Top ten best picture Oscar contenders

Cheers, fellas! "Argo" is at the top of the heap this Oscar season.

It’s never too early to start thinking about the Oscars. September marks the beginning of the season in which most of the contenders are released and we’ve already seen some strong candidates for the win. Metro Hollywood’s Ned Ehrbar selects the films he thinks will top every Academy member’s list this year.

1. “Argo”

At this point, Ben Affleck’s true-life CIA rescue thriller is pretty much a lock for a Best Picture nomination — and the odds-on favorite to win. The subject matter is Hollywood-friendly, poking fun at the industry while also making it heroic, and its continued box office success means it’s also a popular favorite.

2. “The Master”

A likely nominee but a long-shot to win, P.T. Anderson’s drama suffers less from any uproar over its Scientology subtext — turns out there was no outrage — than it does from it generally leaving audiences cold. It’s still a work of art, but one that won’t break through with more crowd-pleasing competition.

3. “Life of Pi”

Ang Lee’s ambitious, 3-D behemoth is a bit of a question mark, but it   will probably earn a nomination for sheer artistry. Whether audiences connect with its shipwrecked hero and animal companions, though, is yet to be seen. It could just as easily find itself facing the same uphill battle as…

4. “Cloud Atlas”

A big, messy, ambitious film that’s guaranteed not to win Best Picture but deserves at least to be nominated, “Cloud Atlas” — which has so far divided critics and left audiences cold — will likely pick up a good share of technical nominations but miss winning in any of the name-brand categories, a proud tradition carried on by “Inception” in 2011 and “Hugo” in 2012.

5. “Les Miserables”

If it’s about crowd-pleasing, this may give “Argo” its stiffest competition. It’s got a rousing, power-to-the-people story, an all-star cast led by Hugh Jackman, “The King’s Speech” director Tom Hooper and famous, tear-jerking songs. Yes, we hear the people sing.

6. “Lincoln”

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Tony Kushner. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. It’s almost as if “Lincoln” was built in an Oscar Bait lab. Of course, that’s how Spielberg’s “War Horse” appeared last year until people actually saw it. The difference is that “Lincoln” is actually good, and Day-Lewis is a lock for a Best Actor nod.

7. “The Impossible”

Depending how audiences respond, this true-life survival tale could also be tough competition for “Argo.” It’s equal parts harrowing and uplifting, with a standout performance by Naomi Watts and a chilling recreation of the 2004 Tsunami. Already a runaway success in the director’s native Spain, we’ll see if Americans flip for it as well.

8. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

While this gorgeous indie about New Orleans bayou dwellers battling a hurricane is expected to sweep the Film Independent Spirit Awards, it’s a bit more of a long-shot for an Oscar nod — but a deserving one. Maybe the devastation of super-storm Sandy will boost its relevance.

9. “Silver Linings Playbook”

This one has also been earning raves at festivals for director David O. Russell (“The Fighter”) and actors Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper (as a man with a mental condition) and Jennifer Lawrence (as the woman who helps him), who has a lot of Best Actress heat building around her.

10. “Skyfall”

A Bond film as a Best Picture nominee? If ever there was a chance, it’s with this one. And after all, the Best Picture category was expanded specifically to make room for smartly made action films like this. It’s a shame “The Dark Knight Rises” didn’t live up to its predecessor, or it might be on the list instead.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…