I won't bore you by systematically going through every movie being released this Fall, but I'll give you the run-down of my early inclinations and the movies I'm most excited for:
The Road, based on the post-apocalyptic novel by Cormac McCarthy (who wrote the novel-turned-Best-Picture-Winner No Country For Old Men, or as I like to refer to it, 'No Country For Tediously Drawn-Out Plot Lines That Leave You Feeling Empty Inside.') is a shoo-in for Best Picture. It seems only fair that since last year's Best Picture winner was the delightful feel-good movie Slumdog Millionaire, that this year's statue should go to the most depressing film of the year. To be honest, I would rather see District 9, the alien apartheid allegory win it. After all, it was produced by Peter Jackson, and I'm pretty sure there's some rule about him automatically getting an Oscar every time he makes a movie. In any case, it looks like no matter how you slice it, this year's Best Picture winner is going to be about the self-destruction of humanity in a not-too-distant future. (I miss the adorable dancing Indian children already.)
I'm thinking Hilary Swank is definitely going to snag a Best Actress nomination for her titular role as Amelia Earhart in Amelia. I mean, look at the facts: she's playing a historical figure, she has a ridiculous haircut, and she's playing opposite Richard Gere. (Hey, it worked for Julia Roberts, Renée Zellweger, and Cate Blanchett.) Of course, it's also possible that Precious will sweep both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Mo'Nique might as well go out to Ikea right now and buy herself a well-priced Swedish shelving unit (I recommend Benno) for all the awards she'll be getting come this Winter. I can barely get through the preview for Precious without bawling, so it's guaranteed Oscar gold.
Matt Damon looks hilarious in The Informant, but word on the street (Mulberry Street, to be exact) is that George Clooney's dramatic turn in Up In the Air will give him a run for his money. Let's be real here for a second, though, people. Maybe you haven't heard, but Morgan Freeman is playing NELSON MANDELA in December's Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood. So, to recap: Morgan Freeman, Nelson Mandela, Clint Eastwood. Enough said.
On the other hand, we have Daniel Day-Lewis starring in Nine, the musical that's based on the broadway play that was based on the 1963 drama 8 1/2. Not to be confused with its homonymous rival, 9, the post-apocalyptic animated film starring what appears to be a group of sandbags with googly eyes. Let's play a little game of "One of These Things Is Not Like the Others" with the cast of Nine, shall we? Two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis, Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman, Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard, Academy Award winner Penélope Cruz, Academy Award winner and six-time nominee Judi Dench, Academy Award winner Sophia Loren, and Fergie. (To her credit, she did win an MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video for "My Humps.") Kate Hudson's role in Nine is almost equally WTF-inducing. Despite my hatred for Fergie, I'm superbly excited for Nine, and I'm confident it will earn one of this year's TEN Best Picture nominations (weird), unless there's a huge upset and All About Steve' nabs the last spot on the ballot.