BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
So this week we finally see the release of the latest Clint Eastwood movie, pegged for Oscar chances-- like most other Eastwood movies of late- from the moment we knew it existed. I reviewed it already and was surprised, given how dreadful Hereafter and Invictus were, not to hate it. It's not really a good movie, but given the great performances Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer are giving
It happens so quickly. One day the heavy hitters of awards season are just a glint in your eye, with so much left to be determined and so many mysteries to unfold. The next, Clint Eastwood's new movie is finally being seen by critics and it feels like the jig is up. In the two weeks since the last Oscar Eye column, a few more contenders have started peeking out of their fortresses of solitude
Sure, the Oscars are the main focus of this weekly column, but if you follow the awards race you know there are so, so many prizes that come first, from awards handed out by various critic's groups to independent film awards like the Indie Spirits to the dreaded Golden Globes.
The New York Film Festival wraps up this week, and though I've barely set foot in Lincoln Center for the occasion (I know, I know, it frustrates me too), the festival has managed to put a little bit of direction into the Oscar race in a way it hasn't in recent years
Though this weekend's big Oscar-friendly release, The Ides of March, will primarily be a contender on behalf of its male actors, but two new trailers have everyone talking about actresses instead. First up there was yesterday's first trailer for My Week With Marilyn, which allowed us to finally see Michelle Williams walking, talking and even singing as the iconic movie star
I caught Carnage at the New York Film Festival and greatly enjoyed myself. It's a very straightforward adaptation of a play that takes place entirely in one apartment, and thus doesn't feel terribly cinematic, but director Roman Polanski does a good job moving the camera around in the space and emphasizing all four lead performances, which are uniformly terrific. It's hard to guess how this might shake out Oscar wise
Each week I'll update the charts based on whatever I'm perceiving in buzz or reviews or more ephemeral stuff like that. In each individual category I've explained as best I can what my thinking is, and I'll continue those explanations-- though hopefully in shorter versions-- each week. Take a look at the charts below, keep in mind it's all very preliminary, and let me know which contenders I'm underestimating or plain forgot
I'm still not ready to put together the big season-long charts that are usually in this column-- partly because I don't have the time during the festival crunch, and partly because it just feels too soon. But below are some of the Toronto titles with the biggest potential to move into Oscar campaigns, and what I've learned about them here at the festival
While you read this I'm on my way to the Toronto International Film Festival, one of several early September film festivals that mark the real beginning of Oscar season. Yes, it will be many months before you start seeing TV ads with "Best Picture nominee" on them, and almost as long before many of the big potential contenders
I choose to see it as the only logical result in a year that was crammed with great movies, all of them worthwhile for their own reasons and all of them deserving of their moment. Even films that didn't take home a single prize felt well-honored by tonight's ceremony
Below are my best predictions for all the categories, with a little bit of reasoning about how I chose them. On a lot of these I feel pretty confident, having followed the Oscar buzz all the way since last September and weighed the Academy's predilections for period films/giant costumes/loud movies/Rick Baker when appropriate.
There are still enough surprises in store to make this year's Oscars well worth watching, and even the good kind of surprises that won't make you give up on faith in the movie industry entirely. With just two weeks left of pre-Oscar columns left to go, and next week's inevitably dedicated to my predictions about who will win, it's time to run down the eight potential surprises on Oscar night
You mean the ensuing SAG and DGA Awards caused nearly every Oscar pundit to set their hair on fire last weekend, while I was still trying to figure out how to get my snow boots back in my suitcase? Christ, OK
Let's start with the big one: Christopher Nolan didn't get the Best Director nomination.
The minute you say something is predictable or obvious in the Oscar world, something totally bizarre happens to prove you wrong. So really, who knows
So if we're trying to predict the Oscars--and that is where this column gets its name, after all-- it's probably best just to focus on the awards season at hand, especially with the nominations announcement
So what are the films? And why does everyone seem to agree in such lockstep about what they'll be? Your answer is mostly in the precursor awards, ranging from critic's groups to the Writers and Screen Actors
Between announcements from a series of major critical groups, the nominations for the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards and the huge amount of press nearly every major nominee has been doing
As a Social Network supporter I'm delighted to see it get these fresh legs, even if it's all chatter and no actual results so far, but I'm well aware that there's a lot more road ahead
This week everyone has hit the ground running, with the last batch of films hitting theaters, parties thrown right and left to celebrate the ones already out there, and the first awards of the season
What I feel strongly, as much in my gut as based on real Oscar-centric logic, is that Christian Bale won't just be nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but he'll win it
So with The Fighter out there-- I'm seeing it next Monday-- it's really just True Grit playing keepaway as a possible surprise to turn over the apple cart.
Well, you can finally start taking me seriously when I talk about this year's Oscar race-- I have seen The King's Speech, the movie that was stamped a Best Picture frontrunner
Supporting Actress is the wildest, most wide-open acting category in the Oscar race so far this year, and the one with the most potential for upsets
All this has me wondering who this year's breakout might be, particular in the Best Director category, which feels very wide open and ripe for surprises. Though I doubt