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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

October 21, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Predicting the Oscars, way too soon

Lots of Oscar buzz in the L.A. Times today, what with the arrival this weekend of two movies that, sight unseen, looked like Oscar bait, but ultimately probably aren’t: “Hereafter” and “Conviction.” Hilary Swank’s no longer being mentioned among the top five best actress possibilities — her performance in “Conviction” is good but somewhat familiar — likewise Clint Eastwood probably won’t make the best director list this year. But it’s well to remember that last year we all thought, at this point in the season, that either Meryl Streep or Gabourey Sidibe would win best actress (no one was talking about Sandra Bullock; “The Blind Side” hadn’t come out yet and didn’t sound like the kind of movie that would draw Academy attention), and that George Clooney was the man to beat for best actor — “Crazy Heart” and Jeff Bridges hadn’t even been added to the 2009 slate. I’m not at all sure that Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right”) and Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) will remain the top actress contenders, as the L.A. Times maintains; I’m thinking the eventual list is going to include Noomi Rapace (for either of the three Swedish “Dragon Tattoo” movies), Naomi Watts for “Fair Game,” and Nicole Kidman for “Rabbit Hole,” all of which I think are more interesting performances than Portman’s, at least. But we shall see.
Off tonight to get a sneak preview of the Harry Potter exhibit at Pacific Science Center, and to meet the winners of the Seattle Times Harry Potter contest and tweetup, during which I devoutly hope nobody asks me what a tweetup is. Will report tomorrow morning. I’m very much of two minds on this exhibit: on the one hand, it seems like an awfully expensive commercial for a movie franchise, not to mention an odd fit for something called the *Science* Center; on the other, I’m kind of a sucker for elaborate movie costumes and props, and I hear that some of the ones shown here are pretty spectacular. So, we shall see. I know I should throw in some fabulously appropriate Harry Potter quote here, but all I can think of is Hermoine’s line from one of the middle movies, spoken with true Hermoine-style horror: “Is that what my hair looks like from the back?” Later.

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