Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Oscar Watch with Abe

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Watch with Abe. It’s a bit early to be able to accurately predict the eventual Oscar nominees, but around this time, plenty of likely contenders are being released. I’ll be looking every Wednesday at the awards chances for all of the films released the previous week. Until I begin my official predictions, I’ll be adding and removing contenders as their popularity, buzz, or reviews rise and fall. Chime in with your thoughts on the Oscar chances for these films in the comments section.

Capitalism: A Love Story
After picking up an Oscar in 2002 for “Bowling for Columbine,” Michael Moore got cocky and tried to enter “Fahrenheit 9/11” in competition for Best Picture. He learned his lesson when the film got completely shut out in 2004. In 2007, he submitted “Sicko” in the Best Documentary category, earned a nomination, and lost to “Taxi to the Dark Side.” I’m fairly certain that Moore will wisely submit his latest in the Best Documentary category and should be a serious contender.

The Boys are Back
This movie shouldn’t really factor into any races with the possible exception of Best Actor. Clive Owen is a past nominee, and this seems very akin to when Will Smith got nominate for “The Pursuit of Happyness” in 2006. I don’t think that Owen’s chances are terribly good, due to middling reviews and much quieter buzz. This is likely the best of Owen’s three big roles this year (the other two being “The International” and “Duplicity”), but that kind of screen presence in one year can often lead a performer to be completely forgotten. Just ask Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale in 2006.

Coco before Chanel
Anne Fontaine’s biopic probably has the best chance in the Best Actress category, though I’m not convinced it will happen. Audrey Tautou gave tremendous performances in two magnificent French movies, “Amélie” and “A Very Long Engagement,” and didn’t come close to a nomination for either one, even though both films placed in other categories. It’s hard for foreign actresses to cross over, and Penelope Cruz has been the only one to do so recently, mostly under the direction of very notable auteurs Pedro Almodovar and Woody Allen. Tautou probably won’t make the cut because the film won’t be big enough, and the film being foreign may also keep it off the list for Best Costumes and Best Art Direction. As an additional note, it is not France’s official submission in the Best Foreign Film race.

This film earned pretty poor reviews, and the only way it could have a shot at putting “Oscar-nominated” on its DVD release is if it contains any original songs. The first “Fame” won both Best Original Song and Best Original Score. Then again, the original movie also got nominated for Best Original Screenplay, and I have a slight feeling that this one isn’t going to be a contender in any race based on dialogue or plot.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men might have a prayer if it had earned better notices or been released more widely, but I’m sure it’s out of the race at this point. Regarding this week’s less highbrow releases, you’re kidding yourself if you think Pandorum, Surrogates, Paranormal Activity, or I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell could possibly come anywhere near Oscar.

Be sure to come back next Wednesday for a look at this Friday’s theatrical releases and their Oscar chances. And remember to offer your thoughts on the chances for these films in the comments!

1 comment:

G1000 said...

"I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" has inspired one of the best bits of criticism I've ever heard. Michael Phillips of the "Chicago Tribune" had this to say in his zero star review. "In addition to serving beer, I hope they show 'I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" in hell". Genius!