Category: Oscar Preview

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jul. 16-18, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jul. 9-11, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jul. 2-4, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 25-27, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 11-13 & Jun. 18-20, 2021

Last week, I forgot to post this. I’m doing it this week along with the nothing that came out this week. We had one film release these past two weekends with the potential for Oscar nominations.

In the Heights

Before it was shunted to 2021 due to the pandemic, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s long-awaited adaptation of his Tony-winning Broadway debut was thought to be a major Oscar contender. With most of last year’s major players moving to 2021 and only a handful staying behind, the calculus for this year’s Oscars hasn’t changed much with In the Heights promising to be a major player. With strong reviews, but an anemic box office (thanks to Warner Bros.’ HBO Max self-cannibalization), there is some room for the film to be missed, especially with its cast of young unfamiliar faces.

After playing tryouts in Connecticut, the show moved off-Broadway in 2007 before opening at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in 2008. It ran for three years and had almost 1200 performances before closing in 2011. It was nominated for a staggering 13 Tony nominations with the show, Miranda’s score, and the show’s choreography and orchestrations taking home awards while everyone else, including Miranda as Best Actor, Robin de Jesús in Featured Actor, and Olga Merediz in Featured Actress. Exchanging almost the entire cast of the Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Connecticut runs, Oscar voters will have plenty of new faces to choose from. Strangely enough, Merediz is the only carry over from the original show and she’s also the most likely of the entire cast to land an Oscar nomination.

That said, the categories in which the film has its best opportunities are Best Picture and Directing, Adapted Screenplay, one or both of the original songs from the film, Film Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Costume Design, and Sound. In addition, all four acting categories have contenders with Anthony Ramos and Melissa Barrera contending in the lead categories and Merediz and Jimmy Smits in support. Considering Miranda’s popularity, there is an opportunity here for the film to equal La La Land‘s impressive thirteen Oscar nominations and even top it, though history doesn’t favor that option and a high single digit and very low double-digit count possible.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 4-6, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 28-30, 2021

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

Cruella

Disney’s live-action adaptations have been strong Oscar contenders in the past, which makes Cruella a very likely contender.

There are only three categories that the film will compete in and that’s based solely on what’s on wide display in the trailers. Like the Glenn Close version of 101 Dalmatians several years ago, Costume Design is the most likely. That’s even more so true of this film since it takes place in the fashion industry, a Devil Wears Prada for the Disney generation. That’s an even bigger boon comparison as both 101 Dalmatians and Devil Wears Prada scored Costume Design nominations.

Next up is Production Design, another strong possibility for a nomination. The interiors and exteriors on display in the trailer are large and grand. The Academy loves this kind of work, which means two nominations for the film are rather likely. The final is Makeup & Hairstyling. As we’ve seen in recent years, prosthetic makeup is getting less attention while fancy wigs are starting to perform better with the Academy’s voters. That black-and-white hair style is only part of that. Every character is immaculately coifed and Cruella herself wears tons of eye-popping makeup.

I would not be at all surprised to see the film earn three Oscar nominations come Oscar season.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 21-23, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 14-16, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 7-9, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Apr. 30-May 2, 2021

We had no film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Apr. 23-25, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Apr. 16-18, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Apr. 9-11, 2021

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Apr. 2-4, 2021

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

Godzilla vs. Kong

While King Kong‘s various incarnations have had modest success at the Oscars, Godzilla films have not, which is rather surprising all things considered. So can Godzilla vs. Kong meld the two disparate Oscar results into Oscar nominations? We’ll have to see, but as the first blockbuster out of the gate at a slowly improving pandemic box office, that status might bolster its chances.

Godzilla, originally a figure to exemplify the dangers of nuclear war, became one of the most popular cinematic figures thanks to his city-destroying, larger-than-life personality. The original studio, Toho, hasn’t been much involved with the American versions of the film, having produced 32 of their own productions. American audiences have gotten four films put together from Sony and Warner Bros. Of those four, three featured Godzilla as the primary monster. This film is the first where he’s effectively sharing title billing in terms of American output. Of those three prior works, none of them scored Oscar nominations, nor did the other 32 Toho films.

On the King Kong side of the equation, there have only been 12 films, a third of what Godzilla has. Some of those were instantly forgettable, but the 1933 original, 1976 version, 2005 version, and the 2017 reboot, are the most high profile of the films. That first picture didn’t score a nomination, largely because it came out prior to the Special Effects category, which frustrated producer David O. Selznick. The 1976 film, released 11 years after Selznick’s death, picked up two competitive nominations in Cinematography and Sound, and won a special achievement award for its visual effects. Moving forward 39 years, Peter Jackson tackled the great ape, his first major project post-Lord of the Rings. The film received the most nominations of any Kong film earning four citations for Art Direction, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects, winning in the latter three categories.

This brings us to its 2017 reboot, Kong: Skull Island. While that film didn’t do nearly as well as its immediate two predecessors, it at least nabbed a Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination, which it lost. That makes three of four primary features versus zero. Kong certainly wins that match up, but will their fates secure Godzilla his first Oscar nomination? It’s too early to tell, but the massive amounts of effects in the trailer alone, and the accompanying sound design, are sure to be major Oscar players even if it doesn’t ultimately win anything.