Dave Karger
October 16, 2009 AT 04:40 PM EDT

After the wealth of Oscar-baiting releases from last weekend, everyone seems to be staying out of the way of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. Could we have an awards contender on our hands? Here’s how it may fare in the top races.

POSSIBLES

Best Picture: Most of the top-tier critics are drooling over the film. But what will real people think? It may not be a complete lock like Precious or Up in the Air, but with 10 slots, I’m liking its chances.

Best Director, Spike Jonze: Some voters will laud his idiosyncratic vision (as they did when they nominated him for Being John Malkovich). Others will scoff at the film’s rough edges. But in a weak year, anything’s possible.

Long shot

Best Adapted Screenplay, Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers: Expanding Maurice Sendak’s 350-word kids’ book into a full-length feature was a daunting task indeed, and the two geniuses pulled it off. Too bad every big Oscar movie this year also has an adapted screenplay.

Image credit: Matt Nettheim

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