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2011 - Best Picture III.


  1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (previously #9)
      I’ve just finished the novel and I must say the rumors are true : this could be EASILY the one to beat. The Academy has just proven last year that they still go with their heart every now and then. Daldry's year ?
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (previously #1)
      The genre isn’t exactly the Academy’s cup of tea…bu then again, neither was The Departed or No Country for Old Men…and Fincher’s recent high-profile snub might help this remake in the long run.
  3. War Horse (previously #3)
      This is by far THE most obvious best picture-pick considering the remarkably Oscary-formula : Spielberg directing a war film about a boy and his non-human best friend ? It’s like Saving Private E.T…
  4. The Descendants (previously #11)
      After stunning early word from Telluride and Toronto, the film is basically a lock for the nomination at this point but , could it go all the way ? That’s a different story, especially because this seems to be a quiet film, especially compared to the high-profile/high-concept/artsy etc. other contenders. It might not be „obvious” enough.
  5. The Artist (previously #26)
      and while focusing on all the Spielbergs, Finchers and Daldrys, there is a good chance that The Artist will pull off a sweep…especially with the Weinsteins in their corner.
  6. Midnight in Paris (previously #8)
      Woddy Allen’s latest won’t win best picture despite being his best film in years and highest grossing to date (if we ignore tiny factors like inflation etc.) BUT at this point, it’s hard to imagine Oscar’s best picture category without ’Paris’. It will probably get a nomination…without a hitch.
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (previously #10)
      Although writing-directing nominations will be probably hard to get, a „thank you for making a lot of us rich” kind of best picture nomination could/should happen. It IS one of the best-reviewed film of the year after all, so it’s not like it only has the Box Office.
  8. Moneyball (previously #18)
      The surprisingly stunning reviews might make the film’s case for a bp-nomination (maybe even bd) easy, but a win seems like a long shot…for now. If the unseen potential frontrunners fail to live up to the expectations, then it could have a better shot.
  9. The Tree of Life (previously #2)
      Not quite ready to give up on this one just yet despite the average Box Office and remarkably early release date. Good news, that the new rule (5% No1 votes) favors exactly this kind of film/director.
  10. J.Edgar (previously #4)
      Eastwood and DiCaprio is already a strong combination, add the early release date and this might just be a top5 player in the end.
  11. The Help (previously #33)
      The critics liked it but didn’t love it…the audience on the other hand…LOVED it. It’s impossible NOT to consider this film with Box Office like that BUT the Academy might be done with the „feelgoodfactor” after voting for the „Loud-Artist-Horse-Paris-Moneyball” quintet.
  12. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (previously #31)
      Early word is great, I guess I just have to see whether US-critics will be really THAT much in love with this film in the end. We’ll have an answer in a few short weeks…
  13. Coriolanus (previously #28)
      If the Academy wants a stunning prestige pic in their best picture category, Coriolanus will sudennly look VERY good for them.
  14. Young Adult (previously #16)
      Jason Reitman’s last two films received picture, director, screenplay, lead acting nominations…could Young Adult continue the tradition OR will it break Reitman’s winning streak ?
  15. We bought a Zoo (previously #22)
      Hopefully Cameron Crowe is FINALLY back and he is back with a bang…hopefully.


  16. 50 / 50 (previously #39)
      Early word is great, the problem is even if it is critically acclaimed, comedies rarely make the cut in the best picture category but even if one does this year, it will be Midnight in Paris.
  17. Take Shelter (previously #37)
      I am seeing this one in a few weeks, I can't wait, but as far as the Oscars go, it will be probably to small to register.
  18. Shame (previously #41)
      Now this is a tricky one. Several influential critics called this THE best film of 2011 (so far) and there is a good chance that critics groups will go for it in a big way BUT despite all that, the Academy could still ignore it completely, it might be too graphic for them.
  19. We need to talk about Kevin (previously #19)
      Although people who've seen it loved the film, I think it will be „a Rabbit Hole” : critically acclaimed arthouse fare that only gets a nomination for its female lead.
  20. Hugo Cabret (previously #5)
      It is still Scorsese, still a remarkably Academy friendly release date etc...I can't explain, for some reason I just don't see it anymore. I guess that mediocre trailer didn't help...
  21. A Dangerous Method (previously #7)
      According to early word, the film is rather divisive...I consider that a great thing, truly great cinema SHOULD be divisive. The question is will the Academy agree ? For what it's worth, the performances have been praised and Cronenberg is one of the best directors today, one who has been long overdue for some Oscar-love...

  22.  The Ides of March (previously #17)
      Apparently it IS a good film, just not necessarily a great one. Happens. No biggie.

  23. Carnage (previously #6)
  24. Contagion (previously #24)
  25. Super 8 (previously #29)
  26. The Iron Lady (previously #12)
      I've always had concerns considering the director but the fact that it mysteriously skipped Venice, Toronto, Telluride and London, doesn't exactly scream confidence... „look, we have such a great film that we don't even want to show it to anyone”...
  27. Drive (previously #30)
      Genre-film. Excellent one at that, but it is probably not for the Academy.
  28. Bridesmaids (previously #42)
      Ditto...although the crazy Box Office definitely helps. Maybe a script-nod Borat-style?
  29. Jane Eyre (previously #20)
      I still believe it could make a comeback BUT it needs the support of Focus. Will they realize that Jane Eyre is probably their most Oscary, best-reviewed film this year ? I hope so. The fact that the other Bronte-adaptation is out of this year's race, also helps.
  30. Win Win (previously #32)
      Way too early,it probably has to settle with the Indie Spirit Awards. Too bad, it was a wonderful little film.
  31. Beginners (previously #13)
      Ditto...although Plummer is considered seriously and the script could surprise, as well.
  32. Melancholia (previously #36)
      It might be too divisive and artsy for the Academy's taste. Maybe Kirsten Dunst can pull off a semi-surprise ? We'll see...
  33. Martha Marcy May Marlene (new entry)
      It seems to be all about Olsen...
  34. My Week with Marilyn (previously #14)
      Early word suggests it features a few excellent performances, but the film itself isn't outstanding.
  35. The Rum Diary (previously #25)
      Big question mark for me...all those delays don't bode well BUT it is Johnny Depp, the same guy who got nominations for playing a Disney Pirate and Serial Killer Barber. Bottom line : the Academy loves him.
  36. The Adventures of Tintin (new entry)
      Even Spielberg might have a hard time getting three films into the best picture category. His best bet is obviously War Horse, Tintin could be a strong animated feature-player and the one that will be probably forgotten, is Super 8.
  1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (new entry)
      For me, this was THE biggest surprise this season, for some reason I was so convinced it will be trash, I didn't even watch the trailer...and I watch ALL trailers. Having said that, the genre and the early release date don't exactly scream Oscar, so it will be probably „just” a remarkably succesful franchise-reboot.
  2. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (new entry)
      Considering it will be probably the frontrunner in the documentary-category, the Academy might not consider it seriously for the big one.
  3. In Time (previously #47)
      Could be perfectly mediocre or worse...but the high-concept might just work enough to convince the critics...
  4. Crazy Stupid Love (new entry)
      Excellent romantic comedy with great performances and a wonderful – though far from perfect – screenplay. Having said that, it IS a romantic comedy and those are rarely considered seriously for Oscars.
  5. Dolphin Tale (new entry)
      Box Office looks good, IF it makes over 100M in the US, then it might climb higher on the list, especially because critics liked it, as well... actually, they liked it more than The Help or The Blind Side...just saying.
  6. Source Code (new entry)
      Just like Drive, it is an excellent genre film, one the Academy would probably NEVER go for.
  7. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (new entry)
      It sounds like a charmer, but could it be ALREADY too late for the game ?
  8. Peace, Love and Misunderstanding (new entry)
  9. Butter (new entry)
  10. Hysteria (new entry)
  11. In the Land of Blood and Honey (new entry)
      I must say I'm fascinated with this project. Could she do it ? Could she actually pull it off ?
  12. Take this Waltz (new entry)
      Sarah Polley became one of the best young directors in the biz, so that's definitely a plus, add the excellent actors, and we might just have a surprise contender in the end.
  13. The Wettest County in the World (new entry)
      Now I've heard SEVERAL different whispers that it will be platformed for the Oscar Season...if that happens, then it will be DEFINITELY a contender. I'm not saying it will be a strong one, but definitely worth considering.
  14. The Eye of the Storm (previously #43)
      Might be all about the three performances...

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Descendants, The Artist, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, Moneyball, The Help, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Shame

One Day – Unfortunately critics hated it.
The Skin I Live In – It could be a strong contender in the foreign language film category.
Like Crazy – If Blue Valentine didn't make it with the raves and the Weinsteins, this one doesn't stand a chance in my opinion.
Meek's Cutoff – Too little, too early...
This must be the place – Sean Penn might have a shot but the film definitely doesn't.
Albert Nobbs – Close and McTeer are still expected to be strong contenders, but the film isn't great according to early word.
Larry Crowne – Critics hated it...the audience just simply didn't care...
Violet and Daisy – It seems that Geoffrey Fletcher couldn't break the curse of the recent Oscar-winning screenwriters-turned-directors.
Machine Gun Preacher – I hoped Marc Forster could deliver a great film...unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.
W.E. - Madonna might have directed a stylish film,, that's it.

Wuthering Heights
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Door


  1. Wow ... what a list ...

    My thoughts ...

    Extremely Loud (a little too high, only a little)
    Tattoo (ditto)
    J. Edgar (a little too low)
    The Help (ditto)
    We Bought a Zoo (too high)
    Ides of March (too low)
    Iron Lady (too low)

    good job otherwise.

  2. I'm just going to ignore the tiny differences here and cherish the fact that we disagree about so little this time around :) Based on your thoughts, we basically have the same top10, right ? Maybe you have The Help instead of The Tree of Life OR Deathly Hallows ?

  3. :)

    Hmmn, if I were to choose a top 5 - 10 BP prediction ... this is the way it would go (for now) based on likelihood of a BP nomination (at this point):

    (your rank in parenthesis)
    1. The Help (11)
    2. The Descendants (4)
    3. The Artist (5)
    4. War Horse (3)
    5. J. Edgar (10)
    6. Midnight in Paris (6)


    7. Moneyball (8)
    8. Extremely Loud (1)
    9. Tree of Life (9)
    10. The Iron Lady (26)
    11. Tinker Tailer (12)
    12. Ides of March (22)
    13. Harry Potter (7)
    14. Dragon Tattoo (2)
    15. Young Adult (14)
    16. Coriolanus (13)
    17. 50/50 (16)
    18. My Week With Marilyn (34)
    19. Carnage (23)

    Of course, if any of the titles I didn't mention is a hit, then all bets are off. Also, I'm probably putting too much stock in Weinsteins, but my lesson is never to underestimate them.

  4. I see, so we agree on 8 top10 players, I am underestimating The Iron Lady and The Help (although latter is 11th on my list) and overestimating 'Dragon Tattoo' and 'Deathly Hallows'.

    You could be EASILY right, for now I simply don't have much faith in 'The Iron Lady' considering it was expected to be on the Venice OR Toronto OR Telluride OR London lineup, and the distributor mysteriously skipped all these festivals ALTHOUGH the same distributor secured PLENTY of fest-time (Venice-Toronto-London) for a critical flop, W.E. That doesn't exactly scream confidence, but then again there could be a perfectly logical explanation : the film might not be completely finished...OR the Mamma Mia! director just couldn't hack it...

    I see why you think The Help is a lock for a bp-nomination : it a crowdpleasing moneymaker....BUT...what if there will be 5 (!) crowdpleasing moneymakers with BETTER REVIEWS (Midnight in Paris, Moneyball) and/or MUCH MORE ACADEMY FRIENDLY RELEASE DATES (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, War Horse, The Artist) ? Wont't the Academy be fed up with all the "feelgood" after voting for these 5 films and snub the one that had the "worst" (still good) reviews ? I know, Box Office is power etc, it's just a theory.

    I know HP isn't a sure bet, I just think it has a better-than-expected shot because it covers a lot of 'groups' : it will probably have the British-vote, the Actors-vote, the Technical Branches etc. ; meanwhile 'Dragon Tattoo' though a big question mark, is still Fincher and after last year, that automatically puts the film in the 'unseen' top10...for now.

    Oh, theories, theories...:)

  5. Good comments. So far, the The Help has been unmatched at the box office as far as potential nominees go. And I don't think there are going to be be too many joining its company. Last year was kind of a fluke with Black Swan/True Grit/The Fighter/Etc. I don't think we'll be seeing that this year. There doesn't seem to be much promise as far as lower-budget films going gangbusters at the B.O. In fact, I don't see one lower-budget film from your list that has what it takes to make $100M. Though I am also making assumptions about some of the budgets (War Horse doesn't seem like it's a lower-budget film to me.) The Descendants may do well, but, I think we're talking The Hours numbers, not The Fighter. We'll see, we'll see.

    So, The Help seems to be in, IMO. I don't think I will be keeping it at #1, but, so far, it's the only one I think is assured. Also consider the chances there will be two BP nominees with Best Actress contenders. Viola Davis is a lock in the Best Actress category (to me, not to others; and, no, she will not be supporting--that film has too many actresses to not go for one or two lead nods, regardless of whether or not they're actually leads). My Week With Marilyn and Albert Nobbs (and even We Need to Talk About Kevin) don't strike me as BP contenders, let alone Best Actress contenders (which I think they all still are), unless they take off commercially.

    I think you're definitely right about your observations about TWC. However, like I said, I just can't rule them out (but that's me). Who knows, maybe Harvey was trying to throw people a curveball with W.E., because he knew he had a stinker and decided, "hey, might as well throw some fanfare and go out with a bang to throw people off in general." I sense The Artist will definitely catch on commercially and through the awards circuit and I feel like it will have a companion (either The Iron Lady or Marilyn; though both of them may just boil down to a Best Actress nod). I think it's interesting how Berenice Bejo isn't even in the conversation. She's #7 on my Best Actress list right now. While her role is supporting in some respects, I do believe she holds her own enough where it could be construed as a leading turn. After all, the movie follows A Star Is Born storyline, even if the focus is on the man.

    As far as Extremely Loud, I just got the book and will read it after the Rum Diary. I hope I didn't spoil the book by flipping through the last few wordless pages! (Hmmn ... I wonder how that works on a Kindle?) But, I can't, just CAN'T believe that lightning will strike FOUR times for Mr. Stephen Daldry. NO WAY. Impossible. I can see it doing respectably at the box-office, but I can't see critics also going gaga over it. Especially with the whole third-act reshoot gossip. My instincts cry no, no, no. We'll see.

    I could be wrong on Harry Potter. The math is there, I will give you that.

  6. At this point, we are basically just brainstorming, but it's definitely great to see different takes on the same films. I agree, The Artist will probably emerge as a very strong contender and I also would love to see Berenice Bejo in the conversation, but I don't think it will be in the Lead Race...good news, that if the film becomes a strong bp-contender, she COULD pull off a supporting actress WIN.

    IF 'Loud' is great (I hope it is, considering they barely wrapped filming, the reshoots-rumors might be just exaggarations), I can see it doing 'The Help' numbers...ditto War Horse. But you're right, neither seem to be low-budget...former has expensive movie stars, latter has an expensive genre.

  7. Oh, and about the 'Loud' book : after finishing it, I thought it is EXACTLY the kind of story the Academy could eat up, otherwise it was "just" an OK book.

  8. Have you read The Invention of Hugo Cabret? Could be Scorsese's most personal, way more to it than the so-so trailer

  9. I just saw "The Help" and that thing is a LOCK! I would bet money on it. I've also seen "Midnight in Paris" and in terms of "feel-good factor", "The Help" wins hands-down.