While contemplating the absurdity of the Oscar Race, so deftly demonstrated in Christopher Guest's latest, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, I was reminded of something that happened at a screening just one short day ago.
While making idle pre-show chat with a young acquisitions person from a major indiewood player--a company which perennially brings contenders to the race with the consistency Bob Bafffert--talk quickly turned to what will contend for Oscars this season.
Though a bit flummoxed by his festival hops from Telluride, to Venice, to Toronto.
With the confidence of gambler placing it all on a sure thing, he ranked best picture thus:
1) FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS ("Even though no one has seen it, it is this year's MUNICH, a front runner, until proved otherwise. No one is going to be taken by surprise like with MILLION DOLLAR BABY")
2) LAST KING OF SCOTLAND ("And look for Forrest to take the major prize")
3) THE QUEEN ("Its amazing reception at Venice put it right in the pack.")
4) BABEL ("A masterpiece. I've seen it twice already. It brought tears to my eyes because I loved it so much.")
5) DREAMGIRLS(The Cannes preview blew everyone away...)
In the wake of what he called a lukewarm reception of STRANGER THAN FICTION, he declared the film, "no longer a contender."
Having witnessed strange things happen as Oscar season evoles, especially when festival buzz dissipates, and so many other factors--momentum, hype, backlash, agressive campaigns, luck, box office performance--take over.
Drama's brother can act, too
I'd be reluctant to place any bets so early. Who, at this time last year, would have wagered on CRASH to take the top prize? (Turns out that running a relentless ad campaign in a hometown paper like the LA TIMES as well as industry trades paid off, taking New Yorkers way off guard.)
Good news for everyone. Just as sure as NFL season has arrived, so too has the race for Os-KAH!!!!