The Oscars of Tomorrow, in Theaters Today

Last week I talked about several of this year's top contenders for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Now onto the movies playing now, or very shortly, that EVERYONE will be talking about in two months. Make sure you catch them in the theatre while you can.

Dreamgirls. Easily the best musical in years and one that will become the favorite musical of even those who hate musicals. Expect nods for best score, song, picture, and acting nods in all four categories – and expect it to most likely take the Oscar for both supporting roles (Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy). This is one of those Oscar buzz films that is really getting both audience AND critic reactions.

Children of Men. Alfonso Cuaron’s apocalyptic science-fiction film about a world torn apart after women unexpectedly stop giving birth. Intelligent, gritty, violent, and has a superb, Oscar-caliber cast. Expect a good chance at a Best Picture nod and maybe some acting nods, but this has a definite shot at the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.

The Departed. Still in theatres, this crime thriller is most likely going to have acting nods out the wazoo, and maybe even a best adapted screenplay nod – but this will most likely be the year that Martin Scorsese gets his statue. If you haven’t seen this yet, your friends most likely have told you that you should. And yes, you should. If this doesn’t get Marty his statue, he best start writing the inevitable “Lifetime Achievement Award” speech they will no doubt give him. Eventually.

Letters From Iwo Jima. Part two of Clint Eastwood’s take on the battle of Iwo Jima focuses this time upon the struggle of the Japanese on the island. While Flags of Our Fathers was a mess of a film, and easily one of the most disappointing films of the year, early word has this as being far superior and a film to actually write home about. Everyone I’ve talked to that groaned about Flags glowed about this. Look for best director, film and cinematography nods on this one.

The Good German. Steven Soderbergh’s new strange little entry into the world of film. Every time this guy makes a big movie, he turns around and uses that cred to make something off kilter. This time he’s made a WWII thriller shot entirely in black and white on sound stages using the actual cameras and film stock of the era. That alone should earn him a best director, cinematography, and maybe even adapted screenplay credit. Having a cast of Oscar-nominated folks won’t hurt either.

Eragon. Brilliant, deep, insightful …okay, okay. I was just trying to see if you were still paying attention. Until the day the Oscars have a “best way to mollify a nine-year-old boy while trying to sneak in an afternoon delight with the Mrs.” award, this film will go entirely unrecognized. Oh, and speaking of totally unrecognized ... GIVE IT TO MARTY. Let that be your battle cry.