Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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, one or 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 September 16th, 2011

This film was nominated for the Palme D’Or and won the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Opening to excellent reviews, this is a definite dark horse contender, mainly for the Best Actor race, since word on the street is that Ryan Gosling’s Oscar-bait film, “The Ides of March,” isn’t that great. It’s difficult to forecast Gosling’s chances though, since he made it in for “Half Nelson” but was snubbed last year for “Blue Valentine” when his costar was recognized. Director Nicolas Winding Refn could have a shot, but it’s a very artsy choice.

Happy, Happy
If Oscar voters loved this movie as much as I did, Norway’s Oscar submission will be a shoo-in for Best Foreign Film. Given the bleak seriousness prevalent in last year’s choices, however, I imagine this one will be left by the wayside, but I’d love to see star Agnes Kittelsen’s great performance recognized in some way.

Films released April 2011

Meek’s Cutoff (April 8)
This independent film might have earned some buzz for its period setting and lead performance from last year’s Best Actress nominee Michelle Williams, but I think that attention has come and gone by now.

The Conspirator (April 15)
Had this film opened to better reviews, and quite honestly, been better, it could have contended, since it’s an enticing hook with a lead performance from eventual Oscar nominee James McAvoy, who after “The Last King of Scotland” and “Atonement” is still searching for the part that will finally give him that overdue Oscar nomination.

Rio (April 15)
This kid-friendly film may compete in the Best Animated Feature race, but I wouldn’t put as much stock in it as I would the similar-sounding “Rango.”

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (April 22)
Morgan Spurlock netted a nomination back in 2004 for his documentary “Super Size Me,” and this is the most high-profile film work he’s done since then, so I’d imagine that, if it’s eligible, he may well find himself back on the Oscar list for this entertaining examination of product placement.

Fast Five (April 29)
I remember reading something silly about how Vin Diesel thought this film, which I admittedly loved, could garner Oscar attention. More importantly, would it be so out of the question for this film to earn sound mixing and sound editing nominations? The previous four haven’t, but there’s always the chance this one could break through.

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