Welcome to the latest edition of a seasonal 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, one month 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 film is at the top of my list to see this weekend, so I’ll be able to offer a better prognosis then. It does have two important names attached to it behind the scenes: screenwriter Cormac McCarthy, author of the novel on which big-time Oscar winner “No Country for Old Men” was based, and Ridley Scott, who earned three nominations for Best Director, one for a film that won Best Picture and the other two for films that weren’t even nominated. Among the cast, Michael Fassbender has a much better shot in “Twelve Years a Slave,” while Cameron Diaz, who vied for an Oscar four times in five years but never made it, might finally join the ranks of three-time nominee and costar Penelope Cruz. One or both of them could pop up, but the film doesn’t seem to have nearly enough support for it to make a showing elsewhere.
Man of Steel (June 14)
The last cinematic Superman earned one Oscar nomination back in 2006, for Best Visual Effects. Mixed reviews are going to prevent this one from scoring big in any major categories, but a bid for Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, or Best Makeup isn’t out of the question. This will be director Zack Snyder’s first brush with the Oscars.
The Bling Ring (June 14)
Sofia Coppola has had Oscar success twice, once with a Best Picture nomination and Best Original Screenplay win for “Lost in Translation” and a Best Costumes win for “Marie Antoinette.” This one might be a player for actress Emma Watson, who is likely to be an Oscar winner someday, though I’m not sure this film can take her close enough this year. Maybe a Golden Globe nomination?
Monsters University (June 21)
“Monsters Inc” was one of the nominees the first year of the Best Animated Feature category, and also reaped bids for Best Sound Editing and Best Original Score, plus a win for Best Original Song. I’d say the Best Animated Feature mention is locked up, and another technical nomination or two could be possible.
World War Z (June 21)
Big summer blockbusters don’t often equal Oscar nominations. The epic nature of this film could, however, make it in a competitor in the Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Makeup races.