Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Oscar Watch with Abe

Welcome to the first 2014 edition of this returning 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 (in this case, the past three weeks). 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 October 31-November 14, 2014

Nightcrawler (October 31)
This film looked a bit too bleak and grim for Oscar, but Jake Gyllenhaal’s name has come up as a potential Best Actor contender (my most trusted source, Nathaniel at The Film Experience, is currently predicting him). I’d chalk it up to the same buzz he got for “Prisoners” which panned out to nothing.

Big Hero 6 (November 7)
I have yet to see this animated film, but I hear only great things and it seems like it’s the likeliest challenger to “The Lego Movie” for the Best Animated Feature trophy this year.

Interstellar (November 7)
Christopher Nolan’s last film – “The Dark Knight Rises” – didn’t earn any Oscar love, but the one before that, “Inception,” sure did. This should follow in the latter film’s footsteps, with guaranteed tech nominations and a likely Best Picture bid. Given Nolan’s history of being snubbed, a Best Director bid seems unlikely, but who knows?

The Theory of Everything (November 7)
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are sure things for their performances as Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hawking, and this film will also be nominated for Best Picture. Director James Marsh, who won Best Documentary for “Man on Wire” a few years ago, has a good shot, and the film will surely also show up in Best Adapted Screenplay. Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Best Makeup are possible too.

Beyond the Lights (November 14)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is having a great year, and it’s possible that she’ll breakthrough for her performance in this film, though competing against herself in “Belle” probably means that she’ll have to wait for a less busy year with just one standout performance.

Foxcatcher (November 14)
Director Bennett Miller has been nominated for both of his previous films, “Capote” and “Moneyball,” both of which also earned Best Picture nominations and two acting nods apiece. That seems about right for this film, which shouldn’t have trouble getting in with an expanded Best Picture field. Miller won’t have as easy a shot but could still make it. Steve Carell is a likely Best Actor nominee, but hardly locked, and Mark Ruffalo has the best shot for his supporting turn over onscreen brother Channing Tatum, who won’t have an easy time breaking into the more crowded Best Actor race.

Rosewater (November 14)
Jon Stewart has won an awful lot of Emmys, so it’s fair to expect that having his name on a film might at the very least pique Oscar voters’ attention. I don’t think the film will be big enough, but he’s a dark horse contender for his reputation and for the film’s subject matter.

Films released June 2014

The Fault in Our Stars (June 6)
Shailene Woodley was nearly an Oscar nominee a few years ago for “The Descendants,” and I’m fully confident that she will be in the future. This film might not be Oscar voters’ tastes, but you can bet that Woodley is going to show up on more than a few ballots.

Obvious Child (June 6)
Jenny Slate is an up-and-coming actress with a proven comedian record, but this film needed to land in a much, much bigger way for her to make it her Oscar debut. A Golden Globe nomination is more realistic, and I’m not so sure that’s guaranteed either.

Snowpiercer (June 27)
I’ve read some buzz about Tilda Swinton being a contender for this film, which I have yet to see, but I don’t think this one is going to place at all, even though it should garner some technical votes. A sci-fi success like this doesn’t tend to be Oscar-friendly.

Begin Again (June 27)
Keira Knightley is everywhere this year, and it makes sense that she might at least earn some Golden Globe attention for her role in this film. Costar Mark Ruffalo, also having a big year, could too, though an Oscar nomination for him is impossible. Director John Carney’s “Once” earned one nomination – and on win – for Best Original Song, and I think this film has the best chance of showing up in that race, possibly with a few nominations.

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