Oscar Preview: Weekend of Nov. 2-4, 2018

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

Bohemian Rhapsody

A film that has made a lot of money at the box office, Bohemian Rhapsody was always a long shot for Oscar consideration considering the problematic production schedule.

That hasn’t stopped the film’s star, Rami Malek from earning heaps of praise over the film itself, which is receiving a more tepid response. Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury is one of a handful of Oscar contenders out there and the film’s strong box office performance might propel him into the nomination circle. He’s sure to pick up a Golden Globe nomination (and probably win), but Oscar’s a tougher sell. That said, they love actors playing real figures, giving him a slightly better shot at the nomination.

The critics awards will give us a better idea of whether he’s an actual contender or if he’s going to disappear into the ethos.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Before it was released, Nutcracker was thought to be a major potential blockbuster for Disney heading into the holiday season. A spate of mediocre reviews have made the film’s profile smaller and the end result was a shellacking at the box office with a weak opening weekend.

That doesn’t mean the iflm is out of Oscar contention, but it does diminish the film’s chances at breaking out beyond the Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup categories. With a ravishing look, the film is still given credit for its sumptuous design and the voters in those three categories don’t generally care if the film is a box office success or not, as long as it looks pretty.

While the chances of all three categories are still pretty strong, the box office tallies suggest that fewer voters might see it in the theater, which could hinder its momentum based on viewing on a tiny screen.

Boy Erased

Actor-turned-director Joel Edgerton has received modest praise for his film about a preacher’s son forced into conversion therapy. The film stars Oscar nominees Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe.

Before being seen, it was thought the film was going to be a major Oscar player. Now, it seems like support for the film has diminished, though its three stars are all still contending for nominations. The lead actor race was originally going to be light, but its trended toward tight. That means Lucas Hedges is likely to falter here. That said, supporting races have been all over the place with Kidman and Crowe both strong potential nominees.

How the film performs ultimately will be determined by support of critics. If any of the three fail to gain traction, their chances are likely diminished. However, if all three get a lot of support, they could hang on to land nominations.

A Private War

Matthew Heineman’s look at the life of war reporter Marie Colvin was something of an enigma going into Oscar season. The film didn’t have a lot of potential other than an outside chance of a nomination for Rosamund Pike.

Now that the film has been seen, its praise from critics suggests a much stronger film than initially anticipated. While I doubt that means a surge in the film’s chances in many places, it cannot help but boost Pike’s chances. Pike earned her only Oscar nomination to date for Gone Girl, but has since seen her star rise dramatically. That certainly gives her a leg up in the competition.

However, the film hasn’t been much of a box office success, a $15k per screen average in 4 theaters is anemic at best. That means the film isn’t going to gain traction from box office attention. With a tight competition for Best Actress at the Oscars, Pike will need a ton of support from critics to make it to the final slate.

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