received some good ink. I still consider it too 'small' but hey, 'well-executed small indie' is in nowadays, so who knows. This could surprise.
  13. Coriolanus (previously #29)
      Based on Berlin-reviews, it is an outstanding film and the Fiennes-Redgrave-Shakespeare combination seems rather powerful, too....
  14. Super 8 (new entry)
      Sci-fi...early release stars...wait a second! Same as District 9 and that pulled off a best picture nomination. So I guess we shouldn't rule out this one just yet.
  15. Drive (new entry)
      It received Cannes' best director award...impressive. The genre is not exactly Academy-friendly, but on that note, action thrillers usually don't win Cannes – bd awards, either, so we should just wait and see...
  16. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (new entry)
      Great cast, Academy-friendly release date and genre...
  17. Win Win (previously #20)
      Despite the truly outstanding reviews and impressive arthouse-business, the early release date might have dashed its best picture dreams for good...too bad.
  18. The Help (previously #16)
      Although it could surprise, this just simply sounds too „Oscary”, if there is such a thing. I think it will be more Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and less The Color Purple. Unfortunately the trailer did nothing for me.

  1. On the Road (previously #19)
      Although on paper it is promising, I can't help but think it will be too small to notice in the end.
  2. Meek's Cutoff (previously #22)
  3. Melancholia (previously #35)
      The Academy failed to embrace Lars von Trier's previous films so they probably won't start now after the Cannes-scandal. Although the press would definitely eat it up...
  4. Take Shelter (new entry)
      Excellent early word, remarkable cast, October release date, prestigious distributor...promising.
  5. This must be the place (new entry)
      Could it be all about Penn's performance ? Based on early reviews : YES.
  6. 50 / 50 (previously #32)
      If there weren't that many bittersweet comedies this year (The Descendants, Carnage, Young Adult, One Day, Win Win, Beginners, Midnight in Paris, We bought a Zoo) helmed by 'names' (Alexander Payne, Roman Polanski, Jason Reitman, Lone Scherfig, Thomas McCarthy, Woody Allen, Cameron Crowe), this one might have a better shot, and who knows, it could still surprise. But for now, I don't think it will.
  7. Albert Nobbs (previously #41)
      I think it will be a one-woman-show and it will be all about Close and a best actress nomination/win, but if Rodrigo Garcia (Mother and Child) delivers, it could end up here, as well. Although it still needs a viable distributor and an Academy-friendly release date.
  8. Shame (previously #47)
      In my opinion, Hunger was brilliant so I'm looking forward to the McQueen-Fassbender reunion accompanied by the lovely Carey Mulligan. My only concern is that the film will be too small even if Fassbender's star is rising and Carey Mulligan is already an acclaimed young actress.
  9. Bridesmaids (new entry)
      One of the most surprising hits of the year : it is a critically acclaimed raunchy, broad comedy, pretty much the female version of The Hangover. And if that didn't make the top10 with a Golden Globe win, great reviews and crazy Box Office, I don't see this one getting in, either. Having said that, it definitely has a shot...even if just a tiny one.
  10. The Eye of the Storm (previously #46)
      Fred Schepisi (A Cry in the Dark) directed one of the BEST Meryl Streep-performances to date and considering her body of work, that's an impressive accomplishment. This time around Charlotte Rampling is the lead, so the only question remains: can he direct one of the year's best lead performances AGAIN ? The presence of Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis doesn't hurt, either...
  11. Larry Crowne (previously #36)
      It has the potential to be a better-than-average romantic comedy featuring lovely performances from Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks. Having said that, romantic comedies usually don't fare well with the Academy. The HFPA on the other hand could eat it up.
  12. The Impossible (previously #45)
      Sure, the short premise seems rather baity, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are always solid choices and the director (The Orphanage) should be capable of delivering a powerful film, as well. BUT it is completely under the radar, it needs exposure ASAP.
  13. Violet and Daisy (previously #44)
      Recent Oscar-winning screenwriters failed to make much impact with their directorial debuts (Dustin Lance Black's What's wrong with Virginia; William Monahan's London Boulevard), so it's up to Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious) to break that trend.
  14. In Time (previously #40)
      A sci-fi thriller directed by the screenwriter of Gattaca and Truman Show, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. It is definitely a tricky one...
  15. Hanna (previously #26)
      Although it did surprisingly well BO-wise, the critics only 'liked' it and that won't be enough with such an early release. On the positive side, it could easily become a cult film.
  16. X-Men : First Class (previously #49)
      The remarkably good reviews help, but at the end of the day, it is still a comic book film and the Academy tends to ignore those.
  17. W.E. (previously #48)

We need to talk about Kevin; The Skin I live in; The Artist; Like Crazy; Super 8; The Rum Diary, Drive; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Take Shelter; This must be the place, Bridesmaids  

Midnight in Paris; The Iron Lady; Beginners; X-Men : First Class    

Anonymous (previously # 39) : Roland 'catastrophy film' Emmerich directing a period piece ? Interesting...
Beautiful Boy : The early release date and the direct competition (We need to talk about Kevin) pretty much killed its chances.
A Better Life : Too early, too small ?
Certified Copy : Criminally under the radar...
Martha Marcy May Marlene : Way too indie at first sight, but it could prove me wrong.
Our Idiot Brother : Too light ?
Another Earth : Too edgy ?
Cars 2 : I firmly believe that if there is a Pixar-film that will NOT get a best picture nomination, this is it. Its predecessor was good but far from great, especially far from Pixar-great...and this is the SEQUEL of that film.
The Adventures of Tintin : Too animated ?
In the Land of Blood and Honey : Some early word would help us sort this out and some prestigious festival play (Venice, Toronto) wouldn’t hurt it, either.
Dream House :  The screenwriter isn't the best, but he could surprise...and he obviously did something right if his work could attract Jim Sheridan and top talent like Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts. The problem is mystery thrillers are not the Academy's cup of tea...just ask Shutter Island !
Killer Joe : William Friedkin, who directed two legendary films in the 70s (best picture-winning French Connection and horror-classic The Exorcist), could make an Oscar-comeback with this dark comedy.
Source Code : Too sci-fi, too early ? Although it IS critically acclaimed...

OUT (for now)
Salmon Fishing in Yemen : No stills, footage, trailer, buzz or early word, NOTHING.
Machine Gun Preacher : Ditto.
The Door : Ditto.
Peace Love and Misunderstanding : Ditto.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel : Ditto.   
The Wettest County in the World : Ditto.

Water for Elephants : It received OK reviews and delivered OK numbers but it needed to excel at least one of those (outstanding reviews OR outstanding Box Office) to stay in the race and it didn't. The good news, that it's a decent international hit.
Restless : If early word from Cannes is any indication, this film is a disappointing borefest featuring good to great performances.
The Conspirator : The general consensus is that it's (kind of) good but definitely not great. It was released way too early and bombed financially.
Thor : With Branagh, Hopkins and the well-executed Henry IV-concept, it could have been a strong best picture contender, but the critics didn't LOVE it enough and although it is a hit, it isn't a big hit enough to survive the precursors. For what it's worth, I really enjoyed it,
The Beaver : Although critics agree this could be Mel Gibson's best performance to date, people clearly haven't forgiven him yet...otherwise the film wouldn't have bombed in limited release.


  1. You forgot about The Rum Diary...

  2. Kudos to mentioning SOMETHING about Killer Joe... I seriously thought I was the only one who knew about itr, although it hasn't generated any early word or nothing yet either...

  3. Thanks, that could be definitely a dark horse/last minute entry, although some buzz or early word would be welcome now...people are completely unaware of this one, it is ridiculously under the radar.