Category: Oscar Preview

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 20-22, 2020

There were no new releases last weekend and will not be for an indefinite period of time. This article will go on hiatus until normalization occurs.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 13-15, 2020

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 6-8, 2020

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Onward

Only in recent years has Pixar failed to pull in Oscar nominations for all of its films. Onward will face competition from Soul coming out later in the year for a nomination, though both could still make it.

Onward takes Pixar into a medieval-styled modern fantasy world where the legends of yore have settled into the mundanity of normal existence. When two brothers find a way to bring back their late father, they set off on a quest.

The Good Dinosaur became the first original Pixar film to fail to earn an Oscar nomination because the film was poorly reviewed. Onward has solid reviews, but appears to be barely positive according to MetaCritic, hovering right above the “mixed” rating mark. That doesn’t bode well for the film that has also taken a shellacking at the box office where it pulled in an anemic $40 million. Still, there are more sequels entering wide release this year than last and that could bolster the film’s chances some as the Academy really doesn’t care much for sequels (see Frozen II and more).

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2020

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

The Invisible Man

When it was first announced, no one thought this re-imagining of a classic sci-fi film would have the kind of reviews and acceptance that would make it an Oscar contender, but here we are.

The celebrated 1933 version was told from the scientist’s perspective as he becomes invisible, but murderously insane. While some elements of that concept are at play in this film, the invisible man of the title was villainous to begin with and entered invisibility in order stalk and terrify his wife. This film has managed to pique a lot of interest, especially in its position as a film that’s as apropos of the #MeToo movement as any other recent effort and is anchored by the performance of Elisabeth Moss.

With a 90% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a MetaCritic rating of 71, the film certainly has the positive reviews to carry it into the Oscar conversation. The problem is that Jordan Peele’s film Us last year was in a similar position and, unlike his prior film Get Out, it failed to carry into the Oscars even with the race-leading number of awards star Lupita Nyong’o picked up. This film looks like it might have a similar trajectory and Moss might be in a similar position. Perhaps this year’s Best Actress race will be less stacked and give her more of an opportunity, but even if it is heavily competitive, Moss’ whiteness might make her more palatable to the Oscar voters who ignored Nyong’o.

That said, the film could also be in play for several above the line categories, especially if it sparks spirited support from critics at the year-end. That said, horror continues to be the Academy’s achilles heel and there’s no sign that they will accept this film any more than they did Us.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Feb. 21-23, 2020

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Emma

There have been several adaptations of Jane Austen’s classic 1815 novel, with two direct English adaptations on the big screen. The 1995 version starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam, Denys Hawthorne, Alan Cumming, and Toni Collette. Directed by Douglas McGrath, it earned Oscar nominations for Original Comedy/Musical Score and Costume Design taking home the composition Oscar.

This version stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Josh O’Connor, and Mia Goth and is directed by Autumn de Wilde. The first trailer was rather amusing and is poised to make a solid expansion in theaters this coming week. The critics were largely pleased, though a 69 at MetaCritic isn’t as impressive as the 87% at Rotten Tomatoes makes things sound.

The period setting is the kind of realm that has often tickled Oscar fancies, but there are so many that it takes a great deal of impact to be a major player. A strong box office performance might help Oscar voters remember the film until the end of the year, but I suspect it’s not going to impress enough to make more than the guild list and not the Oscars.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jan. 3-Feb. 16, 2020

We had four films release over the last few weeks that have the potential for Oscar nominations. Here we discuss the features that released during our Oscar season coverage. Films like Birds of Prey and Dolittle flamed out at the box office, so even though they would have been Oscar contenders in a general sense, they don’t appear to be contending for much of anything at present.

The Assistant

With an early festival debut, this look at sexual harassment in the workplace has garnered strong early attention from critics. 89% from Rotten Tomatoes and 77 rating from MetaCritic suggest the film is doing well enough that it could enter the conversation. The problem is, the film’s public scores have been terrible, one of those rare instances where audiences utterly disagree with critics and that could harm the film’s potential.

Julia Garner stars as a college graduate who goes to work in the powerful entertainment industry figure and suffers through a full day of harassment, the likes of which only deepen when she finally stands up for herself. It’s a piece that speaks to Hollywood’s recent struggles revealed through the #MeToo movement that highlights the depths to which misogyny and sexism permeates every industry, including the most liberal of all industries.

The film’s big problem is that it’s opening far too early for an Oscar contender. Most films that release prior to summer struggle to retain the attention of Oscar voters through the entire season. There’s always a more important film lurking on the horizon. This film will desperately need support form critics at the end of the year to make it to the Oscars, but right now, the film has the remotest chance of getting nominated. The other problem for the film is that its director hasn’t yet made a name for herself. This film will probably do that, but it will take another prominent effort (or many) to really bring her into the fold.

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 11

Precursor season officially came to an end on Saturday night when the Film Independent Spirit Awards were handed out. Sunday night was the Oscars, meaning that most of what came in the week before was forgotten by this morning. As such, this article will be focused on which films came out of the precursors helped and hindered as we look at the entire season’s precursor winners and losers.

Before we get into that, let’s talk about what won and lost with the actual precursors. Starting with the big winners: The Farewell, which not only beat Jennifer Lopez in Supporting Actress at the Spirit Awards with Zhao Shuzhen’s surprise win, but it managed to surprise by winning Best Film as well. Uncut Gems was the other big winner with its three prizes from the Spirit Awards, including Oscar snubbee Adam Sandler. On the losers side, Marriage Story might have taken the previously announced Robert Altman Award as well as screenplay from the Spirit Awards, but as the sole Oscar Best Picture nominee on the Best Film list, its failure to secure that prize speaks to the film’s utter collapse during Oscar season with only star Laura Dern keeping the dream alive.

Another set of big losers this week were the nominees for the Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Awards. Although, these were predictably low-hanging fruit, Cats, A Madea Family Funeral, and Rambo: Last Blood were big losers with their eight nominations apiece. Other losers included Oscar nominees and winners Tom Hooper in Worst Directing, and actors James Franco, Matthew McConaughey, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Judi Dench.

Now, to the purpose of this week’s articles, a look at the winners and losers of precursor season/Oscar season 2019.

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 10

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

With a single important precursor left (Film Independent’s Spirit Awards), we have about all of the information we could possibly get and this year’s Spirit Awards will have little to no impact this year.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 11

Tuesday, Feb. 4 – Academy Awards Voting Ends (Official)
Thursday, Feb. 6 – Film Music Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Feb. 7 – Publicists (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 8 – Razzies (Nominations) (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 8 – Spirit Awards (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 9 – Academy Awards (92nd) (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 10

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

While there weren’t many groups to announce this last week, they were some big ones with the Directors Guild of America being the biggest prize of all. The Annie Awards, American Society of Cinematographers, Cinema Audio Society, and USC Scripter awards all trying to redefine the races over which their groups have influence.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 11

Tuesday, Jan. 28 – Costume Designers (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 29 – Visual Effects Society (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 29 – Cesar Awards (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 30 – London Critics (Awards) (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 30 – Casting Society (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 30 – Academy Awards Voting Begins (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 1 – Art Directors (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 1 – Writers Guild (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 2 – British Academy (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 2 – Online Film & TV Association (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 9

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

In the week since the Oscar nomination, we’ve had very little movement except on the weekend with the American Cinema Editors on Friday, the Producers Guild of America on Saturday, and Week 10
Friday, Jan. 24 – Golden Eagle Awards (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 25 – Annie Awards (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 25 – Audio Society (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 25 – Cinematographers (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 25 – Directors Guild (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 25 – Goya Awards (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 25 – USC Scripter (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 26 – Grammy Awards (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 27 – Nominees Lunch (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 8

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

While there were a handful of precursors in the last week, including the important Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America, all of this is overshadowed by the Academy Award nominations from earlier today. While the nominations are normally announced on a Tuesday and thus giving the Monday before over to the prior week’s events, today’s Precursor Winners & Losers will be devoted predominantly to the Oscar nominations with some influence from the DGA, PGA, and others to go along with it.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 9

Friday, Jan. 17 – Cinema Editors (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 18 – Producers Guild (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 18 – Filmfare Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Latino Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Screen Actors (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Sound Editors (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Filmfare Awards (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Online Film & TV Association (Nominations) (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: On Hiatus

As usual, through Oscar season (January and February), my regular weekly look at the Oscar chances of the films releasing on the prior weekend is put on hold. The reason for this is twofold. The first is that things are incredibly hectic during this period and extra content becomes difficult. The second reason is that few Oscar contenders for the subsequent year release, making it almost wasteful to cover that period. This feature will return in the second or third week of March.

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 7

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

The Golden Globe Awards dominate this past week of precursor revelations giving 1917 a huge boost while deflating Netflix’s balloon.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 8

Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Toronto Critics – Canadian Film (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Directors Guild – Director & First Feature (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Producers Guild (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – British Academy (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Academy Awards Nominations Voting Ends (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Vancouver Critics – Canadian Awards (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 8 – GALECA (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Publicists (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 9 – LA Online Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Georgia Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Women Journalists (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Asian Film Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Bodil Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Razzies (Nominations) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 11 – Make-Up Artists Guild (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 12 – Broadcast Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Jan. 12 – Hawaii Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Jan. 13 – Denver Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 13 – Academy Awards Nominations (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 27-29, 2019

We had four films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Little Women

Since the creation of the Academy Awards, five big-screen versions of Little Women have been made, with all but the modern day-set from 2018 being the only one to fail to earn an Oscar nomination.

George Cukor’s 1933 version with Katherine Hepburn as Jo March, earned three Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Director, and Adaptation. The latter is the only award it won. 16 years later, Mervyn LeRoy took a stab at the narrative with June Allyson as Jo and Margaret O’Brien and Elizabeth Taylor co-starring. That version wasn’t as Oscar popular, but still managed two nominations for color cinematography and color art direction, the latter of which it won. Fast-forward 45 years to the Gillian Armstrong version with Winona Ryder in the lead. Three more Oscar nominations followed with Ryder in Best Actress, Colleen Atwood for costume design, and Thomas Newman for Original Score. It did not win any.

It’s now 2019 and there have been 25 intervening years. Greta Gerwig, who was a mainstay of the indie movie scene, stepped behind the camera for the second time, the first without a co-director. With Lady Bird, Gerwig emerged as a leading voice in cinema. Her film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), and Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf). The film was well regarded, winning numerous awards, but Oscars were not among them. Three of her primary actors from Lady Bird make the leap to Little Women, Ronan and Timothée Chalamet in prominent roles and Tracy Letts in a supporting one.

The film has been building buzz since its debut and stands a good chance of replicating Lady Bird‘s success in all of the same categories along with Original Score, Production Design, Costume Design, and Film Editing all possibilities. Ronan’s chances in lead are a bit weaker than Florence Pugh’s chances in support, but if the film does well enough, it could easily be pulled into all of the listed categories. The only issue the film suffers from is the lack of interest male audiences have in seeing the film. There are rumors that some voters, especially at SAG, simply refused to watch the film, which could certainly cause the film harm. This is perhaps one of the reasons that sank Brokeback Mountain at the Oscars, but this time around, the diversity in the Academy could easily propel the film forward.

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 6

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

With only six precursors releasing in the days leading up to and following Christmas and an equally smaller number coming in the days before New Year’s Eve, there’s not a lot to discuss about this past week and thus not a lot of winners and losers.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 7

Thursday, Jan. 2 – Columbus Critics (Awards) (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Houston Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Iowa Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Casting Society (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – British Academy (Rising Star) (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Academy Awards Nominations Voting Begins (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Georgia Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – North Carolina Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – GALECA (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Cinematographers (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Satellites (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Saturday, Jan. 4 – Chicago Independent Critics (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 4 – National Society Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 5 – Golden Globes (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Austin Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Denver Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Hawaii Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Online Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Directors Guild – Documentary (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Visual Effects Society (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Writers Guild (Nominations) (Official)

Big Winners

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