Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday Top Twelve

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. After exhausting theoretical Oscar categories, I’ll be featuring a “top twelve” list for the rest of 2012 each Thursday, with a variety of themes. Please leave suggestions for future focuses in the comments!

Top Twelve Oscar Hopeful Movies That Have Already Been Released

#12. Arbitrage: Richard Gere has earned substantial buzz for his performance, but I wouldn’t invest entirely in that hope since Gere has come close to Oscar before for a Best Picture-winning film, “Chicago,” and he couldn’t manage it even after a Golden Globe win. I wouldn’t count on this being his first time.

#11. Compliance: This tiny little thriller, which played in just twenty-one theatres, has been praised for the supporting performance of character actress Ann Dowd. If it can somehow muster up enough attention, she’s a dark horse with a shot.

#10. To Rome With Love: Woody Allen has an impressive Oscar track record, and though only two of his screenplay nominations have come in the past decade, he won last year for Best Picture nominee “Midnight in Paris,” so goodwill for that film could enable him to earn another nomination this year.

#9. Ruby Sparks: Directing duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris had a winner in their last feature “Little Miss Sunshine,” and their latest film might be pushed enough by Fox Searchlight to earn it a well-deserved screenplay nomination.

#8. Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson has had two Oscar successes – “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” – and positive notices for his latest movie may help it break into the Best Original Screenplay category.

#7. Prometheus: Ridley Scott’s classic “Alien” won a visual effects trophy back in 1979, and while many took issue with the plot twists and themes of his new film, it’s probable that it will vie for a trophy or two in the visual effects or sound categories.

#6. The Avengers: Marvel films haven’t had too much success in the past with Oscar love, even in the technical races, but combining all of the superheroes into one big extravaganza may change that. The “Iron Man” movies do have some sound-related history, which is a plus.

#5. Beasts of the Southern Wild: This small Fox Searchlight release has earned terrific acclaim from all that have seen it, and it will only have to overcome the fact that it’s not well-known to break into the top races.

#4. Trouble with the Curve: Clint Eastwood may have alienated Oscar voters with his RNC speech, but he has a formidable nomination history and still poses a threat, even if his last few films didn't make a dent. Amy Adams has an outside as well.

#3. Brave: The latest Pixar entry didn’t fare as well as past films from the popular studio, but it’s still an extremely strong contender for the Best Animated Feature race, since everything produced by Pixar except for “Cars 2” has had a place in the category since its inception.

#2. The Dark Knight Returns: This film’s Best Picture chances are unlikely given the circumstances of its release, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a shot. The last Batman film managed seven technical nominations, so I’d count on this on to earn a similar take, unless backlash for the film shuts it out.

#1. The Master: Director Paul Thomas Anderson hit it big with his last feature, “There Will Be Blood,” and received screenplay nominations plus some acting bids for previous films “Magnolia” and “Boogie Nights.” Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman are very likely, a Best Picture nomination is possible, and technical nominations may happen too.

Anything I missed?

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