As we head into November, we can start bidding farewell to the summer blockbusters and October slasher flicks. November and December mark the beginning of Oscar bait season. That's right. This is the time when studios carefully roll out their prize magnets, just in time to qualify for the 2010 cut-off, but not too early to slip from the Academy voters' memories when it comes time to decide which movies will get those coveted nominations.

The best Oscar bait story in recent memory likely belongs to 'Girl, Interrupted.' The film unexpectedly launched Angelina Jolie's career, netting her an Oscar. 'Girl, Interrupted' was an Oscar vehicle, yes, but the driver was supposed to be Winona Ryder, not Angelina. What was meant to revive Winona's career instead became a launchpad for one of the most successful actresses of our time. Who'd have thought, at the time, that this plucky unknown actress would eventually outshine her big-name co-star?

This fall/winter movie season will certainly feature a healthy dose of Oscar bait, including the thematic staples of boxing, horse racing and single mothers fighting the man. Oscar regular Paramount Vantage ('There Will Be Blood,' 'An Inconvenient Truth,' 'Up in the Air,' 'Revolutionary Road,' 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button') has a busy couple of months approaching, with an onslaught of award-baiting films including 'The Fighter' and 'Waiting for Superman.' Moviegoers are in for a treat.

It was difficult to narrow this year's crop of transparent Oscar bait down to just 10, but somehow we managed. Here's a list of the top 10 films that are most obviously jostling for a position on the 83rd Academy Awards ballot.
Girl, Interrupted Movie Poster
Girl, Interrupted
R1999
Based on 32 critics

Set in the changing world of the late 1960s, "Girl, Interrupted" is the searing true story of Susanna... Read More

The Fighter Movie Poster
The Fighter
R2010
Based on 41 critics

For Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), boxing is a family affair. His tough-as-nails mother is his manager.... Read More

Conviction Movie Poster
Conviction
R2010
Based on 32 critics

When her older brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in 1983, Betty... Read More

The Town Movie Poster
The Town
R2010
Based on 42 critics

Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) leads a band of ruthless bank robbers and has no real attachments except for... Read More

The Social Network Movie Poster
The Social Network
PG-132010
Based on 42 critics

In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins work on a new... Read More

Fair Game Movie Poster
Fair Game
PG-132010
Based on 35 critics

Wife and mother Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) has a double life as a CIA operative, hiding her vocation... Read More

True Grit Movie Poster
True Grit
PG-132010
Based on 41 critics

After an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie... Read More

Black Swan Movie Poster
Black Swan
R2010
Based on 42 critics

Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When... Read More

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Secretariat Movie Poster
Secretariat
PG2010
Based on 36 critics

Despite her lack of experience, housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over management... Read More

Waiting for Superman Movie Poster
Waiting for Superman
PG2010
Based on 31 critics

This film by director Davis Guggenheim investigates the public school system in the United States, and... Read More

The King's Speech Movie Poster
The King's Speech
R2010
Based on 41 critics

England's Prince Albert (Colin Firth) must ascend the throne as King George VI, but he has a speech impediment.... Read More

categories Oscars, Columns