Some of the buzzworthy festival films made it to the U.S. this past week with the AFI Film Festival bringing North American premieres of Hugo and The Adventures of Tintin. J. Edgar also was released to the public and Young Adult was screened for a select number of critics. There is also the enigma that is War Horse, which has been seen by a select few non-critics or at least non-Oscar pundits. The final word on that film won’t come in until the end of the year, but buzz is already strong. Here are this week’s boosts and drops in the Oscar race:
War Horse – As I mentioned above War Horse has not been screened by many major critics, so most of the responses have been from Twitter users and less reputable sites. That being said, the general populous of movie fans that have seen the film are highly praising of it. Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere links to a few reactions of people calling the film a “masterpiece,” although he is skeptical of those reactions.
The Descendants – At my last update I mentioned that it was looking like a three-way race for Best Picture between The Artist, Moneyball, and The Descendants. Reviews for Alexander Payne’s film have been coming in this week before its release and it seems to be distancing itself from Moneyball. Pundits at The Gold Derby seem to agree.
J. Edgar – I had originally predicted that this might be Clint Eastwood’s first film since Letters from Iwo Jima to secure a Best Picture nomination. After the film opened this weekend and the reviews skewed pretty negative, it seems like that will not be the case. Check out my review.
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady – I already had Meryl Streep on my Best Actress charts, but with reviews coming in calling her performance “flawless,” it seems like she will be the biggest competitor for The Help‘s Viola Davis. This is a position that Streep is no doubt quite familiar with.
Best Supporting Actor
Stanley Tucci, Margin Call – This star-studded independent film opened with little fanfare and has been gradually adding fans. This week an article on The Hollywood Reporter suggested that the Occupy Wall Street movement has boosted the film’s presence and made it more likely to succeed at the Oscars. While I don’t see it being a player in the Best Picture category, it’s legion of supporting stars could certainly make it in.
Kevin Spacey, Margin Call – See above.
Patton Oswalt, Young Adult – The next film from Jason Reitman has been getting limited screenings around the country and it has been greeted with mostly praise. The biggest might be for co-star Patton Oswalt, who has a small part in the film as a friend to Charlize Theron. Jeff Wells has seen the film and he says Oswalt is definitely in the race.
Jonah Hill, Moneyball – Hill was a longshot and will probably not make it in with the onslaught of new contenders from films like Margin Call.
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar – An established star like Leonardo DiCaprio can probably survive the J. Edgar backlash, but not a newcomer like Armie Hammer. I really liked him in the movie, but it’s not his time for a nomination yet.
Jim Broadbent, The Iron Lady – Not much of the buzz from the early screenings of The Iron Lady have mentioned Jim Broadbent, let alone provide the type of praise that usually goes to a future Oscar nominee.
George Clooney, The Ides of March – It is look more like Clooney is going to be recognized for Alexander Payne’s film and not his own film.
Best Animated Feature
The Adventures of Tinin – Last week the Academy released their shortlist of finalists for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and it answered two of the biggest questions surrounding this category: 1) There will in fact be 5 nominees. 2) Tintin is eligible. It still will have some tough competition in Rango, especially after the reviews at the AFI Film Festival were not ecstatic.
More on this category later this week.
Don’t forget to keep up with the Oscar chart changes every week on the Prediction pages. What films or performances do you think got boosts or drops this past week?