Star Trek Sparks Oscar Buzz Debates + Paramount Promotes Trek For Guild Awards + more

Last week we reported that Star Trek ended up on the NBR Top 10 list. Now some are starting to question the notion that  JJ Abrams movie actually make it onto the final list of Oscar noms. Below we have the latest Oscar buzz, plus the latest with Star Trek and the critics awards and upcoming guild awards.


Is Star Trek Best Picture worthy?
When the Academy first announced they would be increasing their Best Picture nominations to 10 films, there was an immediate response from many entertainment journalists that JJ Abrams Star Trek may make it onto the list. This buzz has continued, and recently gained momentum when Star Trek was named as one of the National Board of Review’s Top 10 films of 2009. The debate over Star Trek and other sci-fi films as possible Oscar nominees is the subject of an article "Could 2010 be the year Oscar goes geek?" at MSNBC. 

The article contains differing opinions from industry experts. Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger states:

It looks like there is going to be a sci-fi film in the best picture race. My feeling is that ‘Star Trek’ has the best shot. The reviews were pretty fantastic, and even…non-science fiction fans appreciated it.

However science fiction author, blogger (and Stargate Universe consultant) John Scalzi differs, saying:

To be blunt, if ‘Star Trek’ gets nominated, it’ll be an indication that as a year in film, 2009 stank, because outside of technical categories, there’s no way it should be represented at the Oscars. It’s a fun movie, but it’s not Best Picture caliber by any sensible determination

There seems to be a conventional wisdom growing among many award watchers that even if the original plan of extending of the nomination rules to 10 was designed to bring in more popular films, in the end it may do the opposite. David Ansen of Newsweek suggests to Bloomberg that "it could backfire" and just invite more independent films no one has heard of. This theme was also discussed in a recent Awards Daily Oscar Roundtable with industry watchers and journalists, where Erik Childress of The Oscar Eye stated:

I don’t see the Academy throwing any kind of bone to public ticket buying. It’s not like Transformers, The Hangover or New Moon were ever going to be in the awards discussion anyway. Last year The Dark Knight was a legitimate blockbuster with the critical favor to back up its artistic merits. Some felt that way this year about Star Trek, but once everyone saw past the smaller picture of an extra five slots opening up, they woke up to the big picture that there are still a lot of smaller films that have a better shot at being voted in. Up is the one true blockbuster that will remain in the discussion and could even become a Best Picture candidate.

However, in the same discussion Brad Brevet of Rope of Silicon had this to say about Star Trek:

For the most part, people still know true quality when they see it. Star Trek and District 9 are the “quality” audience favorites right now

And Scott Feinberg of And the Winner Is notes:

I think that many commercial movies — particularly “Avatar,” “The Blind Side,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Julie & Julia,” “Sherlock Holmes,” and “Star Trek” — will be among the most widely-seen and widely-liked awards hopefuls of the year, and for those reasons will be nominated and help “bring the masses back into the fold.”

Of course, for a Star Trek film to even be discussed as a possibility is already quite an accomplishment. Only a handful of genre films have ever been nominated, so the buzz only helps the Trek franchise as it regains its place in the cultural mainstream, and possibly even gains a new level of credibility.

More Star Trek accolades – Next week is big test
While the world debates Oscars, there is more to the Award and Critics Season than just the Academy Awards. To that end, Star Trek has picked up a couple more accolades in the last weeek. The film is one one (out of two) of the New Yorker Magazine’s Top 10 lists for the year, with critic Anthony Lane citing it. Also last weekend Star Trek was nominated in the best ensemble category by the DC Film Critics association, but lost out to The Hurt Locker.

However, next week is really when things kick off for Award season, with a ton of award announcements, Awards Daily breaks it down:

12/12 – European Film Awards
12/13 – AFI Awards Announced
12/13 – Boston Critics Announce
12/13 – LA Film Critics Announce
12/14 – Critics Choice Award Nominations
12/14 – NY Film Critics Announce
12/15 – Golden Globe Nominations
12/16 – Chicago Film Critics Nominations
12/17 – SAG Nominations

In addition more critic top 10 lists will be issued.

Paramount gears up for guild awards
As noted above, the Screen Actors Guild announces their nominations next week, but every aspect of the film from the sound to the production is represented by a guild and almost all will be handing out awards. To that end Paramount has a campaign for Star Trek (along with three other films: Up in the Air, The Lovely Bones and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen).

For Star Trek, they are promoting the following to the various guilds for the following categories:

  • All Acting categories (John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Winona Ryder, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin….with Eric Bana and Leonard Nimoy)
  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Makeup
  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Sound Editing

And Paramount are not promoting all four of their chosen films in every category, for example Transformers 2 is not being promoted for any acting awards or some of the other categories, and Star Trek is not being promoted for Best Song.

Although Paramount have been campaigning directly to guild members, they have yet to run any ‘for your consideration’ ads in the trades (for any movies). If or when they do, we will show them here at TrekMovie.

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John Scalzi can suck my left one, sgu is the most boring turd on tv

How epic would an Oscar feel? That’d be undeniable evidence that Star Trek is back!

Yeah…. I don’t know. I don’t think it seems Oscar worthy. It’s awesome, and I love trek as much as anyone here, but it’s Star Trek not Unforgiven, let’s not kid ourselves.

Trek is more Oscar worthy than UP. Or hell, Up in the Air even. The trailers for that movie stink.

Best Original Score — dispite the fact the orginal them was used at the end of the movie.

#1: Wrong. But I see his point. What “Star Trek” is missing, is a message. Like “Save the Whales” or “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” for that matter.

IF it won, I would crap meself

Split the difference and give Nimoy a supporting actor nom and let Star Trek sweep the technical awards

6, How about “Save the Earth”?

#9: Yeah sure, we really should invest more in global defense in case of an alien attack. My money is on Will Smith or Bruce Willis in that case.

If they really want to nominate a SciFi movie, they should go with Moon.

3. Kyle Cawley – December 9, 2009

“Yeah…. I don’t know. I don’t think it seems Oscar worthy. It’s awesome, and I love trek as much as anyone here, but it’s Star Trek not Unforgiven, let’s not kid ourselves.”

YOU must be kidding……. Unforgiven?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Star Trek is many times better than that tired retread of dozens of Clint Eastwood and other Western films. It won only because the academy wanted to toss a bone to Eastwood.

Star Trek best picture nomination? Seriously?

I really liked the new movie but there was a lot stuff that was at least worth a discussion. In other words: TDK should have been nominated last year. That movie was a blast. Star Trek was entertaining and fun but there was not much gravitas behind it.

Altough I hope for a nomination or two in the technical categories.

But Star Trek is definatly not Oscar material.

I love Star Trek. But to call it Oscar worthy is laughable. Than again I thought the same of Slumdog Millionaire.

Ok. As a Mega Trek Fan I would lovew to See Trek Nomanated.!. But I would be surprised if it was. The reason. Hollowood will not let it. Holloywood has there own agenda and Star Trek is not on there course. Last year the best Picture was by far the Dark Night and it did not even get nomanated. The only reason that the Actor Nomanated and won for the Dak Night._ His name just escapes me.) Is because there was a HUGE!!! UProar that he had to be. (Yes. I Agree. He was the best actor and more then deserved it for his performence as the Joker). Hollywood needs us to buy there tickets and keep them in buiesness. But they ignore us when it is time for the awards. Only the Lord of the Rings the return of the King was one of the last movies that won that truly deserved it. I will say that Slum Dog Millionare was a good movie and I was ok with it winning.

If a star trek film is to win best picture i want it to be the sequel to this movie.

I really don’t get this. On one hand, there are the folks who “poo poo” the idea of Trek getting even a nod at best picture; let’s be happy with it getting all the technical awards. Then on the other hand, we have folks who doubt Trek could even place, much less show at the Academy Awards.

But you know what? What we have here is a “Pearl of Great Price,” that any Star Trek Fan, Friend, or Foe has recognized since the series was aired in the 1960’s. They knew it then and “suffice it to say” they know it now. Even with the media buzz making people jump around like Ferengi in a recession; let them eat cake. Star Trek is here and it is here to stay!

The numbers prove it, the fans have proven it, the countless millions that Star Trek 11 made at the box office proves it, and the continuing buzz and patience of die-hard fans proves it; Star Trek is a media force which has proven countless number of times in multiple incarnations; it is a force to be reckoned with. The genre is solid and yes it is its own genre. Star Trek has Gone Boldly BEFORE any other popular science-fiction film, series, genre, cult-icon, or otherwise, has gone before. And shows no sign of stopping.

During a really tough economic recession, this film has garnered more of the box office than ANY film; economic conversion to today’s standards not-with-standing. It has proven itself and now we wait to see if WE can do it justice by recognizing it for what it is; an ideology of the best of humanity — if there is a media which could sum up the best and the worst of humanity and still retain dignity and grace; dear friends, that is Star Trek!

Now tell me that it doesn’t deserve an Oscar for that achievement?

I think the point has been made. Star Trek is indeed the “BEST of the BEST!”

All that the nattering nabobs of negativism (as William Safire used to say) do is creative negative buzz where, before, there was only positive buzz.

The only significance I see is that the negative press will create a self-fulfilling prophecy, trashing Trek and therefore making it more unlikely that Trek will be nominated, but only by virtue of the criticism itself.

As fans, we should strive to do the opposite: Create more of the positive buzz that will help guarantee that our favorite franchise will, indeed, live long and prosper.

this film has garnered more of the box office than ANY film; — clarified as “of the box office than ANY Trek film;


If John Scalzi (Stargate Universe consultant) is reading this…..

John… Stargate Universe is complete garbage. You guys ruined the stargate franchise !

In response to Scalzi…. Star Trek was a great picture. It had every single staple of cinema. If Scalzi thinks it was bad… then he hasn’t watched enough Stargate Universe !

I would love to see Trek just get Nomanated. if it does It will not win. It will be nomanated only to get people like us to watch there little show because they need us to keep there ratings up. So. As good as Trek 09 was and as much as I love Trek 09. It won’t win. But getting Nomanated is enough for me. At least then we can stick it to the Elite Holloywoods face and then we can tell them that Star Trek not only saved the Earth many times and even saved the Whales.But Star Trek also SAVED THE OSCARS!!!!.

I can see a best pic nomination.
All my friends that call me an “eggy” watched the film on my new big screen.
Pretty much EVERYONE loved it.
Most people said thats a Star Trek movie?
Ive been missing out.
My wrath of khan blu ray has been out on permananent loan

“The Hurt Locker”


If Trek gets Nomanated we can sing Hoorey for Star Trek instead of Holywood. Long Live Star Trek!!!!!!!.

After watching the move many times on Blu-ray the following faults stick out:-

Shaky camera work
Lense flares
Sloppy set design (Budweiser)
Plot holes
Chop-Suey style editing

This is why it won’t win an oscar.

I so wanted this film to be good. That fact is Abrams is a bit of an amateur.

i agree with John Scalzi. This is not a BEST MOVIE caliber film.

dont get me wrong…i love this film. Its a great great film. It more than met my expectations and blew me away. but its just not a BEST FILM oscar winner.

#19 where does John Scalzi say that the film was bad? he didnt say that…at least not in the quote above.

Lol, the Hurt Locker – no one saw that movie. Stop hyping it.

I’d rather see Inglourious Basterds and/or District 9 get nods for Best Picture than Trek. While Star Trek was a good movie, it didn’t really have the plot and depth that Best Picture nominees should have.

That said, if Trek gets in and D9 doesn’t, I’ll pull for Trek because scifi films have gotten screwed over for so long by the Oscars that having Trek win would be the ultimate “screw you” to the system.

I don’t know. Is the Oscars about Art or about well-made films? The two can often overlap, but not always. A movie that is well-made in many areas (writing, production, direction, acting) and has an impact on audiences (whether for being highly entertaining, thought-provoking, or moving) is Oscar-worthy in my book. It does not have to be High Art in the classic sense, i.e. pushing the boundaries of film-making or having extremely original or complex concepts. I’m no film or art critic, so perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe I just haven’t seen or studied enough film to really be able to recognize the greatness of the arthouse indie films nominated in years past. Some are good, but it seems to me that for many of them, entertainment wasn’t their primary focus. To me, this is a key element of movie’s quality. If you cannot engage your audience, your art has failed.

I do consider myself refined enough to discern stupid, hack entertainment from clever, well-crafted entertainment, and I suppose I want that achievement to have its due as well. And what better forum to honor films that reach a broader audience than the one awards show that broader audience watches? But I guess we already have an awards show for that: the Golden Globes. But I often don’t agree with their nominations either, as they put too much emphasis on popularity over quality.

I guess we all have our opinions…

#11 cugel – No, it’s definitely not better. Within the context of the Star Trek world, the new movie kicked serious ass, and was cool, but I personally don’t think it was SO original that it deserves something like Best Picture. Music, FX, all that stuff, THAT would be cool to see it win for, but leave best picture for a really creative film, not some time travel/space adventure/remake inspired and totally dependent on a show that ran for a few years in the 60s. Again, I love Star Trek more than anything, but I don’t know…

The Oscars are stupid anyways, so who really cares if they win? It’s just a bunch of guys on a committee who choose. Why should we invest so much concern in their opinions?

hey, if Shakespeare in love can get Best Pic, Star Trek sure can. But, I bet the George Clooney movie that no one will see will get it.

Nimoy should win a lifetime achievement academy award for acting and directing.

If Forrest Gump, Driving Miss Daisy and Chicago can win Best Picture, why not Star Trek?

There will be Best Pic noms next year that will be a nod to widening the field without being ‘realistic’ nominees. I don’t see why Trek, as one of the best reviewed movies of the year, shouldn’t be there.
Sadly, John Scalzi sounds like a snob.

I agree with 29. The Oscars suck and I don’t see why anyone would care what a few people in Hollywood think when we the fans are the ones that matter and pay for tickets.

The new Trek movie was ok (it was fun and I liked it) but it isnt the best Trek movie ever. At times, it didnt even feel like Star Trek. It seemed too rushed or something. Sort of like the Star Wars prequels.

but again…
Go ahead JJ and make another one and I’ll see it. I’ll buy the toys and the dvds because it is after all Star Trek and I’ll take it in any form I can get.

How many viewings have you had of each of the following:

The English Patient
Out of Africa

Now, if one of them comes on… opposite ST09, which one will you be watching?

If we truly are a nation of equality, then a sci-fi film should have as much a chance of winning as a drama. The “Best” films of late have been based on an opinion by a select few of individuals who wouldn’t know an amazing film if it slapped them upside the head. The Dark Knight should have been nominated for best picture because it was the best picture. It wasn’t a super hero movie with all super hero action. It was a film with a theme that had an extraordinary plot and telling for a super hero film. It wasn’t just a blockbuster, it was one of the greatest movies of all time.

The same can be said for Star Trek. The plot wasn’t all that big, but the way it was told is worthy of best picture. So is the cinematography, the special effects, the acting, the actors and the music. It seems the only reason films like Star Trek don’t get nominated is because they’re apart of the “nerdy” sci-fi genre. But I guess it’s a good thing in the end, because the Oscars show us who good directors are. They are the ones who make the movies no matter what the outcome in the Academy awards. They make films for the people, not the trophy.

34. CmdrR – December 9, 2009
How many viewings have you had of each of the following:

The English Patient
Out of Africa

Now, if one of them comes on… opposite ST09, which one will you be watching?

Hey. You hit it right on the head. If last years movies that were nomanated came on and all were against Star Trek 09. Which one would you watch. Hmm. Slumgo or Trek. Hmm The Sound of Music or Trek. Hmm Milk or Trek. Hmm The Lord of the Rings the Return of the King. Ok. A little tougher one there. I bet of the past nomanies and winners Trek will win out at least 85 to 90% of the time.

I meant Slumdog. Damn. Back to the Agoniser booth.

@ 34.

I choose Star Trek (2009).

But, if you included a better movie in that list such as a Hitchcock film, then i would definitely go towards a hitchcock film.

I don’t understand the shock that Star Trek could be nominated. It had virtually unanimous support from critics. Supposedly that’s what the Academy Awards are about. (John Scalzi can only dream of such praise for Stargate.)

The cherry on top is the box office.

Stellar Reviews + Outstanding Box Office = Oscar Contender

hello what the hell dose this John Scalzi know bout stuff ive been a stargate fan since the start of sg1 all the way through to the abrupt end of atlantas and was hoping that the new stargate universe would be good so I watched the first 9 episodes and have come to the conclusion that its no up to all that much same story every week. I was also hoping star trek 09 would be good but that instead turned out to be awsum. so what im saying is this guy dont know sh*t

I would love – absolutely love, be over the moon about – the idea of a Star Trek film winning Best Picture. I strongly agree with the general sentiment that science-fiction and fantasy movies are often unfairly snubbed. The Dark Knight was snubbed, IMO, as was The Fisher King, Blade Runner and others.

But seriously, folks. Let’s have a Star Trek movie that deserves it, first.

#24 Sigh… Ok, newsflash…the shakey camera thing, that was intentional. So was the flares. So was the shooting at Budweiser, WHICH no one knew was Budweiser until watching the special features on the blue ray or dvd. And besides what is the problem with that? Would more CGI been better? I don’t think so.

Holes in the plot and chop suey editing- well to each his own, I don’t think anyone else could have done any better in that we are discussing the beginnings of the Star Trek universe, before anyone knew Khan and blah blah blah blah.

And saying that Abrams is an amateur is unfounded as well, as I think the ticket sales and high remarks from everyone says it all about Abrams abilities to pull off a high quality movie.

With that said, the Oscars would be sorely remiss if they ignore Star Trek. As I have said before, just because I am not weighted down with the burdens of the world of the characters doesn’t mean the movie isn’t worthy of Best Picture. The movie had many layers though not too many to lose track of, and plenty of drama, action, humor and even romance.

I say Star Trek can win if viewed as what it is. A thoughtfully written, excellently directed, charasmatic characters with a beautiful soundtrack with a common goal, to see Star Trek continue it’s legacy within the minds of future generations.

Leonard Nimoy for Best Actor in a Supporting Role!!!

I’d honestly be surprised if it gets a best pic nomination. If it does I honestly dont think it stands a chance of winning, but a Star Trek movie just getting nominated for that would be awesome.

#1 John Scalzi may be sucking your left one right now, but I’m in total agreement with him, as much as I loved it, Star Trek is not a best picture caliber movie.

However, bring on the technical awards!


#16: You appear to be confusing Star Trek as a whole with the latest Star Trek film.

#24: “Plot holes” doesn’t begin to cover that aspect of the film, but with the addition of the score, I agree with you.

#28: “A movie that is well-made in many areas (writing, production, direction, acting) and has an impact on audiences (whether for being highly entertaining, thought-provoking, or moving) is Oscar-worthy in my book.”

Writing: nope! (from the writers of the Transformers movies comes…something so painfully contrived that every single plot element appears to have been coerced into participation under threat of death! Woo hoo.)
Production: check! (awesome FX, etc.)
Direction: nope! (to be fair, some really good filmmaking may indeed have gone on behind all those lens flares, but we shall never know)
Acting: check! (considering what they had to work with, the cast did an amazing and heartwarmingly authentic job)

Highly entertaining: check! (it’s a “popcorn movie” for sure)
Thought-provoking: hahahahahahaha

@Capt Mike of the Terran Empire: Dude, I’m sorry, but…keep a dictionary handy at all times. I’m begging you!

#39: “… It had virtually unanimous support from critics …”

Virtually all critics agreed it was a good time, but virtually all critics did not by any long shot declare it anything resembling a great film, let alone the best of the year … Reading only the very _positive_ reviews of ST09, you’ll find them still laced with qualifiers, provisos, and it’s-really-fun-but … warnings. USA today said the time-travel aspect doesn’t “jell,” and points out that Trek’s traditional ideals “take a back seat to pyrotechnics.” The New York Times said it’s a showcase for movie-making tech and implies that the girls in the movie aren’t required to do any acting. The San Francisco Chronicle points out that the energy of the film lags when Abrams tries to pump the pace; NPR laments that the villain’s villainy is “beside the point” and blames the writers explicitly, and the Los Angeles Times basically damns it with faint (relieved) praise, telling us that it’s “serviceable” enough that we can sigh in relief, but refers also to its “missteps” and “misses” and “over-caffeinated aspects.” And so on and so on.

Again, these are from the positive reviews: every review I’m citing here _praises_ the film as _good,_ but the _kind_ of praise Star Trek garners isn’t of the “this is great filmmaking, be awed” variety; it is, much more frequently, of the “this is a fun romp just don’t think about it too much oo look explodey fun” variety.

Flat-out negative reviews were exceedingly rare … the film definitely earned it’s 95% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. But it earned it by being a good movie … not a great one.

If Hip-Hop and Rap songs can not only get nominated for a Grammy but actually win one, I see no reason why a science-fiction movie couldn’t do the same with an Oscar. Those people seriously need to get into the 21st century like, yesterday… *rolls eyes*

If you actually have the Blu-ray version, then watch the deleted scenes on disc 2, that should take care of most of your “plot holes.”

For me it just pissed me off that few of these scenes weren’t in the final movie. Most notably, -Klingons Take Over Narada, -Young Kirk, Johnny, and Uncle Frank, and -Prison Interrogation and Escape(in an extended form, as is….eh no.)

If anything, Star Trek XI would probably get some of the technical awards like costume design and sound editing. But in bigger categories; maybe best original score, but that would probably be it.

So far the strongest picks are…

Best Picture: right now it’s between District 9, Up in the Air, and Where the Wild Things Are.

Best SFX: Transformers 2 and Avatar.

Best Actor: George Clooney (Up in the Air) or Tobey McQuire (Brothers). Maybe Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes)….hell I don’t know.

That’s all I can name right now off the top my head.

S. John Ross,

Point taken–and, as I’m no great partisan of ST ’09, I very much concur. Still, you have to admit that this week’s NBR Top Ten rating is quite a critical coup for this “popcurn” film; it’ll be interesting to see if it can extend that streak into the awards announced next week.