Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 10-12, 2013

We had two films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

The Great Gatsby

With its stellar opening at the box office, skeptical Oscar voters might be more inclined to give it a chance. The critics haven’t been very supportive, but box office can sometimes trump critics. That being said, Baz Luhrmann’s lavish spectacle is more likely to end up as a multi-Oscar nominee only in the creative categories.

Luhrmann’s wife, Catherine Martin has received two Oscars out of four nominations for her work on her husband’s films. Her first nomination came in 1996 for Best Art Direction for her modernist-period take on Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Five years later, she took home two nominations and the corresponding Oscars for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design for the lavish French- and Indian-themed designs of Moulin Rouge. Seven years after that, she picked up her fourth nomination for the costumes of Australia, a film which left critics unimpressed as well as the box office.

It’s likely that Martin will pick up another two Oscar nominations for Production Design and Costume Design this year. The Great Gatsby has all the posh opulence that Academy voters clamor for and the eye-popping 3D will only highlight how fascinating her work is. The film could also secure nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Makeup & Hairstyling. Any other category placement is unlikely, but if the film maintains its popularity through the year and it remains in the minds of voters into January, it could be a surprise Best Picture nominee, though the chances are quite limited.

Venus and Serena

It might make a worthy nominee for Best Documentary Feature, but sports films so rarely make the cut that I’d be shocked if it even made the shortlist. Of course, a strong showing from critics groups could propel it towards a nomination. The doc isn’t getting the level of notices that will push it past the likes of Stories We Tell, but it’s still receiving largely positive reviews, so anything is possible. A win is out of the question, but a nomination might not be.

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