Are you as burned out on 2010's Oscar season as we are? If so, take a look into the future to see who we are going to be tired of by next February. We've compiled a completely arbitrary -- but intriguing -- list of what films could be making it to the winner's circle in 2012. Feel free to chime in with your predictions because, really, this time next year we will all likely have been proved wrong.
(Please note: these are in no particular order.)
1. "Contagion": Steven Soderbergh, Oscar winner for "Traffic," is back with another ensemble piece, this time an action-thriller centered on a team of doctors that must deal with a deadly disease outbreak. The film features an all-star cast with Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Marion Cotillard, along with this year's nominee in the supporting actor category John Hawkes. It may be too "Bourne Identity" for the academy but it's not a bad place to start. (Opens Oct. 21)
2. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close": Stephen Daldry ("The Reader") helms this adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel about a 9-year old boy who searches New York City for a lock that matches a key left by his father (Tom Hanks), who was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. Eric Roth ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") adapted the book and the pedigree of cast and filmmakers has Oscar written all over it. And for that extra boost, uber-producer Scott Rudin is behind this one too. (Not yet dated.)
3. "The Descendants": Alexander Payne ("Sideways") is finally back with a new film, seven years after "Sideways" was released. Payne adapted Kaui Hart Hemmings' novel about a Hawaiian land baron, played by George Clooney, who tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.(Not yet dated.)
4. "Tree of Life": Terrence Malick ("The Thin Red Line") has returned with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn starring in a story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s. The film has been kicking around a while but that seems to be more an issue of a corporate distribution shuffle than any knock against the film. (Opens May 27)
5. "The Iron Lady": Meryl Streep pairs up with her "Mamma Mia" director Phyllida Lloyd in this biopic of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The script is written by British playwright Abi Morgan and "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" writer Michael Hirst. Jim Broadbent co-stars as Mr. Thatcher. The British-financed flick does not yet have a U.S. distributor.