Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 3-5, 2013

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

Iron Man 3

Let’s start off with the elephant in the room. With a $175 million opening, Iron Man will be one of the year’s biggest box office hits. That doesn’t mean a lot of Oscar, but after having seen the film, I can’t imagine the film not getting nominated for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects. While the sound of the film is easily overdone, falling into the “big and loud” category that often snags nods over more quiet and convincing uses of sound, there’s little question that sound designers and fans will take notice of all of the vast quantities of sound effects and blending of dialogue, effects and music that is crisp and easy to follow, there’s not likely to be another blockbuster this year that has more of a shot for those spots than this film.

But it’s the film’s superb visual effects that will carry the film’s Oscar chances. The effects are strong throughout, but that staggering final battle should be enough to secure it the win…unless there’s an obligatory Best Picture nominee in the bunch, then all bets are off.

The Iceman

Ever since Michael Shannon earned his Oscar nomination for Revolutionary Road, the only member among a cast of Hollywood heavyweights to make the final Oscar list, each new film is looked at as an opportunity for a recognizable indie actor to pull off a second nomination. But as Patricia Clarkson and John Hawkes can attest, that isn’t an easy task. Take Shelter is the perfect example of the kind of movie that earns strong notices and has all the earmarks of a follow-up Oscar nomination. Shannon picked up various accolades and a few precursor prizes, but ultimately the Academy ignored him.

The Iceman is another performance that’s been getting excellent reviews that Oscar voters should be taking notice of. However, with more Hollywood celebs pushing for Oscar consideration this year, including his Revolutionary co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, Shannon is likely to remain an also-ran. Will he ever get the role that demands a second Oscar nomination? I doubt it. At least he’s in good company.

What Maisie Knew

The reviews for Onata April’s performance in What Maisie Knew are all a young actress needs to push into the annual Oscar contest. The problem is that she’d be so hot on the heels of fellow juvenile and Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis that she’s more likely to be ignored like Elle Fanning has for years and Tom Holland was last year than she is to follow Wallis’ footsteps. I’m no supporter of Wallis’ performance, but the press and push behind Beasts of the Southern Wild is unlike anything so far seen for Maisie. She may earn a handful of Best Youth Performance accolades at the end of the year, but with Millennium Entertainment behind the film’s potential Oscar campaign, don’t look for any spectacular performance at the Oscars.

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