Oscar Eye: Gravity And Captain Phillips Prepare For Box Office Tests
The three directors whose films are the likeliest Best Picture nominees are obviously the three Likely Contenders here, but what I said about Gravity and Captain Phillips being one-man (or woman) shows could also hurt Cuaron and Greengrass, because for whatever reasons directors who handle "bigger" movies tend to get preference. Then again, Michael Haneke was nominated for Amour last year, so who knows? It's interesting that there are only a handful of Oscar veterans-- Greengrass, Lee Daniels, Ron Howard, David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese-- with real shots at nominations, leaving it to upstarts like McQueen, Cuaron John Lee Hancock and Ben Stiller, of all people, to potentially steal all the thunder. (It will be especially interesting to see how Stiller fares as an actor-turned-director in this post-Ben Affleck world). Other x factors, like McQueen's general prickliness in the face of schmoozing and Russell's recent Oscars hot streak, could make this a very unpredictable contest.
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