Mulling Over the Best Picture Nominations 

Film and music editor Chris Herrington had planned to fill to review one of the new-release mediocrities (serial-killer thriller Untraceable, perhaps?). But in a typically bad post-holidays period for Hollywood product, the truth is that thoughtful filmgoers are less likely to be choosing among these studio dregs than playing catch-up with Oscar nominees they missed.

Nominations were announced last week, with eight-nods-each auteur jobs There Will Be Blood (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson) and No Country for Old Men (by Joel and Ethan Coen) edging out more conventional seven-nod flicks Atonement and Michael Clayton in a diverse field. Little-engine-that-could Juno, which cracked the $100 million box-office threshold over the weekend, joins those four on the ballot for Best Picture.

This is supposedly a bad time for movies, but scanning through the Academy Awards' history, there probably hasn't been a stronger slate of Best Picture nominees since the mid-'70s. And, with Michael Clayton re-released, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men expanding to more theaters, and Juno still going strong, you can see them all on the big screen right now.

Read the rest of the story here.

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