By Dave Karger
Updated November 18, 2008 at 10:43 PM EST
Credit: Merrick Morton

During this past Sunday’s episode of Desperate Housewives I noticed an impressive 60-second high-def ad for Will Smith’s upcoming drama Seven Pounds. The film looks very interesting—Smith apparently is attempting to atone for a past car crash by performing good deeds for seven strangers—but it remains the only possible Oscar contender left this year that hasn’t even announced any screenings yet (not for me, at least). I appreciate the mysterious nature of the TV spot, since the plot obviously involves some sort of secret Sony doesn’t want to spoil, but I wonder if holding the film back this long will be a problem. By the week before Thanksgiving in years past, late entries like There Will Be Blood, Letters from Iwo Jima, and Million Dollar Baby had at least been shown to some members of the media. Can Seven Pounds become a top Best Picture contender? Probably not. But I know Rosario Dawson will be getting a supporting actress campaign. And the studio has Best Actor hopes for Smith, which doesn’t seem outlandish: The last time the mega-star teamed up with Seven Pounds director Gabriele Muccino, the result was The Pursuit of Happyness, for which Smith scored his second career Oscar nomination.

addCredit(“Merrick Morton”)