Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Oscar Watch

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!

Films released November 1st, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaughey was close to an Oscar nomination last year with a handful of strong supporting roles, and having one major part that screams Oscar is almost certain to earn him that recognition this year. Jared Leto may well deservedly latch on to that buzz for his transgender role that meshes well with McConaughey’s performance. The film might also be recognized for its screenplay, and a Best Picture nomination is always possible but unlikely.

On paper, two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts as Princess Diana probably seemed like pure gold. The film flopped, however, and so it’s all but dead in the water. Watts was the only element of her film to be honored last year, so I wouldn’t count her out altogether, especially in the Golden Globes race. Otherwise, this film will probably be forgotten.

Ender’s Game
This adaptation of the popular science fiction novel is a good bet to pop up in the technical races. I’d bet on a Best Visual Effects nomination, and maybe Best Sound and Best Sound Editing as well. Anything beyond that is a stretch.

Last Vegas
This film boasts powerful Oscar names – at least one win each for its four stars – and I assume that it might translate into Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical. Though Freeman and sometimes De Niro continue to turn in quality performances sometimes, this isn’t one of those cases, and this light comedy isn’t going to make Oscar waves.

Films released July 2013

The Way Way Back (July 5)
This winning comedy from Sundance is sure to please voters, and its best asset is its writer-director team, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Descendants” two years ago. I’d love to see Sam Rockwell honored for his hilarious supporting performance, but I doubt that will happen, and this may have to settle for some Golden Globe recognition.

Fruitvale Station (July 12)
This staggering drama from Sundance received excellent reviews, and the only worry is that it may have peaked too early. It could well be an underdog for Best Director Ryan Coogler, and might even merit a Best Picture nomination. If there’s any justice, rising star Michael B. Jordan will be nominated for Best Actor. The film might also earn mentions for its screenplay and for supporting actress Octavia Spencer, who won that trophy two years ago.

Blue Jasmine (July 26)
Woody Allen has a great relationship with Oscar, and though his last film, “To Rome with Love,” wasn’t a winner, his previous movie, “Midnight in Paris,” snagged a Best Picture nomination. Cate Blanchett has earned strong reviews for her layered performance, and she’s a sure thing. A writing nomination for Allen is also likely in order, and that’s probably it for this well-received but off-putting dark comedy.

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