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Oscars: a 3-horse race? Or 4?



It’s now a three-horse race…or four, depending on who you talk to in Hollywood.

The Academy Award nominations are out and an expanded list of 10 films vying for best picture are grabbing the public’s attention….but talk to people who run Oscar campaigns and they’ll tell you that less than a handful of the nominated movies are favored at this point.

The three favorites are James Cameron’s “Avatar,” Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.”

Some will tell you that “Up in the Air,” Jason Reitman’s depiction of recessionary America starring George Clooney is a close fourth.

Those straggling behind are “Precious,” “The Blind Side,” “An Education,” “Up,” “District 9” and “A Serious Man.”

“It’s hot and heavy with those top four titles competing,” said one veteran Oscar consultant. “Just look at the two hottest ones. ‘Avatar’ has already won its place in motion picture history by virtue of its box office and amazing movie-making techniques. That will be highly respected by all the crafts and that’s why it got nine nominations overall.

‘The Hurt Locker’ is coming off wins at the Producers Guild and Directors Guild and various critics awards. I can’t imagine the Academy (giving the Oscar) to ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ It doesn’t smack of best picture. It’s a fantasy world according to Quentin Tarantino. But I think it’s had a good campaign thanks to (Harvey Weinstein). He ran an ad the other day thanking rabbis…for screening the movie. Today’s ad has a Jewish star over the helmet. Pretty clever.

“I think all these movies are worried about each other. From a marketing point of view, and a campaigning point of view, my advice is: don’t let anybody else’s ad be bigger than yours.”

About Robert W. Welkos

Executive Editor: Robert W. Welkos is an award-winning journalist who covered the entertainment industry for 15 years as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. During this span, he wrote extensively about the movie industry from turmoil in the executive suites, the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, and box office hits and bombs to visits to movie sets as well as profiles of top stars and A-list directors, cutting edge features on the newest indie films and visits to famous film festivals like Sundance and Cannes. Prior to entertainment, Welkos worked as a reporter and assistant city editor in The Times’ Metro section where he undertook major investigations for the paper as well as covering breaking news and writing in-depth features. Before joining The Times, he worked for the Associated Press in Reno, Nevada, and City News Service in Los Angeles.

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One Comment

  • February 5, 2010 | Permalink |

    Omg, that Harvey will do ANYTHING to win an Oscar!

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