Star Trek. District 9. Avatar. This was a far-out great year for serious and popular sci-fi flicks. The Producers Guild of America has recognized that fact by including those three aforementioned films–all box office smashes; all critically aclaimed–among its 10 nominees for Best Picture. If you’re a sci-fi fan like me, you’re probably also rooting for all three to get Oscar nominations, too. Our Oscar guru Dave Karger definitely thinks Avatar is certain to get a nod, though check out his analysis on how Avatar ‘s chances of winning might be affected if Trek and District 9 get nominated, too. Me, I’m just kinda glad I don’t have to fill out the ballot.

According to screenwriter John August’s illuminating peek into the new Oscar voting process, ballot casters not only have to choose 10 films, but they also have to rank those films, too, from best to… well, 10th best. He also notes that the rankings really do matter, so putting one film ahead of another means something, at least theoretically. Now, I’m pretty sure all three of those films would be among my 10 favorite movies of the year. They would certainly be in my top 15. But it would be tough for me to rank those three sci-fi flicks in relationship to each other. I was amazed by the technical achievement and visual pow of Avatar. I loved the grit and ingeunity of District 9. And Star Trek was just a well-rounded fun fest for me–and of the three, it’s the one I’m most interested in seeing more of (re: sequels). If I had to vote today, I’d say: 1. Trek; 2. District 9; 3. Avatar. But who knows? I’m watching District 9 again tonight, and planning to see Avatar again this weekend, so I might change my mind.

What about you, sci-fi fans? How would you rank these three films on your Oscar ballot?

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