We are getting close to the official launching of awards season. The Gotham Awards are nice and all but they are very much like pre-season sports. You can choose to look if you want, but the results are not going to factor much of anything once the real games begin. Such is the danger in declaring any of the major Oscar races over at such an early date. Though many of the categories will come into focus by the end of December, the next 6-8 weeks are going to be filled with excitement over the myriad of choices fighting it out for the few spots not already taken.
At this point, one thing all the guess makers can all agree on is that Colin Firth is on the fast track for a Best Actor nomination for 'The King's Speech' and may just be the frontrunner to win it all. The deserved buzz for James Franco's one-man show as trapped hiker, Aron Ralston, in Danny Boyle's amazing '127 Hours' will also be hard to escape once it opens in a few weeks. These two performances mean that Robert Duvall's turn as the funeral-throwing hermit in 'Get Low' has lost a bit of its luster as a lock. Aside from Leonardo DiCaprio's double-billed work in 'Shutter Island' and 'Inception,' there are few individual achievements worth remembering from the first two-thirds of 2010. Provided that voters do indeed remember. Get those screeners out there, Sony Classics. And don't forget the critics groups either.