Oscar 2011: Good Movie Year

I am really excited.  The 2011 movie year, which is coming to an end soon, has been a very good one.  Even the summer season, usually full of mindless special-effects actioners and fluffy romantic comedies, was decent.  And there were several art and independent films that were released as counter-programming, such as “Midnight in Paris,” “The Tree of Life,” and “The Help.”

The fall season began strongly, with a punch, in high-profile pictures shown at Venice, Telluride, and Toronto Film Fests.

The voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) should have no problem selecting 10 films for the Oscar’s top category, Best Picture.  This year, though, there may be less than 10 nominees, due to changes in the Academy’s voting rules.

Stay tuned.  This column will be updated twice a week from no until January 24, 2012, when the nominations are announced.

Below is my list of movies to watch, few of which I have not seen yet, but on paper, they seems strong Oscar contenders.


This column deals only with the Best Picture category.  Next up is a column about the Best Actress field.


Best Picture


Frontrunners (in alphabetical order)


The Artist

The Descendants

The Help

War Horse

Strong Contenders


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


The Ides of March


Long Shots



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2

Midnight in Paris

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

The Tree of Life

Young Adult