Guess what? Inception is awesome. But we have bad news for everyone: As well reviewed as it is, as cool as it is, despite an excellent screenplay and a mind-blowing last act ... it still isn't winning best picture at the Academy Awards. Here are the five reasons why.
1. The lack of acting nominations.
Let's be clear here. You don't get to be as good as Inception without having some very strong performances. Leonardo DiCaprio shows us all once again why he's the best actor of his generation. As good as he -- and everyone else -- is in the film, there isn't a performance that would lead to a nomination. Leo comes closest and his similar work in Shutter Island is even stronger. Inception is just the better movie.
2. These are the same clowns who didn't nominate The Dark Knight!
I'm not sure how much more I need to expand on the above statement but suffice it to say, I consider the bulk of the Academy's taste in movies to be largely irrelevant and far removed from the movie buffs who follow the show so closely. If the Oscar race ended today they'd be forced to hand Inception the award. But trust me when I say they will look for an excuse to hand the Oscar over to someone else the first chance they get. So yeah, now that we have 10 nominations it will get a nom, but it's looky only. No touchy.
3. The anti-Nolan effect.
There's a small group of haters out there who can't stand the praise Christopher Nolan has been receiving, particularly for his last two films. It's the price of being good. There are always more than enough people who want to knock you down.
4. Too Much Sci-Fi?
This kind of ties into the second reason. The Academy doesn't take kindly to science fiction and Inception is knee-deep. Last year the biggest movie in the universe -- a science-fiction epic -- lost to an over-praised war movie few people loved. Do you hear that? That's the sound of the death knell. Speaking of which...
5. It's peaking too early.
Last year at the height of its Oscar prowess, I wrote about why Up in the Air would be passed up for an Oscar. This year will be more of the same; the front-runners are only the first losers. For the next seven months you will hear words like "momentum" get thrown around. The Oscar voter is fickle, political, partial, and reactionary. The only good news? Inception is great, Oscars or not.
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Dre writes for Film.com weekly.