5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Directed by: Stephen Daldry
, Sandra Bullock
, John Goodman
, Max von Sydow
An adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel about a precocious young boy searching for the door opened up by a key left by his father in the wake of 9/11.
Why It's a Contender:
Daldry makes just the type of highbrow-looking, easy-to-grasp movies the Academy likes, and as a result has managed scores of Oscar nominations. The book is fairly beloved by tastemakers, not to mention the fact that Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock remain pretty much the biggest stars alive.