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Oscar's Top Ten: Who fills the last two spots?

January 20, 2011 |  4:00 pm

The town 
Everyone's waiting for Tuesday when the Oscar nominations are announced. Even the casual Oscar watcher can name at least five flicks destined for the academy's list of the Top 10 nominees. But there seem to be 11 films essentially receiving the bulk of the recognition thus far, so the biggest surprises will come from the last two slots.

The likely shoo-ins: "The Social Network," "The King's Speech," "The Fighter," "Black Swan," "Inception," "True Grit," "Toy Story 3" and "The Kids Are All Right." That essentially leaves three films: "Winter's Bone," "The Town," and "127 Hours" angling for the last two openings.

Earlier in the race, "127 Hours" seemed as if it belonged in the shoo-in category, but in the last month, momentum on the film seems to have waned, especially as it petered out at the box office with $11 million, in comparison to "Black Swan" and "True Grit," which continued climbing critically along with their grosses. "Winter's Bone" doesn't seem to be part of the conversation lately either. Jennifer Lawrence was definitely present at the Golden Globes with her nomination for best actress, and she received an additional one from SAG, but the film was left off the Producer's Guild Top 10. Rather, "The Town," got the bump from the producer's, a nomination from SAG for Jeremy Renner and a nod for Pete Postlethwaite by his countrymen at the BAFTAs.

It will be interesting to see which way the academy goes on Tuesday. With eight slots essentially locked up, those remaining two will be the ones to watch most closely.

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Rebecca Hall and Ben Affleck in a scene from "The Town." Credit: Claire Folger/Warner Bros.