Karger narrows it to eight

Posted by · 7:00 pm · November 28th, 2008

For this week’s edition of Entertainment Weekly, Dave Karger has boiled down the Best Picture race to a mere eight horses. The no-surprises list reads as follows:

1. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
2. “Slumdog Millionaire”
3. “Frost/Nixon”
4. “Revolutionary Road”
5. “Doubt”
6. “Milk”
7. “The Dark Knight”
8. “Australia”

Nothing much to comment on, really. Karger remarks that, in the wake of “Milk”‘s rapturous critical reception, he would now move it further up the chart. Meanwhile, he considers dropping “Australia,” presumably in favour of one of his runners-up, “The Reader” or “Gran Torino.”

However you shake it, though, it still makes for a pretty yawnsome list of the usual suspects. He’s probably right, of course. But is it too late to jazz up the competition with a fresh contender? “The Wrestler?” “Happy-Go-Lucky?” Hell, I’ll settle for “WALL-E” at this point. Go on, Academy, surprise us. Please.

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13 responses so far

  • 1 11-28-2008 at 7:47 pm

    Chad said...

    You can’t contribute to a blog that analyzes the awards race to the skin and bones for months in advance and then complain about the surprise being taken away from it.

  • 2 11-28-2008 at 7:48 pm

    Average Joe said...

    Australia’s dead. The fact that it debuted at number 5 at the box office is the final nail in the coffin. Can someone please explain to me why Frost/Nixon is showing up on everybody’s predictions? It seemed to me that the reactions to it after its premiere were meh. I don’t remember one single rave.

  • 3 11-28-2008 at 8:29 pm

    Brian Kinsley said...

    After seeing Frost/Nixon last night, I have a hard time seeing it not getting in. It’s Howard’s best dramatic work by miles, it will appeal and thrill the older demographic, and while I doubt it wins anything, it’s the kind of film the Oscars love to nominate. It might not get many #1’s, but I bet it makes a hell of a lot of top tens, globe noms, etc…

  • 4 11-28-2008 at 11:31 pm

    Aaron said...

    Australia is dead, I agree. I saw it this week and I enjoyed it, but I doubt it’s going to make it to the final five…at all.

    The Curious Case and Slumdog are good bets. Is Frost/Nixon really gonna make the final five? I agree with Average Joe that the first reviews were kinda “meh”…there wasn’t much enthusiasm…and the same with Doubt, albeit much more…a few acting noms for it seem more likely…

    …I would substitute those slots for The Dark Knight and Milk…Rev. Road may make it although I don’t think the reviews for that were stellar either…I think the 5th slot is up for grabs…

    …maybe The Reader will be the one to steal the fifth slot…I think it’s one of the few films opening that has a really intriguing premise…

  • 5 11-28-2008 at 11:35 pm

    PJ said...

    I think Milk is more assured at this point than Doubt or Revolutionary Road, reviews for which are yet to drop.

  • 6 11-29-2008 at 6:29 am

    John said...

    Yeah, I think ‘The Reader’ COULD strike a chord with lots of AMPAS. And it DOES sound different.

  • 7 11-29-2008 at 7:02 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Kingsley, I totally agree with you. It’s perhaps not the greatest movie of the year but it is the most solid movie. Entertaining, gripping and never feels like it’s too much for its own good. I’d compare it to Michael Clayton a little in being just very well crafted and deserving of some nods.

  • 8 11-29-2008 at 12:27 pm

    Brian Kinsley said...

    Frost/Nixon is faaaaar ahead of The Dark Knight with AMPAS, at least until Globes/PGA/SAG. You have to remember how much of AMPAS is made up of older voters, who will absolutely (and, for once in Howard’s case, deservedly) flip for this movie. The question is if TDK can get the LOTR vote, which managed to get a good section of older voters, probably more based on the fact that the source material was something they grew up on and loved.

    TDK’s best bet is to win the PGA and SAG. I think it’s got a great shot at winning the PGA, but even get Globe love will be tough (where I expect movies like “Doubt” and “The Reader”, and even “Australia” potentially, to push it out of the top 5).

    TDK absolutely needed Reader and Button to bomb, and that didn’t happen. Button’s in it seems, and The Reader will get a hell of a campaign I’m guessing.

    So you look at that top 8, and you can easily replace Australia with Gran Torino, The Reader and I think the big underdog, The Wrestler.

    1. Button
    2. Slumdog
    3. Milk
    4. Frost/Nixon
    5. Revolutionary Road
    6. The Reader
    7. Doubt
    8. The Dark Knight
    9. Gran Torino
    10. The Wrestler

    I find it really hard to see the Globe pic nominees not coming from the top 7 there. I think we’ll see Nolan get a bunch of directing noms (ala Jackson with Kong), a DGA nom, and the 5th director’s spot.

  • 9 11-29-2008 at 1:43 pm

    AdamL said...

    What do you want him to do? Name Quantum of Solace, Mamma Mia and Zack and Miri Make a Porno as contenders? His “yawnsome” list is only yawnsome because it is the same list that everyone else is posting, and it is the same list that everyone else is posting because they are the front-runners.

    Why is that yawnsome? I suggest you read less prediction lists!

  • 10 11-29-2008 at 10:53 pm

    JAB said...

    i feel good now that i’ve seen four of these eight.
    (Dark Knight, Milk, Slumdog, and Australia)
    loved all of them.

  • 11 11-30-2008 at 3:55 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’m not criticising Karger — he’s almost certainly right, as I said. It just strikes me as a dull (and slim) season.

  • 12 12-01-2008 at 1:15 am

    Scott Ward said...

    I really think it’s safe to eliminate Australia at this point. So really I think there are seven films in contention. And in my opinion, there are three locks and one that’s closing in on being a lock. For the other three it is really a toss up.

  • 13 12-02-2008 at 2:14 pm

    Diego said...


    1-Benjamin button
    2-Slumdog Millionaire

    The reader, Changeling, TDK, Wall-E, Revolutionary road, The Wrestler, Doubt and Frost/Nixon….

    My prediction:
    Benjmin button
    The Wrestler
    Revolutionary road