[The Week in Geek is a weekly Tuesday column that plunges headfirst into a deep pool of genre geekiness without ever coming up for air.]

One of the coolest things about ten nominees for Best Picture means you get to see films like 'District 9' and 'Inception' rub shoulders with artsier "prestige" pictures. It's like the cool kids crashed the party! I can only guess what upcoming genre releases might earn their spot as future Best Picture nominees, but here are a few that seem, on paper at least, like they could be Oscar front-runners in 2011.


Andrew Niccol has spent most of his career looking like a guy right on the very cusp of great things. As a writer, he won critics over early on, with 'Gattaca' and 'The Truman Show,' but his red-hot career cooled down with 'S1m0ne' and 'The Terminal.' He seems picky with projects, only directing films that he's written, and rarely taking a break from high-brow science-fiction concepts.

'Now' sounds very much like a modern spin on 'Logan's Run,' taking place in a world in which only the richest citizens can buy the privilege of life past the age of twenty-five. While brainy sci-fi doesn't always nab Academy voters' attention (it didn't help 'Never Let Me Go'), there's still a chance that the subject matter will strike a chord with viewers outside of the usual sci-fi fans.

Academy Award Bait: Andrew Niccol (1-time Oscar nominee), Cinematographer Roger Deakins (9-time Oscar nominee)