Early Thoughts on Best Picture Race

Posted January 25th, 2010 at 10:05 am

The nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced on February 2nd and the show will take place on March 7th. In advance of that there is a lot of discussion around the chances for each of the top films to win Best Picture. Recent award shows have offered an opportunity to see how voters may be leaning but the results have only made the race appear to be more wide open than anticipated to begin with.

A few weeks ago I looked at The Hurt Locker as being the favorite with Up in the Air potentially being able to pull off an upset. I’d now put four films in the overall discussion as having a chance to win. Avatar is seen by many as the front-runner at this point and Inglourious Basterds could even have a shot. Up in the Air is quickly slipping though having only gotten recognition for writing and none for acting or picture.

Avatar came out the winner at the Golden Globes, Inglourious Basterds won at the SAG awards, and The Hurt Locker got the top prize from the Producers Guild. What does that mean though to their chances? The Globes winner used to be an indicator of what would happen at the Oscars but only once out of the last five years has it turned out that way. Actors make up a big block of voters which makes the SAG win for Basterds at least something to take note of and same for the Producers Guild which provides a boost for The Hurt Locker.

Expanding the Best Picture nominations to 10 adds a lot of intrigue not only in allowing for other good films to be recognized but in how the votes could be split up. Avatar will see its chances severely damaged if both Star Trek and District 9 get nominated. One likely will be but if both do there could be votes going to the other sci-fi effects driven films that would have gone to Avatar otherwise. That could have been a factor in the Producers Guild result as all three were nominated.

Current Rankings to Win Best Picture
1) The Hurt Locker
2) Avatar
3) Inglourious Basterds
4) Up in the Air

Locks to be Nominated
An Education

Final Three Slots Filled From The Following
Star Trek
District 9
Crazy Heart
The Messenger
A Serious Man
The Blind Side