Welcome to a returning 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. 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!
This wild drama didn’t receive entirely favorable reviews, but it could still be a contender in the visual categories. A Best Picture or Best Director nomination is probably out of the question, but similar spectacle “The Tree of Life” did pull off just that feat last year.
The Avengers (May 4)
This mega-hit could pull off a Best Picture bid if voters are enthusiastic enough by year’s end. Best Sound, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects are good bets, though it’s important to note that most of the films that feed into this one didn’t have much luck even in those races.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (May 4)
I don’t think this Fox Searchlight release made a big enough splash when it came out, but the pedigree involved is worth mentioning: director John Madden, nominated for “Shakespeare in Love,” and stars Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, and Maggie Smith, all of whom have great Oscar track records.
Moonrise Kingdom (May 25)
Wes Anderson has had success in the past with an Oscar nomination for penning “The Royal Tenenbaums” and a Best Animated Feature mention for “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” This well-reviewed film could be a contender for Best Original Screenplay and could also make a play for the Best Picture and Best Director races.
Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1)
It’s most remembered for the affair between director Rupert Sanders and star Kristen Stewart, but this decently-received summer blockbuster could place in the Best Art Direction or Best Makeup categories.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (June 8)
It would make sense that this hit would be a good bet for a Best Animated Feature nomination, but neither of the previous films in the series were nominated, so it’s a toss-up at best.
Prometheus (June 8)
This excellent sci-fi film could come up in a number of technical categories, with Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Editing its best shots. Best Sound, Best Makeup, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography are somewhat less likely, but voters might be enthusiastic about this film even if they didn’t love its story elements as much.
Brave (June 22)
Pixar’s latest is easily its worst-reviewed entry aside from “Cars 2,” the only film produced by the studio not to be nominated for an Oscar in any category. While the Best Animated Feature category has been unpredictable recently, I think this one can still make it, and a Best Original Score bid is probable too.
To Rome With Love (June 22)
Woody Allen may still be coasting on some residual love after winning the Best Original Screenplay prize last year for “Midnight in Paris,” but I think a Golden Globe nomination is the best he’ll do for this less highly-regarded comedy.
Take This Waltz (June 29)
This small summer release wasn’t very notable, but Michelle Williams has been doing well with Oscar lately, earning back-to-back Best Actress bids for “Blue Valentine” and “My Week with Marilyn.” Her film will have to get lots of love for her to be remembered come Oscar time.