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Posted at 9:25 AM ET, 07/15/2010

How many award nominations will 'Inception' score?

By Jen Chaney

More reviews of "Inception" are in, including one from the Post's Ann Hornaday. And at this point, even though the Academy Awards are still months away, it appears to be a foregone conclusion that Christopher Nolan's twist-your-brain-until-it's-a-pretzel thriller is going to get some Oscar love.

The New York Post is saying it. So is New York Magazine. Heck, the blog Film School Rejects has already called a win for Best Picture. Roll up the red carpet at Hollywood and Highland, boys. The show's already over.

But wait, I haven't jumped into the fray yet! I had planned to yesterday, but I got detained while trying to untangle the knots in my cerebellum after an "Inception" screening on Tuesday night. So today -- as part of a new awards-season handicapping series in Celebritology to be dubbed "The Contenders" -- I examine the nomination odds for "Inception" at some of this year's big trophy shows.

The Golden Globes

Christopher Nolan hasn't gotten much love from the Hollywood Foreign Press in the past; his screenplay for "Memento" got a nod, as did Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight." But that's about it. "Inception" should change that.

Categories in which it may be nominated: Since the Globes divvy up their drama and comedy nominations, I could see both Leonardo DiCaprio (a big star, and the Foreign Press loves their big stars) and Ellen Page sneaking into the acting categories. More likely? Best screenplay and directing nods for Nolan and, perhaps, a Best Motion Picture -- Drama nomination, but that could be a squeaker, depending on how the rest of the year shakes out.

Number of Globe nominations: I say at least four.

The Academy Awards

As a big-budget Hollywood production, "Inception" doesn't qualify for consideration at the Independent Spirit Awards. So let's skip right to the Big Dance.

Again, Nolan has yet to win an Oscar, and has only been nominated for writing "Memento." Some thought he was overlooked for his direction of "The Dark Knight." I think it will be more challenging to overlook him in that category for "Inception."

Categories in which it may be nominated: I completely agree with New York Magazine's assessment that it's going to get recognition (and possibly wins) in virtually every technical category: editing, sound mixing, sound editing, art direction, cinematography and certainly visual effects. A nomination for best score -- even though I wasn't crazy about it -- could happen as well.

Also expect nods for Best Original Screenplay (does it get much more original than implanting thoughts in people's brains in a dream within a dream within a dream sans gravity?), Best Director and, yes, I say Best Picture. With 10 films in that category now, "Inception" most certainly has to be one of them. I don't think the actors will get much Oscar love, simply because other, showier performances will probably trump the ones in this film.

So will "Inception" win Best Picture? I think it's way too early to say. There are plenty of potentially excellent films coming out in the awards-friendly fourth quarter of 2010, so we'll have to see how that all plays out. I mean, it's insanity to choose a Best Picture winner in the middle of July. And yet somehow, it doesn't seem like insanity to predict how many nominations "Inception" will receive. So, um, I'll just go ahead and do that now.

Number of Oscar nominations: Based on the outline above, I say 10. With its mix of technical magic and cerebral drama, "Inception" stands poised to become the "Avatar" of the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony. Except, you know, with fewer blue people and a plot that's far less formulaic than what James Cameron came up with.

By Jen Chaney  | July 15, 2010; 9:25 AM ET
Categories:  Awards Season, Movies  
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Comments

So is it Lost-esque in its twists & turns? After Lost, everything else should be graaaavy.

Posted by: wadejg | July 15, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Dunno. From the trailers it seems like an odd mash-up of the Matrix and Bourne films.

Posted by: cookgirl1 | July 15, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

From the trailer, I am not impressed.
It appears a complex movie and not one I could relax with.
Certainly not an acadamy award contender, though there may be individual performances that may stand a chance.
I was disappointed with the critics comments on THE LAST AIRBENDER...for my kids and I thought it a fantistic film and went to see it a second time the following day.

Posted by: bcvsam1234 | July 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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