Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Nominees Are In

The Best Picture nominees are...

The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

I guessed seven of them correctly, six if you leave out A Serious Man, which I thought might be tossed in to spice things up but wasn't big enough for surefire inclusion. I don't know anything about The Blind Side or An Education, but District 9 is an honest surprise. It doesn't have a chance in hell, but it was an excellent science fiction pic--a rarity these days--that did very well for itself, well enough that its name recognition was able to overcome what would normally be its off-putting sci-fi-ness (for an example of a similar, and from what I hear similarly good, sci-fi film that didn't have the box office mojo to get it out of the genre ghetto, see Moon). The omission of Clint Eastwood's Mandela biopic is pretty surprising, Nine a bit less so; I included it mostly out of cynicism about this whole enterprise. Crazy Heart is supposed to be pretty damned excellent, and so it's disappointing not to see it on this list.

Of course, quality is secondary when it comes to this list. We would do well to heed Manohla Dargis' wisdom:

Let's acknowledge that the Oscars are bullshit and we hate them. But they are important commercially... I've learned to never underestimate the academy's bad taste. Crash as best picture? What the fuck.

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