I'm a little late on this changing of the season post as the Telluride and Venice film festivals are already wrapping up. We've left summer tent pole season behind and entered the time of fall film festivals and early Oscar movies. So what have we learned since I last posted on the awards race? Well...
The first eight months of the year are unlikely to produce as many Oscar contenders as the early months of the last two years did. The only really great bet to release during this time period was Behn Zeitlan's Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is almost a shoo-in for Best Picture and Best Actress and a serious contender in at least a half a dozen other categories.
Moonrise Kingdom has also done very well, although its Best Picture prospects seem less certain. I think Original Screenplay seems pretty likely, though, and that could lead to a few other nods, maybe even Picture depending on how the question marks resolve themselves.
The Dark Knight Rises will probably make a lot of top ten lists when the year is said and done. As for the AMPAS, they may very well shy away from above the line love for this film in the wake of the Aurora tragedy. When you add that into the Academy's built in aversion to both super heroes and action flicks and the chances look even slimmer. Its a shame, but that's how it is.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is still a long shot for a Best Picture nod, despite its impressive box office, but it could happen. More likely would be recognition for one member of its great ensemble cast, but which one?
No other released film seems like even an outside shot for Best Picture, but Brave and possibly The Lorax should be strong possibilities in Animated. Avengers should be a shoo-in for tech recognition with Snow White and the Huntsman, Amazing Spider-Man, and Prometheus also good below the line possibilities. Bernie could give Jack Black an outside Best Actor shot, while Magic Mike has a shot in Supporting Actor (McConaughey) and Original Screenplay. Safety Not Guaranteed also has a shot at screenplay and Lawless is going to be pushed heavily in Original Song with an outside shot at Best Supporting Actress (Chastain).
That is pretty much it for January through August. Of course, several films have already screened at festivals....
Although still a dark horse for Best Picture (although you never know), The Sessions (formerly Six Sessions, formerly The Surrogate) seems to still hold excellent acting nomination prospects for Helen Hunt, William H Macy, and especially John Hawkes. Adapted Screenplay also seems highly possible.
Argo has had deafening buzz since its Telluride premiere, and The Master has similar love coming out of Venice. Look for both to be major contenders in multiple categories.
Terrence Malick's To The Wonder met with a mixed reception (as expected). Malick's built in fan base could still land this film in the Picture race, but it is unlikely to attract enough new fans to win.
Hyde Park on Hudson is looking very iffy after its luke warm reception in Telluride, but Murray could still wind up in the Best Actor race pretty easily.
Amour continues to dominate the Foreign Language film conversation while both it and Rust and Bone are considered likely to break out of that category for consideration in other categories.
The Impossible could nab some tech nods and a Best Actress bid for Naomi Watts. The Iceman has an OUTSIDE shot at landing Michael Shannon some notice, and Killing Them Softly COULD put Pitt back in the Best Actor conversation.
Still to come: Les Miserables, Lincoln, Hobbit, Promised Land, Flight, Anna Karenina, Great Expectations, Inside Llewyn Davis, Place Beyond the Pines, and a host of other films. Awards season is still wide open, although things continue to narrow as films like Great Gatsby, Gangster Squad, Mud, etc. get pushed back to 2013 release. Join us back here at The Movie Frog shortly for updates on buzz (and my predictions) in each category individually, starting with the Techs.
Is that Oscar buzzing, or just dinner?
Related Posts: The Dark Knight Rises, At the Changing of the Season, June Oscar Buzz and Prediction - The Techs, June Oscar Buzz and Prediction - The Genres, June Oscar Buzz and Predictions - Supporting Contenders, June Oscar Buzz and Predictions - Leading Contenders, June Oscar Buzz and Predictions - The Big Two