Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Oscar Watch

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, ending with this installment. 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!

Note: this was not a good week for Oscar contenders, but fortunately August and September were very fruitful months.

Films released October 29, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
If any of the films in this series are going to be honored, it will be the first one.

This tiny film performed well when the British Independent Film Awards nominations were announced a few days ago, earning five nominations. I’m not so sure that a BIFA recognition for the visual effects made on a $15,000 budget for the entire film equates with an Oscar in the corresponding category, but it’s the most buzz-worthy film of this week.

Films released August & September 2010

Cairo Time (August 6)
One-time Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson likely won’t stay that way for long, though I’m not sure that this small film from the summer, which did earn great reviews, is the one to get her to number two.

Animal Kingdom (August 13)
This awesome Australian film (one of my favorites from this year) picked up an astonishing eighteen nominations from the Australian Film Institute, including seven acting nominations. While such success can’t be hoped for in the American market, this definitely helps Jacki Weaver, who may be a force to be reckoned with in the Supporting Actress category. It would be too much to hope for a Best Picture or Best Director nomination, but that would be truly awesome.

Eat, Pray, Love (August 13)
I suspect that this light-hearted film (which I did not see) will be relegated to the Golden Globes and a probable nomination there for Julia Roberts.

Mao’s Last Dancer (August 20)
This film garnered a bit of Oscar buzz back in August and September, but I don’t think it’s been sustained. More importantly, I’m not sure who or what would be nominated. The cinematography, art direction, or costumes, perhaps. Director Bruce Beresford is a one-time nominee for “Tender Mercies” back in 1983 and a famous non-nominee for Best Picture winner for “Driving Miss Daisy.”

The Tillman Story (August 20)
This documentary about a sports star turned enlisted man earned positive reviews and will likely figure in the Best Documentary race. I haven’t had a chance to see it.

White Wedding (September 3)
I remember this being touted as South Africa’s official entry for Best Foreign Film. Turns out it was last year’s. Whoops.

A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop (September 3)
This film has the most colorful costumes I’ve seen in a while, as well as some cool lensing. Cinematographer Xiaoding Zhao was previously nominated for director Zhang Yimou’s “House of Flying Daggers” in 2004.

I’m Still Here (September 10)
It’s difficult to assess how this film will be viewed, especially since it has been revealed as a fake documentary by director Casey Affleck. It may stand a chance in the Best Documentary field, but I doubt it.

Easy A (September 17)
Smart high school movies like this (see “Mean Girls”) have come close to Oscar love and failed, and I think that this film will may earn a Golden Globe nod for star Emma Stone and that’s it.

The Town (September 24)
This well-reviewed effort from Ben Affleck is a possibility for Best Picture, and some buzz has been circulated for star Ben Affleck and supporting actor Jeremy Renner, a Best Actor nominee last year for “The Hurt Locker.” Affleck’s previous (better) film, “Gone Baby Gone,” scored only one nod, for supporting actress Amy Ryan, and that film was almost as positively received by critics. I don’t think this one will go too far.

Waiting for Superman (September 24)
This documentary opened to a great reception and, though I’ve only seen the similarly-themed “The Lottery,” I expect it to do well in the Best Documentary category.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (September 24)
I didn’t see this film, or the first one for that matter, yet I still don’t comprehend why Michael Douglas is being touted by some as a supporting actor when he appears to be a lead from the trailer (if you’ve seen it, please enlighten me). It’s possible that he could squeak in since the makeup of that category is still uncertain.

Come back next week for a look at new releases from November 5th.

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