In another, earlier career, I spent seven years as a marketing executive in auto racing and after nearly four decades covering movies, I've finally found a parallel between a stock car race and the Oscar Derby. For 2009, at least, the Oscar race for Best Picture will have what in NASCAR parlance are called "back markers." They're cars and drivers who have no chance of winning but fill out the field.

As a close look at last year's Best Picture Oscar field shows us, it's hard enough to fill out a five-place ballot with potential winners. With 10 slots to fill out from this year's list of 274 eligible feature films, there will be titles in the bottom five that have no business being included in a best-of competition in any year.
categories Oscars, Awards