Last year ended with an underwhelming blockbuster extravaganza. Harry on Camping and Tron putting bums on seats before eventually numbing them. Luckily with award season on the way it usually means the year begins with a few films with eyes on Oscar nominations.
The hype from over the tectonic divide seems to be that the Coen Brothers are making a strong case with their remake of the classic True Grit which has already garnered a vast amount of critical praise. The brothers already having Oscar pedigree with No Country for Old Men in 2007 as well as Fargo in 1996. The remake sees Jeff Bridges playing the infamous role of Rooster Cogburn tracking down the murderer of a young girl's father. Bridges fresh from his triumph at last year's Academy Awards looks set to possibly earn himself another nomination here.
With similar award winning form is Danny Boyle who follows up the acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire with the eagerly awaited 127 Hours. The true story of Aron Ralston already comes with a sack full of nominations and awards so don't be surprised to see James Franco and Boyle both getting Oscar nods.
The film I'm most looking forward to is Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. Described by Mark Kermode as "like Argento on crack" it has already whet my appetite. It's hard to not be extremely excited by the grouping of Aronofsky, Portman and Cassel. Furthermore another soundtrack by Clint Mansell who most certainly deserves some credit for his brilliant scores over the past decade. Having been a massive fan of Aronofsky's entire body of work, including The Fountain which I wholeheartedly believe to be a work of unmatched vision, beauty and ambition, this is the one that I'm busting a gut to see.
Judging from the critical buzz alone it seems as those these three films will be putting their hands out for the awards rationing to begin. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see them split fairly equally between these films as well as Toy Story 3 and The Social Network. With internal politics probably deciding the outcome in the case of the Oscars and going the way of The Social Network.