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Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2014 Best Picture Contenders

Awards
by Oliver Lyttelton
February 26, 2013 2:34 PM
61 Comments
  • |

Longshots

"A Most Wanted Man"
John Le Carre films might not have been Best Picture fodder of late, but between "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "The Constant Gardener," they've been responsible for a brace of nominations over the last decade or so. Could that continue (or even be exceeded?) by "A Most Wanted Man"? Hailing from Film4, and directed by "Control" and "The American" helmer Anton Corbijn, it follows a Chechen refugee caught up in espionage in Berlin, critiques extraordinary rendition, and has Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Bruhl and Nina Hoss among the impressive cast. Our gut says that the film may be too politically spiky to make many Academy inroads, and Corbijn's previous films haven't exactly been warmly embraced by the establishment. But stranger things have happened, especially if it lives up to our expectations and gets embraced by critics.

"Dallas Buyers' Club"
The inspirational disease biopic has fallen out of favor in recent years, but Matthew McConaughey has a doozy this year, with this story of Ron Woodroof, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, given six months to live, only to survive for six years thanks to smuggled non-FDA approved medication, alternative healthcare, and court battles. McConaughey's already got a ton of attention for his weight loss, but we're not quite convinced that this has the legs beyond the central performance -- even "Philadelphia" missed a Best Picture nomination, and director Jean-Marc Vallee ("The Young Victoria") isn't a major figure as yet. But if the film surprises, maybe it'll turn out to be a bigger deal than we think at this stage.

"Ain't Them Bodies Saints"
"Fruitvale" might have been the mostly warmly received film at Sundance, but "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" arguably got the more enthusiastic reviews, even if it was a touch more divisive. David Lowery's feature, following a criminal couple in the 1970s played by Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, had some seriously impressive notices (including ours), and seemed to mark the arrival of a new talent in a way that mirrors Benh Zeitlin made his mark with "Beasts of the Southern Wild." It would have to be a "Tree of Life"-style critical favorite to get traction, though, and given that it was picked up by IFC Films, who have very little form when it comes to successful Oscar campaigning, this one probably isn't going to happen to any major extent.

"Her"
While he got a Best Director nomination at his first time at bat for "Being John Malkovich," for the most part, Spike Jonze hasn't been an awards magnet; none of his three films to date earned a Best Picture nomination, and his last, "Where The Wild Things Are," missed out altogether. Could that change with his new film, "Her?" There's certainly a strong selection of talent involved -- Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Samantha Morton, plus Megan Ellison as producer. But given that the plot involves a man who falls in love with his mobile phone (essentially), we suspect it'll be too quirky to register with the Academy (though Jonze could end up figuring in the Best Screenplay race). At the same time, we probably would have said that about "Being John Malkovich," so you never know....

"Out Of The Furnace"
"Crazy Heart" proved to be a surprise late-entrant into the race a few years ago; it missed Best Picture, but won Jeff Bridges an Oscar. And the new film from its director, Scott Cooper, came close to being another late-breaker this year; Relativity seriously considered pushing the release up into December 2012 in order to qualify. That certainly suggests that the company are confident in the crime drama, which stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Woody Harrelson and others. "No Country For Old Men" aside, the genre hasn't had all that much luck with the Academy of late, but Cooper seems to be up their street, and the star power could help. There's no release date as yet, but look for a festival debut and a late-year bow.

"Devil's Knot"
You've probably forgotten that Atom Egoyan is an Oscar nominee; he picked up a nod for "The Sweet Hereafter" nearly two decades ago. The prolific Canadian filmmaker hasn't been anywhere near awards season since, but that might change with his West Memphis Three movie "Devil's Knot." The true crime tale is well-worn in the documentary world, but the "Paradise Lost" trilogy and 2012's "West Memphis Three" probably didn't get on the Academy's radars, so the story might be new to them. With a cast including recent winners Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon, plus rising star Dane DeHaan, it's certainly got the potential for prestige, and if Egoyan's back on form, this could be a real dark horse.

"Diana"
There are multiple biopics in the works this year, as we've seen already, but one that we're a touch more skeptical of is "Diana," formerly known as "Caught In Flight." Written by Steven Jeffreys ("The Libertine"), and directed by "Downfall" helmer Oliver Hirschbiegel, it focuses on the romance, towards the end of her life, between Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) and surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews). Watts' presence aside, we're a bit skeptical about the potential substance of the thing, although the film's apparent focus on her campaigns against land mines might help. Hirschbiegel's been off his game since his Hitler biopic, and we honestly can't see a scenario where this turns out to be more than a showcase for a performance, and certainly not one of the best films of the year. But, hey, stranger things have happened...

"Man Of Steel"
After movies like "Avatar," "District 9" and "Inception" made it through, Oscar attention has rather dried up for tentpole blockbusters, with recent fare including "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Skyfall" failing to make the cut. And this year's batch seems fairly unlikely to change that, with too many sequels and films of slightly questionable quality. But one to keep an eye on might be "Man Of Steel." The film's shaping up nicely, if the trailers are anything to go by, with impressive cinematography and a Nolan-ish sense of a reinvention of the most iconic superhero in history. It's clearly taking itself seriously, and if the film works (we've heard buzz to the effect that it really does), it could be easier to get some awards traction. It's still a very, very long shot (it's a Superman movie directed by Zack Snyder after all and again, films like this fall short with the Academy more often than they land), but this far out, one worth considering.


"The Way Way Back"
Another Sundance movie that arrived with a ton of buzz is "The Way Way Back," the directorial debut of Oscar winning "The Descendants" screenwriters Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, which premiered in Park City and was snapped up by Fox Searchlight for a near-record sum. A coming-of-age tale starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney, among others, it's been described as "the next "Little Miss Sunshine' " by more than one person. And there's a notable lack of this kind of comedy-drama this early in the awards season game, and it could fill the "Silver Linings Playbook" slot. The said, the movie is getting released in July, so it'll have to play the long game (and be a smash hit), but that worked out fine for 'Sunshine,' so it could well end up in contention.

Also Worth Keeping An Eye On: "The Grandmaster," "The Young & Prodigious Spivet," "Rush," "About Time," "Prisoners," "The Railway Man," "Third Person," "The Invisible Woman," "Blood Ties," "The Place Beyond The Pines," "Blue Jasmine," "Can A Song Save Your Life," "Mud," "The Spectacular Now "

And just so you can see how wrong we might be a year from now, below are my prediction of ten films that could be nominated (assuming they don't shrink down to five again). More of a gut pick that anything else, and not necessarily coherent with what's above. Let us know what you're predicting in the comments section

"August Osage County"
"Foxcatcher"
"Gravity"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Labor Day"
"Monuments Men"
"Saving Mr. Banks"
"Twelve Years a Slave"
"Untitled David O Russell ABSCAM Project "
"The Wolf Of Wall Street"

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61 Comments

  • Michael M. | March 31, 2013 11:23 PMReply

    Let me make this clear, insofar as the ACADEMY:

    Best Actor: Chiwetal Ejiofor - Twelve years a slave (Runner Up: Leonardo Dicaprio)
    Best Picture: Untitled ABSCAM Project (Runner up: The Monuments Men, The Wolf of Wall Street).
    Best Director: David O. Russell (Runner up: George Clooney, Martin Scorsese).

    Personally Ejiofor should win, I mean come on? A gut-wrenching portrayal as the kidnapped Solomon Northup. With that given I think it's almost unavoidable, although DiCaprio could pull off an upset considering he's in Scorsese's highly anticipated project. While BD and BP are up for grabs, I wouldn't be surprised to see Russell winning in both categories. He's a solid director with Weinstein backing him, and has been the academy darling as of late. While I could easily see George Clooney walking away for his highly touted historical piece "The Monuments Men" as well, I still presume it may be too early to award him a statuette again. With that being said, alas! something in me yells: WILL YOU GIVE IT TO MALICK ALREADY!

    Anything else?

  • Kayell | March 16, 2013 3:06 PMReply

    Interesting read. You totally forgot Elysium. If District 9 is any indication, Neil Blompkamp's second film will be thrown in there.
    You also forgot 47 Ronin, it's by an unproven director and there have been several delays on it, which does not bode well for the film, but if it mixes elements of Lord of the Rings and The Gladiator as it is describes, I'm betting on this film being thrown in there also.
    The rest of my top 10 would be The Monuments Men, The Counselor, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Fifth Estate, Captain Phillips, and the untitled David O. Russell Project.

  • DoSomeResearch | March 4, 2013 7:11 PMReply

    Do some research before you snark. CBS Films is headed by Terry Press, only one of the best most revered Oscar architects of the last two decades. I dare to say that with the right material, no "consultant" is needed. If only she can escape the "bloggers" who snark about prospects based on no hard knowledge of anything substantial. Hilarious.

  • DoSomeResearch | March 4, 2013 7:10 PMReply

    Do some research before you snark. CBS Films is headed by Terry Press, only one of the best most revered Oscar architects of the last two decades. I dare to say that with the right material, no "consultant" is needed. If only she can escape the "bloggers" who snark about prospects based on no hard knowledge of anything substantial. Hilarious.

  • DoSomeResearch | March 4, 2013 7:10 PMReply

    Do some research before you snark. CBS Films is headed by Terry Press, only one of the best most revered Oscar architects of the last two decades. I dare to say that with the right material, no "consultant" is needed. If only she can escape the "bloggers" who snark about prospects based on no hard knowledge of anything substantial. Hilarious.

  • DoSomeResearch | March 4, 2013 7:09 PMReply

    Do some research before you snark. CBS Films is headed by Terry Press, only one of the best most revered Oscar architects of the last two decades. I dare to say that with the right material, no "consultant" is needed. If only she can escape the "bloggers" who snark about prospects based on no hard knowledge of anything substantial. Hilarious.

  • MikeW | March 4, 2013 4:41 PMReply

    If a sci-fi blockbuster were to slip in, I would think Ender's Game. The novel is a beloved classic and, as has been said about other films in this article, the move from spring to fall could signal that the studio is thinking of awards.

  • The Wellman | March 2, 2013 4:02 PMReply

    Oh God, just reading the synopsis of Saving Mr. Banks makes that a shoe-in nominee, if not the winner.

    It's one of Hollywood's beloved actors portraying one of pop culture's beloved icons making one of its most beloved movies it has made. Add in the syrupy-sweetness direction that inexplicably made the wretched The Blind Side an Oscar contender...yeah no despite how good or bad it may turn out, that movie already won....

  • Pete | February 28, 2013 1:25 PMReply

    What about Only God Forgives?

  • Roope | February 28, 2013 9:49 AMReply

    Is "Rush" completely out of the game? Though not a having a fierce A-list cast (Bruhl & Hemsworth), a fall release with work by Ron Howard, Hans Zimmer and Peter Morgan should ring at least some bells. Maybe Formula 1 is too shady for American audiences, but it's an inspiring true-story with two of the biggest characters in motorsport history. The BAFTAs maybe then?

  • prakshid | February 27, 2013 4:02 PMReply

    BestMotion Picture
    "August Osage County"
    "The Counselor"
    "Dallas Buyer's Club"
    "Foxcatcher"
    "Labor Day"
    "Monuments Men"
    "Saving Mr. Banks"
    "Twelve Years a Slave"
    "Untitled David O Russell ABSCAM Project "- American Bullshit
    "The Wolf Of Wall Street"

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:57 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:56 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:55 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:55 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:55 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:54 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:53 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:53 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • JW | February 27, 2013 7:53 PM

    I don't know about best picture but the performances in "12 Years A Slave" are incredible. McQueen has gotten zero love from the academy but Fassbender has deserved a nod in all of his film's so far. I'm guessing that sad trend will continue but Django had nothing on subject compared to this film. Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o are unbelievable. As are Woodard and Paulson. Keep an eye out for this one...it will win something. Just not sure what yet given the playing field.

  • prakshid | February 27, 2013 3:04 PMReply

    My Top 30 Most Anticipated Hollywood Films of 2013
    1.THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
    2.THE COUNSELOR
    3. FOXCATCHER
    4.MONUMENTS MEN
    5.THE GREAT GATSBY
    6.SAVING Mr. BANKS
    7.THE DALLAS BUYER'S CLUB
    8.AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
    9.Untitled Project by David O. Russell
    10.Untitled Project by TERRENCE MALICK
    11.KNIGHT OF CUPS
    12. TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE
    13.LABOR DAY
    14.ONLY GOD FORGIVES
    15.RUSH
    16.NEBRASKA
    17.SERENA
    18.GRAVITY
    19.OUT OF THE FURNACE
    20.CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
    21.HER
    22.LOWLIFE
    23.THE BUTLER
    24.DIANA
    25. OLDBOY
    26.TRANCE
    27.INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
    28.TO THE WONDER
    29. BEFORE MIDNIGHT
    30.THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

  • Dissenter | February 27, 2013 12:41 PMReply

    I'm going to go William Goldman on Indiewire and repeat "Nobody knows anything". Even in the months and months before Oscar noms when Indiewire begins making predictions, they're usually incredibly wrong. There aren't any good predictions for how a film will turn out. Safest bets would be The Counselor and Nebraska. Payne's films have always been nominated for awards. If not for Best Picture, for Screenplay and acting. The Counselor just looks promising. Her is also a safe bet. Despite Jonze usually working with Kaufman (who I have little doubt gave him notes/input on the script), he usually turns out something interesting and - as most films lack these days - original. Academy loves originality (Darren Aronofsky?). Last couple years have shown success at Sundance to be an indication of Academy recognition - doesn't look to be the same this year. No film generated significant buzz. August Osage County has a pretty good formula for success: beloved Broadway play, good cast - what holds it back may be the director. Basically, in a year where so many significant filmmakers are bringing out new films, it's extremely hard to predict this. If not for that, I would say Reitman and Scorsese are guarantees. Reitman has not made a bad film yet. I'd actually like to hear what Goldman has to say on this. Although he reassures us that nobody knows anything, he's damn good at Oscar predictions.

  • amanda raymond | February 27, 2013 10:13 AMReply

    The Last Of Robin Hood not mentioned here, starring Kevin Kline as Errol Flynn, the film focuses on his relationship he had with a teenage actress played by Dakota Fanning, also starring Susan Sarandon, this surely has to be a contender

  • NOT MR. THOR | February 26, 2013 8:39 PMReply

    Look out for James Gray's upcoming masterpiece "Lowlife", coming out in 2013.

    When you have a bigwig like Harvey Weinstein fighting to get the rights to his new movie and saying he has "big plans for this one" (Cannes + Oscars), when you have a legend like Francis Ford Coppola saying he is one of the best American auteurs from his generation, maybe it's time to realize that James Gray is a name worth remembering.

    James Gray on Lowlife: "I think it's going to be my best work. What I shot was not just my best work, but the actors doing their best and I'm very excited about it for that reason. I'm extremely excited, like I said it's the best thing I've done."

    Harvey Weinstein is extremely proud of the movie, the 2013 Oscars for Phoenix and Cotillard and the Golden Palm for James are already ready.
    The great Harris Savides passed away recently (RIP). As a result James Gray has been working with Darius Khondji on Lowlife. It's also his best work in ages. James Gray really brings the best out of everybody.

    #teamlowlife
    #teamgray
    #TwoOscarsForGrayAnOscarInEachHand
    #bravojames
    #themoderndayJohnFord
    #teamlowlifers
    #MrPhoenixPleaseDontRuinPromoCampaignAgainWithYourPranks
    #teamnewsincerity

    "Frankly, I am quite alone in what it is I even want to do. I have a couple of filmmaker friends who have similar ambitions, but even so they're similar but not exactly the same... The closest friend I have to me in spirit, in what we're trying to do, is probably James Gray." - Paul Thomas Anderson

  • t-rex | February 26, 2013 6:08 PMReply

    judging by both personal preferences and logical ones my choises are:
    best picture(10 nom of course)
    the wolf of wall street
    foxcatcher
    captain phillips
    abscam project-win
    inside llewin davis
    nebraska
    gravity
    out of the furnace
    monuments men
    august:osage county

  • cirkusfolk | February 26, 2013 6:22 PM

    Nevermind. U changed 3. Still I have my doubts. Also a black and white film starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte. What were they thinking.

  • cirkusfolk | February 26, 2013 6:18 PM

    Wow. U changed one pick from the authors list. How original. I'm telling u now, Gravity won't do shit. Will be the Cloud Atlas of next year.

  • Niksterino | February 26, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    I also think you're underrating Rush here. Also Blue Jasmine, the Academy loves Woody Allen and this sounds like it has enough timely subject matter to gain awards traction. The Place Beyond the Pines will not get any Awards attention, I'd much faster see Trance score some noms. And as far as blockbusters go, I definitely see Elysium (Blomkamp + Damon/Foster) get some attention.

  • Alan B | February 26, 2013 6:45 PM

    Yeah, 'Rush' is apparently below 'The Way Way Back' in terms of likelihood. If the script is strong - and there's a very good likelihood it could be - it has an excellent chance of a Best Picture nomination.

  • cirkusfolk | February 26, 2013 5:04 PMReply

    That being said though, your inclusion of 31 films this time might be grasping for straws. A lot of these films listed I don't see going anywhere. Also, you had To the Wonder as a Best Pic nominee for last year, but now that its been pushed back, you don't mention it this year. What's up, the reviews not being favorable scare you off?

  • Edward | February 26, 2013 5:10 PM

    What? No. Oli saw the film already. He loved it, but now that he's seen it he clearly knows it's not an Oscar nom.

  • cirkusfolk | February 26, 2013 4:51 PMReply

    I'm pretty amazed at your predictions last year. Out of the 18 films you mentioned that actually came out last year, only 4 were not nomed for at least one Oscar. The Dark Kight Rises, Hyde Park, This is 40, and Lawless. Not bad at all.

  • Sidsbowl | February 28, 2013 12:07 PM

    I think the predictability of Oscar nominations is much more a reflection of corporate maneuvering for maximum box office (abetted by websites that couldn't exist without 'inside information' from studio sources) than any indicator of genuine quality, and as such is nothing other than depressing.

  • 88888 | February 26, 2013 4:48 PMReply

    I can see The Spectacular Now and The Place Beyond the Pines doing more than some of those you gave a proper write up. Don't see much happening for TYAS or Saving Mr Banks

  • John | February 26, 2013 4:21 PMReply

    I think you're silly to not include:
    a) The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby in your possibilities
    b) Fruitvale in your 10 nominees (given the success rate of Sundance darlings getting noms)

  • droop | February 26, 2013 4:11 PMReply

    i guess ive made my point

  • droop | February 26, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    seriously, rush doesnt get a write up, just a shitty 'wort mentioning' mention. i for one cannot fucking wait to see it. the cast, the racing, the setting, the music. gonna be awesome

  • droop | February 26, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    seriously, rush doesnt get a write up, just a shitty 'wort mentioning' mention. i for one cannot fucking wait to see it. the cast, the racing, the setting, the music. gonna be awesome

  • droop | February 26, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    seriously, rush doesnt get a write up, just a shitty 'wort mentioning' mention. i for one cannot fucking wait to see it. the cast, the racing, the setting, the music. gonna be awesome

  • Tyler | February 26, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    I didn't see anything about Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives". Ryan Gosling has proved himself to give oscar-worthy performances and Refn has the acclaim/snubs from Drive going in his favor.

  • Tyler | February 26, 2013 4:02 PMReply

    I didn't see anything about Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives". Ryan Gosling has proved himself to give oscar-worthy performances and Refn has the acclaim/snubs from Drive going in his favor.

  • droop | February 26, 2013 4:02 PMReply

    seriously, rush doesnt get a write up, just a shitty 'wort mentioning' mention. i for one cannot fucking wait to see it. the cast, the racing, the setting, the music. gonna be awesome

  • Tyler | February 26, 2013 4:02 PMReply

    I didn't see anything about Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives". Ryan Gosling has proved himself to give oscar-worthy performances and Refn has the acclaim/snubs from Drive going in his favor.

  • Tyler | February 26, 2013 4:01 PMReply

    I didn't see anything about Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives". Ryan Gosling has proved himself to give oscar-worthy performances and Refn has the acclaim/snubs from Drive going in his favor.

  • TimmaeXVX | February 26, 2013 4:33 PM

    I've read the script to "Only God Forgives" and it's as far away from the academy's sensibilities as you can get. "Drive" was Oscar bait compared to this. Very few directors love screen violence more than Winding Refn. He's sort of the new Peckinpah. Unless he pulls a Scorsese and gets softer with age, he's never gonna have a chance with the academy.

  • droop | February 26, 2013 4:01 PMReply

    seriously, rush doesnt get a write up, just a shitty 'wort mentioning' mention. i for one cannot fucking wait to see it. the cast, the racing, the setting, the music. gonna be awesome

  • THOR | February 26, 2013 8:43 PM

    Not to mention the cinematography by the great Anthony Dod Mantle.

  • Wil | February 26, 2013 3:57 PMReply

    Good report. However often the Academy doesn’t remember the best films at all. My biggest disappointment at the Oscars this year was who wasn't nominated. Maybe not in Best Picture or best Director, but many of the best were left out of Best Screenplay. Check out Best Films That Oscar Ignored by Guy Somerset at Takimag.

  • Wil | February 26, 2013 3:56 PMReply

    Good report. However many times the most interesting films aren't even remembered by the Academy. My biggest disappointment at the Oscars this year was who wasn't nominated. Maybe not in Best Picture or best Director, but many of the best were left out of Best Screenplay. Check out Best Films That Oscar Ignored by Guy Somerset at Takimag.

  • Samantha | February 26, 2013 3:56 PMReply

    Given the current trend in Hollywood, The Fifth Estate & Captain Phillips will probably be the films to beat. One film demonizes Iran and condemns a whistleblower and the other will no doubt be another glowing tribute to the US military. I can see it now...

  • Liz | February 26, 2013 6:49 PM

    Wow, you've already seen both of these films? Because saying that you already know what forms the films are going to take without seeing them would be awfully silly otherwise, right?

  • Marko | February 26, 2013 3:55 PMReply

    I personally see "Saving Mr Banks" as one of those blatant Oscar baiting biopics, that ends up being incredbly mediocre and forgotten like this past year's Hitchock and Hyde Park on the Hudson.

  • Lacey | February 26, 2013 3:17 PMReply

    Friend of mine worked on the set of "The Counselor" in London and said that the whole cast was giving their best, and the most shocking thing, Diaz was the one who stood out the most. He said that her performance as Malkina will shut all the naysayers for good. Oh, and yes, the movie is gonna be very divisive. Either you're gonna love it or hate it.

  • Kate | February 26, 2013 3:27 PM

    That's not surprising at all. It's a great part, the best in the film, and she's always had talented that was largely wasted or unrecognized.

    It's the narrative that's the problem & the fact that the main protagonist (Fassbender's Counselor) is really uninteresting.

  • 34 | February 26, 2013 3:06 PMReply

    What is "Oscar form," references several times here. Apparently PTA and William Nicholson have it

  • Colin | February 26, 2013 3:04 PMReply

    As far as I know Nebraska is not in black and white anymore. It was shot in color.

  • Kevin | February 26, 2013 3:44 PM

    Yes, it's being shot in color, but being delivered B&W to cinemas. Paramount wants a color version for TV.

  • Elvin | February 26, 2013 3:43 PM

    Aren't all B&W films shot in color now and fixed in post?

  • Alex | February 26, 2013 2:58 PMReply

    Carrell is getting an oscar for Foxcatcher. Calling it now.

  • Kate | February 26, 2013 2:52 PMReply

    The directors for August_Osage and the Dallas Buyers Club don't inspire any confidence.

    The Counselor is going to be a trashy mess. The script has so many narrative problems & Scott ain't the one to fix them.

    12 Years a Slave had test screenings this past week. Ejiofor, Fassbender, and the film may all be worthy of awards consideration, but Ejiofor is probably the only one who will get traction. Fassbender's role is even more AMPAS-unfriendly than Shame or DiCaprio in Django.

  • Ann | February 26, 2013 3:05 PM

    Yeah, based on the early reactions to the test screenings of TYAS, the film itself seems a typical McQueen's, and is going to divide the audience and naturally the Academy voters.

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