Oscar Preview: Weekend of April 20-22, 2012

Although none of this week’s wide releases seem to be big Oscar contenders, there were two films in limited release that could be on the radar, but probably won’t be.

Darling Companion

This Lawrence Kasdan film features no fewer than three Oscar winners and another pair of Oscar nominees. Oscar winner Diane Keaton rescues a dog and takes it home with her, but when her selfish husband played by Oscar winner Kevin Kline inadvertently leaves the gate open, a frantic search is on to find him while rebuilding their crumbling family at the same time. Oscar winner Dianne Wiest co-stars alongside Oscar nominees Richard Jenkins and Sam Shepard. Kasdan alone has four Oscar nominations to his name, so you should take him seriously up to a point. His last nomination came 20 years ago for the screenplay for Grand Canyon. Since then, he’s directed four films, none of which have been even remotely considered Oscar contenders. Could this be the film to change that? The film has a miserable 38 out of 100 score over at MetaCritic, which means it’s not a critics’ darling in the least. The film did well in limited release at the box office, so it could become a sleeper, but it would have to be a huge box office hit to emerge as anything serious.

Jesus Henry Christ

Director Dennis Lee’s first feature film, Fireflies in the Garden was a critical and box office bomb. This is his second feature, but it looks a lot more interesting than his first film. And starring Toni Collette and Michael Sheen gives it some added weight. And while it has a slightly higher score at Metacritic than his first film (59 as of 4/22/12 vs. 38), it’s not the kind of number to write home about. Still, it is likely to earn plaudits from several independent-centered organizations, but only if they don’t have other better films to look at. Eight months should provide plenty for them to look at.

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