With this weekend's release of Toy Story 3, the first film of 2010 with built-in Oscar pedigree, buzz on Academy Award hopefuls has officially begun.
The Hollywood Reporter this week named a handful of movies it expects to see named on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood — and several others that could left in the cold. Here are some of the names bandied about.
Toy Story 3: As of Friday, the Pixar flick had a 100 percent positive rating on rottentomatoes.com, a website that compiles and tracks film reviews.
How to Train Your Dragon: Like Toy Story 3, Dragon has a near-perfect rating on rottentomatoes. One wonders whether the academy would give two animated movies a best-picture nod.
Inception: The Leonardo DiCaprio flick by Christopher Nolan opens July 16. Consider a best-picture nod here a much-needed makeup kiss from Hollywood after his last movie, The Dark Knight, missed out on that honor.
Robin Hood: Russell Crowe + Ridley Scott = magic for 2000's Gladiator. Just add trees and an English accent and you have the lackluster Robin Hood.
Iron Man 2: The box office has been great, but the critical response to Robert Downey Jr.'s second take on the hero has been less than super.
Alice in Wonderland: Director Tim Burton will likely pick up an Oscar the same night as Adam Sandler. Or, as the Reporter so gently puts it: "The idiosyncratic Burton has yet to be embraced by the academy." Still, with 10 nominations to fill, and a half a year already in the bag, anything goes.