The doldrums of the first third of 2010 are thankfully coming to an end. Some may care to divide each film year into seasons or even quarters. I prefer to look at it in thirds: summer season, Oscar season, and those four months at the beginning where we anxiously await the other two. Speculation on that final season so early in the year is normally a fool's game. I am not a great fool so I should clearly not choose the wine in front of you. That particular wine is spread out across four months of hype designed to get every dollar in your pocket (especially if it's in 3-D), but is not necessarily chasing the golden statue.

This is the period last year, however, when the Academy announced it was expanding its Best Picture field from 5 to 10. All of fanboyland was atwitter with the prospect of a film like Star Trek finally having a legit shot of sneaking into the playoffs for the honor of having no chance to win at all. Four films did make it out of the 2009 summer season into contention: District 9, Inglourious Basterds, Up and the eventual winner, The Hurt Locker. It is immaterial to look at them as "true summer fare" the way we might consider Transformers or an actual popcorn film of quality "true summer fare." With the Academy's notoriously short-term memory, this season now hold some promise.