Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 19-21, 2015

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

Inside Out

Even in its worst of times, Pixar has been one of the most dominant animation studios out there. Outside of Disney’s one-shot in 1991 with Beauty and the Beast, Pixar is the only studio to ever secure Oscar nominations for Best Picture, having done so twice to date. After a few years of lackluster products and some notable slips in the Best Animated Feature race, is the studio about to make a roaring comeback with its latest animated adventure?

Inside Out explores the complex emotions of an eleven-year-old girl as she adjusts to her new life in San Francisco, having been uprooted from Minnesota to move with her father’s job. As she struggles to understand the changes going on in her life, the five aspects of her emotional stability try desperately to keep things together. Joy and Sadness trek through the world of long-term memory while Anger, Fear and Disgust bravely attempt to steer their human through the mines and pitfalls of adolescence.

Pixar’s Brain Trust lost one of its most creative members a few years ago, his unique perspective helped usher in the studio’s biggest successes. Since then, the studio has churned out sequels of varying quality and far more traditional types of stories. Meanwhile, the Mouse House that also owns Pixar, has been quietly amassing an impressive array of films on its own, on the cusp of eclipsing Pixar. That is all about to change. Inside Out has been playing to sold-out crowds with amazing word of mouth and strong responses from critics. It’s their best performance with critics and audiences combined since Toy Story 3. That alone should give it a significant boost in the race for Best Animated Feature, a competition that seems poorly fielded.

As for nominations outside of that shoe-horned category? The film has a terrific chance at earning a Best Picture nomination and could also make appearances in Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Sound Editing. It could even nab a Best Original Song and Best Sound Mixing nomination. My guess is that it ultimately ends up with three nods for Picture, Animated Feature and Score, but things could easily change between now and then.

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