Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 14-16, 2012

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

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

After the dominating success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy with the Academy 9, 10 and 11 years ago, it was thought the films of The Hobbit would be in similar contention. Lackluster reviews have largely quashed those expectations. While it’s a longshot now for a Best Picture nomination, the film still has chances in a number of other categories.

Beginning with Original Score and Original Song, there is only one category that it is unlikely to figure in the contest for nomination: Best Editing. The film’s lengthy nature and constant complaints that it needed trimming will likely result in a shut out there, but everything else is still fair game. Cinematography is the weakest and may not result in a nomination for Andrew Lesnie as the franchise failed to get nominated either in 2010 or 2011. Original Score may also be a struggle considering some have voice concerned over how much of the score is derived from the prior films. There is some new music, but it’s hard to separate it from the old stuff even if successfully used. Original Song is also doubtful as they have submitted only one track, “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” which is based on the Dwarven dirge sung early in the film. Had they pushed for that song to be considered over “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” they might have had a chance.

This leaves 6 categories where it is not only certain to be nominated, but in two or three of the categories, may even be slated for the win. Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects are its best shots at nominations and I’d be surprised if it missed out on any of them, though with the sound designers’ reluctance to nominate the film for Sound Editing previously, it’s possible it might. The most likely win of the bunch is Best Makeup and Hairstyling where the unique hairstyles of each of the thirteen dwarves is likely to push it over the top for the win. Likewise, the Visual Effects award seems like a very real possibility. It was the one category the franchise won all three times at bat. Costume Design is the third potential winning category, but considering it wouldn’t be nominated for “beautiful frocks,” I think it’s likely to be overlooked for something more Elizabethan.

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