12/3 Chart Update
As we update the charts once more before the National Board of Review kicks off the precursor circuit in earnest, we raise as many questions this week as we answer.
Some still think "Sweeney Todd" has a Best Picture shot. I do not, but I'm not foolish enough to take it out of the top ten until more opinions begin to filter in. The HFPA are fans (and will nominate it), but it lacked the certain something it needed to have for AMPAS Best Picture placement -- in my humble opinion, of course.
"Charlie Wilson's War" still has its sights set on a nod, despite comedy/musical placement at the globes (a designation some behind closed doors are quite happy about). Ad buys are all over the place across the net (if you pulled up Red Carpet District over the weekend, you were probably met with a martini glass with an American flag stuck in the olive). Some think it can fight it's way in, but then you have four comedies duking it out for what is typically one slot ("Hairspray" and "juno" being the other two).
I'm predicting "The Kite Runner" for a nod in the top five, and feeling better and better about it, actually. But you'll surely take note of the only other predicted category being Best Director. I know. But I can't really feel out the other areas for the film just yet, so for now, I'm leaving it wide open (I'll try to give the film another look this week with fresher eyes). We'll know a little more in the coming weeks, but in the acting races, the challenge for the studio will be getting voters to stop saying "I love the guy that played Baba" and start saying "Homayon Ershadi was great as Baba." They have to fill the guy's name in on the ballot, after all.
The (perceived) slippage of "Charlie Wilson's War" and "Sweeney Todd" is the best news of the year for films like "Into the Wild," "No Country for Old Men" (still not guaranteed, no matter what how badly the media wants it), "Michael Clayton" and even "Hairspray," all still hoping for a slice of the Best Picture pie. A collective sigh could be heard across town from publicists rooting for those two to fail, but the funny news is, they haven't really failed. They've just come in just under expectations, and now the perspective shifts and we'll see how they play through the last month of the year.
Two final notes before we get to the charts:
1) You'll notice in the sidebar that I've updated the documentary feature and foreign language film category predictions. These categories do not have charts but will be updated in the sidebar every week just the same.
2) Believe it or not, it's that time of year. So a week from today, Monday, December 10, I'll beegin wrapping up the year here at In Contention with the top ten list (coming a week earlier than last year, believe it or not). Wednesday, per tradition, I'll offer up a personal Oscar ballot, and Friday we'll conclude everything with a list of personal winners/awards for the year. Can't believe it's already here.
Now, the charts:
Previous Oscar Columns:
11/27/07 - "11/5 Chart Update"
11/12/07 - "11/5 Chart Update"
11/05/07 - "11/5 Chart Update"
10/29/07 - "10/29 Chart Update"
10/15/07 - "The Oil Man vs. the Demon Barber?"
10/08/07 - "Clean-up on Aisle September"
10/01/07 - "Still Anybody's Game"
09/17/07 - "Post-Toronto Update"
09/10/07 - "Notes from the Eye of a Storm"
09/03/07 - "Launching the New Season"
08/03/07 - "August Update"
07/01/07 - "The Silence is Deafening"
02/26/07 - "Forging Ahead: In Contention's Year in Advance Oscar Speculation"