Sunday, July 18, 2010

A repeat of the travesty in 2008 with "The Dark Knight" and the Oscars cannot happen this year. If you recall, Christopher Nolan's masterful Batman movie got snubbed for both Best Picture and Best Director while still garnering eight other nominations in lesser categories. Even worse, it got bumped out by "The Reader" in both instances.

One of the primary reasons the academy expanded the Best Picture category from five nominations to 10 this past year was due to the outrage from this huge snub. So, here we are in 2010 with another wildly praised and acclaimed film from Christopher Nolan, "Inception." And the questioning begins: How does its Oscar chances look?

"Inception" will, without a doubt in my mind, get nominated for Best Picture. Within the 10 slots, it simply has to find its place in there. After snubbing "The Dark Knight," the academy would not dare do it again.

Best Director is tougher to say considering there are still only five slots. Nonetheless, I think we're looking at a well-deserved nomination for Christopher Nolan.

"Inception" also places its chances in a slew of other categories including Best Score thanks to Hans Zimmer's outstanding work and Best Original Screenplay for Nolan considering this film boasts one of the most insanely original premises to come along in a long time. Other potential nominations could come in the form of Editing, Sound Mixing and/or Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Art Direction and Cinematography.

This means a total of 10 possible (or even probable) nominations.

As for acting, "Inception" does not fare as well. Leonardo DiCaprio does some of his best work, sure, but the similarities to "Shutter Island" are hard to shrug off. It's also early in the year, and I have a sneaky suspicion that later male performances are going to trump this one.

I actually would consider Marion Cotillard and even Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page to have better chances at supporting nominations. But again, such is unlikely considering it's still early in the year in terms of Oscar-caliber performances.

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