- 9 Oscar nominations, the most of this year (tied with The Hurt Locker)
- Biggest box office smash of all time
- Golden Globe winner for Best Picture drama (the first ever for a science fiction film)
- Widespread nominations from many of the filmmaking disciplines (art direction, cinematography, editing, sound, music), as well as widespread love from the guilds.
- ABC would love for it to happen (i.e.-- let's boost those sagging Oscar ratings)
- James Cameron has crafted and undisputed game-changer of a film-- love it or hate it, it's a force to be reckoned with...
- Widespread guild love didn't come from the actors branch (which is the largest portion of the Academy), nor the writers branch-- no film has won best picture without a screenplay or acting nomination since Grand Hotel in the 1930s.
- Some may not take it seriously-- the Academy is made up of stuffy, older film snobs, and genre films have never been their cup of tea.
- Neither has science-fiction films, despite two being nominated this year.
- It's the biggest box office champ of all time, that may hurt it, as much as it helps.
- James Cameron may be respected, but I doubt he's loved-- the Academy roots for it's friends.
- Cameron and team, already won for a game-changer in 1998; that may be enough.
THE BLIND SIDE
- Uplifting message films are right up the Oscar's alley (Gentleman's Agreement; Kramer vs. Kramer; Forrest Gump; Rain Man)
- True story!
- Surprise big hit.
- Sandra Bullock's big year, with the media going gong crazy over her.
- The quality of film-- many like it (even love it?), but is there much passion for it.
- Sandra Bullock?
- The liberal Academy may not stomach it very well.
- Sports movies never win the big prize, except for Rocky-- is this on that level?
- Wasn't nominated for a film editing Oscar, no film has won picture without a film editing nomination since 1980's Ordinary People.
- Picture and Bullock were the only nominations it got-- no director, no screenplay.
- Critically accalimed film produced by Peter Jackson.
- Introduces several fresh talents: director Neill Blomkamp and actor Sharlto Copely
- Nominated for film editing Oscar, a true must for serious picture contention.
- Widespread guild love-- it even won over the writers.
- It's a classic allegory cleverly disguised as genre film-- voters may appreciate the artistry.
- The movie wasn't expensive to make, but it doesn't look that way.
- Surprise big hit.
- Sci-Fi-- the Academy doesn't get it, even when it's great (see: 2001: A Space Odyssey; Close Encouinters of the Third Kind)
- The film is fairly violent, I could see older Academy members getting turned off by it, or not watching it at all.
- No acting nominations, the actors are the biggest branch of the Academy.
- No nomination for direction.
- British-- the Academy lurves that (Tom Jones; Hamlet)
- Period Film.
- Got acting and writing nods.
- Directed by a woman; that's never happened.
- It would be the lowest grossing best picture ever-- this is usually a fairly populist group.
- The actors and writers liked it, but no one else did apparently-- no film editing nomination-- no film has won picture without a film editing nomination since 1980's Ordinary People.
- No nomination for direction-- it's in the bottom five for sure.
- How many people have actually seen it?
THE HURT LOCKER
- Nominated for most awards (tied with Avatar)
- Winner of the DGA award, the most common link to Best Picture.
- Winner of the PGA award, meaning the Producers liked it too.
- Widespread guild and tech love (cinematography, film editing, score, sound)
- Nominated for acting and writing-- the only film besides Inglourious Basterds and Precious to sweep all fields.
- Timely subject matter
- War drama-- the Oscars love war movies-- going all the way back to All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
- For the first time ever, a film directed by a woman is one of the front runners for best picture-- history making-- the Academy likes to do the right thing.
- Industry admiration for Bigelow.
- Press admiration for Bigelow.
- It would be the lowest grossing best picture winner ever!
- Widespread guild love, garnering nominations for acting, writing, cinematography, editing, sound.
- Actors and writers love it (SAG Ensemble winner: think Crash)
- New found respectability for Quentin Tarantino--he's an auteur, and he's popular.
- War and period film, albeit revisionist.
- Surprise big hit.
- Harvey Weinstein is back the film (think: everything is the 1990s and Kate Winslet last year.)
- Still a fairly polarizing film.
- Christoph Waltz is favored to win-- some may think that's enough.
- Harvey Weinstein.
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL "PUSH" BY SAPPHIRE
- Based on a novel-- adapted screenplays win more often than originals.
- Received nominations for acting, writing and film editing-- widespread love.
- Decent box office, if a bit short than expected from metoric press coverage.
- One of the most polarizing films of the year.
- Would be one of the lowest grossing best picture winners ever, probably the lowest with inflation.
- About African American women-- the Academy is sexist, and a bit racist sometimes.
- General momentum for the film has been downhill since wide release-- not a good sign.
A SERIOUS MAN
- The Coen brothers are very respected in the Academy: Fargo; No Country For Old Men.
- Nominated for screenplay.
- Picture and screenplay are all it got.
- No acting nominations-- the actors make up the biggest portion of the Academy.
- No film editing nominations-- no one has managed that since since 1980's Ordinary People.
- Would be the lowest grossing best picture ever.
- No director nomination-- it was in the bottom five for sure.
- Polarizing film-- many loved; equally many hate it.
- Beautifully realized, masterfully storytelling-- the quality is there, and I bet few will argue with that.
- Pixar is a venerable institution-- it's won lots of Oscars, but this is it's first best picture.
- Nominated for screenplay, sound, and score-- widespread academy appeal.
- Massive big hit.
- It's animated, and the bias for them is no secret for Academy members, as unfair has it may seem to animation enthusiasts.
- It will likely win animated feature, why honor it here.
- No editing nomination-- not since 1980 and Ordinary People has that happened.
- It was surely in the bottom five, sadly.
UP IN THE AIR
- Actors and writers movie for sure; actors make up the biggest part of the Academy.
- Favored for adapted screenplay-- most best picture winners are based on other material.
- Timely subject matter-- probably the timiliest of all ten nominees with the focus of losing jobs.
- George Clooney is very popular.
- Jason Reitman has been working this movie like crazy, but many may feels he's due after Thank You For Smoking and Juno.
- Nominated for best director (was most likely in the Top Five)
- Good Box Office, even if it never really became the Zeitgeist movie many thought it would.
- Surprisingly no film editing nomination-- it's been twenty years since a film won without it, and many point that to the reason Brokeback Mountain lost to Crash in 2005.
- A loss of momentum.
- Many feel that Jason Reitman may have been over-working this.