by Eugene Hernandez and Peter Knegt (November 14, 2008)

Continuing this year’s awards season coverage in indieWIRE, editor-in-chief Eugene Hernandez and assistant editor Peter Knegt chatted yesterday via instant message about the ever-evolving race. Topics for this installment include a look at emerging best picture contenders, from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to “Milk,” and potential dark horses that might play a larger role in this race than people are expecting.

Eugene Hernandez: Where do we start, so much to catch up with. How about a snapshot of best picture before we dig a bit deeper…

Peter Knegt: Well it seems like the whispers are getting more and more informed. It’s still murky territory overall, but I’d say we can narrow down the list to 10 or so possibilities: “Australia,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Gran Torino,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” “Revolutionary Road,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Wrestler.”

EH: I saw “Milk” a second time this morning and feel strongly that it is even more resonant in a post-election/Prop 8 context. It’s a leading contender for best picture as far as I am concerned. And the reactions from the other folks in the screening room seemed quite positive.

PK: I agree. It has all of the elements of a real contender, and its release within a storm of activism that remarkably parallels its story is going to make it all the more potent. I’d also suggest it’s a lock for Sean Penn, the screenplay and maybe one of the supporting actors.

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