We had three films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.
Exodus: Gods and Kings
From a distance, Exodus seemed like a fine opportunity to rebuild the Biblical Epic behemoth that the Academy used to favor, but the film has turned out to be something that critics don’t particularly love.
Mix in the controversy over casting white actors as Egyptian characters and you have a situation that wasn’t an issue when The Ten Commandments was in release. The nationality of the actors is at most a distraction, the film just isn’t getting the support from critics or audiences it would need to become a bigger player in the Oscar race.
The film should still compete well in several creative and technical categories, but it’s already been ignored by the Visual Effects branch, which leaves fewer categories to contend in. Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstying and the sound awards are all possible, but there’s enough competition this year that the film might just get left off altogether.
Upon its festival debut, Chris Rock’s new film, Top Five was a whispered contender for Oscar recognition. The film, about a comedian attempting to become an actor might appeal to Oscar voters with a similar career path, but will turn off perhaps more.
As the film has failed to generate much excitement from critics, its chances dwindle quickly. Rock, a former Oscar show host, doesn’t have the level of cachet many comedians-turned-actors have and when you look at actors like Steve Martin, Jim Carrey and Steve Carell, who’ve all taken on dramatic roles at some point in their career, you’ll see the Academy doesn’t take them seriously enough. Carell is one of the vulnerable contenders this year for Foxcatcher and, like Rock, his chances hang in the balance of Academy prejudice.
Paul Thomas Anderson is a quirky director and his latest film seems to push the envelope when it comes to quirky.
The story here revolve around a Los Angeles police detective whose drug addiction creates more problems than it solves as he attempt to investigate the disappearance of a former girlfriend. Joaquin Phoenix has gotten plenty of attention for his performance, but the film has been having trouble finding footing with critics.
Josh Brolin has gotten a few bits of recognition for his work, but Best Supporting Actor has enough primary contenders in play that he’s unlikely to eke out a nomination. With such an unusual subject matter, the Academy isn’t likely to give it much attention in Best Picture and definitely not in the overloaded Best Director race. However, the dearth of screenwriting competition this year could give Anderson a chance to at least pick up a nomination there.