By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 1, 2010 at 9:00AM
At the new year, Kris Tapley and I ponder the fate of the Oscar Top Ten. We agree that Avatar is now the best picture front-runner, over EW's Oscar Issue Pick, Up in the Air, and that Crazy Heart star Jeff Bridges is overtaking critics-group fave George Clooney.
Kris is less worried about the Academy's anti-animation bias, which could effect Up's chances of getting into the best picture race, and cut live-action-CG hybrid Avatar's nominations from nine to seven: Avatar may not land cinematography and art direction. My current top ten picks and Variety's breakdown of Academy branch numbers are on the jump.
2. The Hurt Locker
3. Up in the Air
4. Inglourious Basterds
7. An Education
8. A Serious Man
10. District 9
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