JarheadThat's what Reuters seems to think, anyway. According to them, the fact that box office receipts are down (What? No way! Why hasn't this been discussed before?) combined with the pending arrival of Serious Movies in theaters is a clear sign that people want to think. It's as if Reuters has never been through an awards season before, or something. Studios always pile their Oscar-bait pictures at the end of the year, and Oscar-bait are always the ones that at least pretend to have messages. Got an abused woman? Push her out in late October. Oooh, a war picture! November, please. Terrorism? Politics? Right on! December would be just perfect.

While it's been suggested that the number of "message pictures" (which I think means they have a subject that can be made to sound solemn in a one-sentence plot summary) is higher than ever this fall, it seems equally likely that people are just paying more attention than usual. Either way, the fact is that actors and directors taking themselves very seriously indeed will be out in force over the next two months - prepare yourselves for the onslaught.