What ’08 films at this time next year will almost everyone be sick of talking and writing about due to their having recently won the top five Oscar awards? Right now eight are considered the most likely Oscar contenders, but what are the dark horses that no one’s spotting right now? There are always three or four sleepers that seem to suddenly arrive and catch on big-time.

Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman in Baz Luhrmann’s Australia.

The top eight, I suppose, are (1) Baz Luhrmann‘s Australia (20th Century Fox) with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman; (2) Steven Soderbergh‘s The Argentine and (3) Guerilla (Focus Features) with Benicio del Toro; (4) Gus Van Sant‘s Milk (Focus Features) with Sean Penn; (5) Gabriele Muccino‘s Seven Pounds (Sony) with Will Smith; (6) David FIncher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount/Warner Bros.) with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; (7) Joe Wright‘s The Soloist (DreamWorks) with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.; and (8) Ridley Scott‘s Body of Lies (Warner Bros.) with Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio.
My money’s on the Fincher, the two Soderberghs, the Wright and the Luhrmann.
Also in the mix: Sam MendesRevolutionary Road (Paramount Vantage/DreamWorks) with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet; Clint Eastwood‘s The Changeling (Universal) with Angelina Jolie; Ron Howard‘s Frost/Nixon (ditto); Joel & Ethan Coen‘s Burn After Reading with George Clooney and Tilda Swinton (almost certainly not an Oscar movie); John Patrick Shanley‘s Doubt (Miramax) with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman; Fernando Meirelle‘s Blindness with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo; Ed Zwick‘s Defiance (Paramount Vantage) with Daniel Craig; Saul Dibb‘s The Duchess (Par Vantage) with Keira Knightley; Bryan Singer‘s Valkyrie (MGM-UA) with Tom Cruise; and Stephen Daldry‘s The Reader (Weinstein Co.).

Leonardo DiCaprio in Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies.