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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira:

March 18, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Next year’s Oscar bait

Remember this time last year, when everyone was saying the Oscars would be dominated by “Nine,” “The Lovely Bones” and “Invictus”? Time to dive into that fun game of sight-unseen predictions, and the Los Angeles Times enters the fray with relish, providing a list of 14 possibilities — some of which were familiar to me, some not. See what you think:
— “127 Hours.” Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” follow-up is the fact-based story of a desperate, trapped mountain climber (James Franco). (Release date TBA.)
— “The Kids Are All Right.” Mark Ruffalo plays a sperm donor who meets his biological children and their moms (Julianne Moore, Annette Bening) in this Sundance hit, directed by Lisa Cholodenko. (Summer)
— “The Tree of Life.” Any movie by Terrence Malick is an event, and this one, about a family in the 1950s, stars the Oscar-friendly duo of Sean Penn and Brad Pitt. (TBA)
— “Inception.” Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Christopher Nolan’s psychological sci-fi thriller, which sounds a bit like “Minority Report” (in a good way). (July 16)
— “True Grit.” Jeff Bridges, his new Oscar still sparkling, stars in the Coen brothers’ remake of the John Wayne film, co-starring Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. (December)
— “Hereafter.” Clint Eastwood directs and the ubiquitous Matt Damon stars in a supernatural thriller that entwines three people’s lives, written by Peter Morgan (“The Queen”). (December)
— “The Rum Diary.” Johnny Depp stars as a freelance journalist in the Caribbean in this film, based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel. (TBA)
— “Betty Anne Waters.” Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as a woman who puts herself through law school to defend her wrongfully accused brother (Sam Rockwell). (TBA)
— “Casino Jack.” Kevin Spacey, who’s overdue for a hit, plays disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in George Hickenlooper’s drama. (TBA)
— “Love and Other Drugs.” Jake Gyllenhaal is a drug-company salesman and Anne Hathaway a woman coping with serious illness; Edward Zwick (“Blood Diamond,” “Glory”) directs.
— “Blue Valentine.” A Sundance hit, this troubled-marriage drama stars the ever-reliable Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. (TBA)
— “The Ghost Writer.” If the Academy doesn’t forget about Roman Polanski’s thriller, which opened weeks ago, it could be a contender. I thought it was a little overpraised, but that’s just me. (Now in theaters.)
— “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.” Has anyone won an Oscar twice for the same role? Michael Douglas, as Gordon Gekko, takes a stab at it in Oliver Stone’s sequel to “Wall Street.” (Sept. 24)
— “Greenberg.” Ben Stiller stars as a man struggling with depression in Noah Baumbach’s latest. (March 26).
— “Salt.” Angelina Jolie is a CIA agent on the run in this action drama originally written as a Tom Cruise vehicle. (I get those two mixed up all the time too.)
And that’s the L.A. Times’ list. Me, I’m wondering about Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” David Fincher’s “The Social Network” (the first Facebook movie!), and “The King’s Speech,” with Colin Firth as King George VI. You?

Angelina Jolie in “Salt” (photo credit; Andrew Schwartz, SMPSP; copyright 2009 Columbia Pictures)



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