Oscar Preview: Weekend of Aug. 31-Sep. 2, 2012

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


John Hillcoat’s bootlegger drama about siblings fighting to protect their operation from the mob during the prohibition era seemed like just the kind of film Oscar voters might once have embraced. Yet, the buzz surrounding Lawless may have been premature, much like everything that surrounded his last feature The Road. Before it was released, the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel had all the earmarks of an Oscar contender. It was a challenging subject matter, starred an Oscar-nominated actor (Viggo Mortensen) and two Oscar winners (Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron), and was based on a book by the man who originated Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.

Reviews are solid, if not very spectacular and the film ultimately wound up without any Oscar nominations to its name. The same could easily hold true for Lawless. It’s disappointing box office numbers coupled with reviews from critics placing it well below Hillcoat’s The Road make it seem like another pothole in The Weinstein Company’s frequently bumpy road to Oscar glory. While nominations in top categories are unlikely, there is still the possibility that the period drama could appeal to voters for Best Production Design and Best Costume Design with editor Dylan Tichenor a longshot for a Best Editing nomination.

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