Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Oscar Watch: Inaugural 2010 Edition

Welcome to a newly-restarted 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. Additionally, to make up for lost time, I’ll also be taking a look at the films released earlier in the year, two months at a time. Chime in with your thoughts on the Oscar chances for these films in the comments section. Also, if I’ve missed any films from the previous months, please say so!

Films released October 8, 2010

Secretariat (review coming soon)
After last year’s surprise inclusion of “The Blind Side” in the Best Picture race, it’s important not to underestimate this crowd pleaser. Also, keep in mind that “Seabiscuit” made it into the Best Picture race when there were only five slots, so there’s likely room for this film. Diane Lane has an outside shot at Best Actress, though I’m not sure she’ll go the distance. She is also already an Oscar nominee (for 2002’s “Unfaithful”) and therefore may not be perceived as overdue like Sandra Bullock was last year. Beyond that, the film may garner a few technical nominations, such as costume design or cinematography. At this point, a decent bet for Best Picture and a contender in the other three mentioned categories.

Inside Job
I haven’t had a chance to see this one yet but I imagine it will be a strong contender in the Best Documentary Category.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story (review coming soon)
This fun flick from directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who made the Oscar-nominated “Half Nelson,” might have a shot in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for its winning script, but otherwise, it won’t factor into the race.

Films released January & February 2010

Fish Tank (January 15)
This tiny, fantastic film will likely have been all forgotten about by the time Oscar time rolls around (if it’s eligible in this calendar year at all – does anyone know). If by some chance critics groups choose to recognize lead actress Katie Jarvis, supporting actor Michael Fassbender, or director Andrea Arnold, it would be truly wonderful, though I’m extremely doubtful.

The Ghost Writer (February 19)
Roman Polanski’s film was actually quite received, and besides the fact that it may have faded completely from voters’ memories, it could have an outside shot at something like Best Adapted Screenplay. It came out way too early to have a chance at Best Picture, unless all of the big movies we’re waiting for in the next two months flop. Otherwise, don’t count on it.

Shutter Island (February 19)
This is an interesting contender. Every film (that would be three) that Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio have made together has been nominated for Best Picture, so maybe this one will too. It’s unlikely, especially considering DiCaprio had another, better-reviewed film later in the year that should be a lock (“Inception”). Still, in a field of ten, this film could make it. I’d posit that it’s all or nothing, so either a Best Picture nomination (plus a technical nod or two) or a shut-out.

The Art of the Steal (February 26)
I confess to knowing nothing about how the documentary category works, so therefore I assume that this film was eligible last year or just ineligible since it isn’t on any prediction lists I’ve found and I have to imagine that it would be a legitimate contender if it was. Does anyone know?

Come back next week for a look at new releases from September 15th, as well as films from March and April!

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