Oscar Preview: Weekend of Oct. 25-27, 2013

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

Blue Is the Warmest Color

In May of this year, a daring picture of love between two young women carried home the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a prize for the first time shared with the two young actresses at the center of the film, Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos. The film, which has since been slapped with an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America has gone through a whirlwind of publicity as its stars and director (Abdellatif Kechiche) have engaged in a very public battle over the film’s explicit sex scenes.

Whether the harsh words are designed to increase its potential box office pull or not, highlighting the film’s graphic sexuality will only serve to hurt the film’s Oscar chances. Blue Is the Warmest Color failed several key tests to be eligible as a submission for Best Foreign Language Film giving it opportunities only in the major categories, places where foreign language films often have a tough time finding purchase.

So far, the discussions for the film’s chances have been for a Best Picture nomination, one or both of the actresses being nominated, and a nomination for the screenplay. It’s unlikely that the hefty competition in the acting categories will permit either from getting in and Best Picture is a very close race as well with more than ten films already chomping at the bit for a nomination. This leaves only the Adapted Screenplay category with any hope for the film. While the Writers Branch has been one of the few groups to openly embrace foreign films in the Academy’s history, the film still faces an uphill struggle. If it stays in the conversation through the end of the year, or even picks up a few critics prizes, it could be a nomination contender. My suspicion, though, is that other films will find favor with critics and ultimately, Blue will be left in the cold.

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