It's December today and you know what that means...let the rampant awards season speculation commence! As the year comes to a close, it's that magical time when all of the movie studios begin unloading their most precious commodities into our theaters, making sure things come out in New York (and LA) before Dec. 31 so they'll be eligible for this year's Academy Awards. But of course, we're still weeks away from any nomination announcements for the Oscars. Heck, even the Golden Globes noms are still but a fantasy of a date marked with a big red X on the calendar. (Okay, fine they'll be broadcast on December 14th. It's closer than it seems.)

Earlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter bandied about some names of some films coming out later this month which they think may be in the running. Here's a handy dandy list of some of buzzed about flicks according to HR, which aren't in theaters yet.

2006_12_arts_pans.jpgDreamgirls - 12.21 (official site | trailer)
Letters from Iwo Jima - 12.20 (official site | trailer)
The Good Shepherd - 12.22 (official site | trailer)
Blood Diamond - 12.8 (official site | trailer)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - 12.27 (official site | trailer)
Miss Potter - 12.29 (official site | trailer)
Factory Girl - 12.29 (official site | trailer)
Notes on a Scandal - 12.25 (official site | trailer)
Pan's Labyrinth - 12.29 (official site | trailer)

Any upcoming, award-worthy flicks you're particularly psyched to see?

Also, if you want to be in the presence of a director whose recent work has been getting the Buzz (and won the director's prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival), Alejandro González Iñárritu will be screening his movie Babel at the Museum of the Moving Image tonight starting at 7:30 pm. A reception starts at 6:30 pm, then a Q&A will follow and tickets cost $18/$12 for members.

[Production still from the buzz fodder, Pan's Labyrinth.]