There is much you can tell about a movie from its start, the music, the images, and the tone. In Steven Spielberg’s new film War Horse, everything you need to know is spelled out in the first three minutes of dialogue and scenes. We have an over the top image of the countryside with overly cheerful but semi-epic music, giving the sense of a journey but with no real danger. (To bring this point home, the music is repeated several times over the course of the film, doing nothing to make the movie more intense, and gets very repetitive.) This sequence goes on for a while and we get to see a boy, Albert (Jeremy Irving), watching a horse grow up, and him obviously dreaming of owning him. So when his foolish father buys the horse instead of a work horse, for reasons of vanity, Albert and his new horse Joey instantly bond, as Albert tries to train him to be a work horse.
Trying to figure out the Best Picture Oscars is based on looking at many things, including: what actors are in it, what director is making the film, whether it’s the kind of film the Academy has responded to in the past, and just plain old guesswork. Also, I am not saying these will be the best movies of the year, just the ones that could strike the Academy’s taste. Keeping that in mind, here are a list of seven more movies that I think have potential to be Best Picture contenders.