As the 2010 Oscar race begins to heat up, I thought I would examine the leading candidates to round out the ballot of ten films vying for Best Picture. 2009 was the first year in Oscar history to include ten films in contention, and unfortunately it wasn't a very deep year. Personally, I am thankful for this change this year, with a number of films worthy of consideration. Some films have had their place locked in for months already, while many of the leading chances are yet to have an Australia release, so I can only comment based on their critical reception.
Films I really liked, but are outside chances at best:
The American (Anton Corbijn), Animal Kingdom (David Michod), Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy), The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski), I am Love (Luca Guadagnino), Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese) and The Town (Ben Affleck)
Lock them in:
The Social Network (David Fincher), Inception (Christopher Nolan), The Kids are All Right (Linda Cholodenko), Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich) and Winter's Bone (Debra Granik)
Films yet to be released in Australia, but are likely candidates:
127 Hours (Danny Boyle), Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky), The King's Speech (Tom Hooper), True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen), The Way Back (Peter Weir), The Fighter (David O. Russell), Another Year (Mike Leigh) and Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance)