Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 6-8, 2013

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

Inside Llewyn Davis

With Fargo, filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen became household names with Oscar. Although few of their subsequent films made it to the party, they were always talked about as key players even in those years. When they finally won Oscars for No Country for Old Men, they broke their own dry spell and set themselves up as a pair of filmmakers whose every film is an Oscar contender and if a movie like A Serious Man can be an Oscar nominee for Best Picture, Inside Llewyn Davis should be a slam-dunk.

The film, which provides Oscar Isaac with a real break-out role as a beleaguered singer/songwriter in 1960’s Greenwich Village, has been quietly building steam as an Oscar force since it was first shown at Cannes back in May. The film is earning stellar reviews and should easily end up in the Best Picture race. Isaac is faced with all-too-stiff competition in Best Actor and will likely be ignored because of it. Meanwhile, John Goodman is being talked up again as a potential Best Supporting Actor nominee. That category is more fluid at this juncture, so it’s possible, but I wouldn’t hold your breath too long.

The film is also guaranteed a nomination for Best Original Screenplay and will likely make a play for Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design. There’s talk of a Best Original Score nomination as well as one for Best Original Song, but I’ve seen some debating on whether “Please, Mr. Kennedy” is eligible or not. We’ll find out when the Academy releases that list (probably this coming week). The Original Score conundrum may come down to whether the Academy’s bizarre eligibility rules could threaten the film, especially if the voters have a hard time figuring out what’s score and what’s original songwriting, mutually exclusive parts of the score.

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