Saturday, December 08, 2007

Best Picture: Is is still a Contest?

With Atonement opening in America to a host of raves this weekend (85 on metacritic), having been the subject of massive buzz since its release here in England three months ago, has it played the perfect hand in the Oscar game this year?

Because the buzz has been going so long there was a sense that it might receive a backlash from critics. Perhaps it did, but ultimately of the most minor and insignificant degree. Some might say that AMPAS have moved on from 1997, but if they have it isn't enough to deny Atonement the prize it gave to Titanic, a film in its own league of buzz and epicness, but not a million miles away from Joe Wright's stunning film.

You have to wonder whether it will even matter if Atonement doesn't get any critic prizes. It is a film that awards bodies historically embrace in droves, and its nearest challenger, the NBR winner No Country For Old Men is distinctly not what Oscar goes for -- especially when it went for The Departed last year, a film with a similarly action feel.

You can already get odds of 7/2 on Atonement winning. Is it already time to cash in?

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