Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: Five to Ten for 2010

Welcome back to weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. Five to Ten is the fifth in a series of projects looking back at the past eight years of the Oscars, dating back to the first ceremony I watched and closely followed.

On the heels of the Academy’s announcement that this coming year will feature anywhere from five to ten films in the Best Picture list, I thought to look back at the most recent decade to determine what number of films would have ultimately earned a slot in the top category. Obviously, this is all guesswork and designed, above anything, to be fun. In the new system, films will need to earn at least 5% of the first-place votes. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments!

Five to Ten for 2010

The actual lineup: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone

The locks: Champ The King’s Speech would have had no problem making the list, and the same goes for The Social Network, The Fighter, and Black Swan, all of which earned more than enough accolades in other categories to cement their status.

The close-to-certains: There’s no reason to suspect that True Grit wouldn’t have made the list, especially given its ten-nomination total. Ditto Inception, which got snubbed in the Best Director field but showed up in enough early places to presume that the omission of Christopher Nolan was a fluke.

The less likelies: As an animated film, Toy Story 3 starts off with a distinct disadvantage. In a ten-wide field, it made sense, but would enough people rank it as their top choice? The Kids Are All Right may also not have appealed to as many to earn it their number one vote.

The victims: It was cited as one of the top independent films of the year, but Winter’s Bone was probably too dark and tiny to register on voters’ radar above other films. And I highly doubt that 127 Hours could overcome the negative press it got about its faint-inducing scene to score a place here.

And the nominees could have been… Seven. “Toy Story 3” is loveable enough that it makes it in, along with “Inception” and the films nominated for Best Director.

Does it change the winner? No. It’s not as if the three films that would have been left off drew votes away from “The Social Network.”

Which lineup is better? Personally, I’d toss aside “Black Swan” and “True Grit” and ensure that at least “127 Hours” and “Winter’s Bone” made the cut. That said, “The Kids Are All Right” was probably the more important 2010 film of the three that would have been left off, so I’d say that the seven-full lineup isn’t so bad as a representation of the year 2010 in cinema.

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