Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 5-7, 2015

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

Love & Mercy

Earning strong reviews from critics, Bill Pohlad’s first film in 25 years looks into the life of Brian Wilson, lead singer of legendary band The Beach Boys. It explores his life of mental instability, the psychologist who kept him under control, and the woman who would help free him.

Biopics have struggled at the Oscars in recent years with high profile dramas like dramas Get On Up and Jersey Boys failing to pique the interests of voters. Get On Up did well with critics and Chadwick Boseman frequently entered the conversation for a Best Actor nomination, but the competition was fierce and the film never took off at the box office. Jersey Boys was a high profile box office and critical bomb for director Clint Eastwood, which made it an easy pic to bypass.

Love & Mercy may not have the name recognition of Eastwood attached, but Oscar nominee Oren Moverman co-wrote the screenplay and frequently cited potential Oscar nominee Paul Dano and oft-ignored John Cusack star. With significantly better reviews than Get On Up and frequent discussions about the film’s potential, it could be the rare early-year specialty release that holds on to earn Oscar recognition. While I would be surprised to see either Dano or Cusack show up in the acting races, the film could net a screenwriting nomination and could be a shock Best Picture nominee if the stars align.

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