November 10, 2011 |
With late-arriving prestige pictures "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" (Stephen Daldry!) and "War Horse" (sentimental Steven Spielberg!) and the looming shadow of Oscar magnet Meryl Streep playing England's "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, the award season, at its outset, sported an air of uncertainty all but absent from last year's front-loaded race. Or it did, until right about the time we handed out candy to a kid dressed up like J. Edgar Hoover (the angry old guy version) and realized that, yes, some spots continue to be up for grabs, but in terms of who'll get the nominations, the major races have already narrowed into focus.