This is all very bizarre, Oscar watchers. None of the films being discussed have opened to the public and yet they’ve had their ups and downs all over the web. Ads from films flash at people, the chattering class is reaching a fever pitch. What to make of it, what to make of it. In his latest column, David Poland trashes Revolutionary Road and puts it not quite as far down on his Best Picture list as The Dark Knight but below Australia. For our purposes, we’re used to films opening, being reviewed and then considered for Best Picture. Now, since we see them so much earlier than they’re released, we only have our own opinions to go on and those, my friends, aren’t nearly as reliable.
But the studios need to have their movies seen because time’s a wasting. The National Board of Review is coming up, the Globes and BFCA are coming up. Right now, the BFCA has a few Oscar-y films on its radar – among them, Frost/Nixon currently enjoying a whopping 96. Milk has a 93. Slumdog has a 92, if you can believe it. That makes Frost/Nixon their top winner at the moment.
Unless one’s own taste aligns perfectly with the Academy’s, without a general consensus no one can know — I mean REALLY know – anything about how the year will go. So no worries, you Australia supporters – that film could very well be among the Big Five.
This early on it’s easy to have one’s hopes raised. Right now, we can all have our ideal Oscar race before our eyes. We can still believe that The Dark Knight will be nominated (it should be) or that Revolutionary Road is really a strong contender or that Melissa Leo actually has a shot. We can believe anything we want because so far there isn’t anyone, no critic, no award, no list telling us we can’t. But remember, the trick is not minding because when the shit starts to come down it’s going to hurt.
I don’t know why Poland hated Revolutionary Road and why he thinks Doubt has a better shot at Best Pic, or Australia is a better contender than The Dark Knight – I don’t know anything. December can’t come fast enough. We all need a little reality slap right about now, methinks. The trick is not minding, the trick is not minding, the trick is — SLAP.
Is there a lock in the Best Pic race pre-Thanksgiving? Benjamin Button is a lock. Slumdog is a lock. Beyond those, well, nobody knows anything. We wait, we wait.