The Cannes Film Festival did not really shake things up for this year’s Oscar race. Rather than allowing a frontrunner to emerge, it hinted that some of the films I thought had a chance really weren’t even possibilities. The awards yesterday mostly went to films that will see limited release in the U.S. and likely won’t have an Oscar campaign.
Several of the films that were screened at the Cannes film festival were on my March Best Picture charts. The biggest change came from Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, which got a mostly negative reception from Cannes critics causing it to fall off the Oscar chart. Other changes came from Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which moved up a few spots after mostly favorable reviews at Cannes. It’s still a long shot, but if it plays well stateside it could get an even bigger boost.
The biggest changes came from Lee Daniels’ Precious, which moved into the top five after it got raves from Cannes and is shaping up to be one of the best received films of 2009. Check out my article from last week, 6 Reasons Why Precious Will be Nominated for Best Picture, for more speculation. It knocked off Public Enemies as a frontrunner. Even though very few have seen Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, my gut tells me it won’t be the kind of film the Academy goes for.
Lone Scherfig’s An Education has gotten great early word of mouth and has moved up into the top 10, and could be a possible contender for Best Picture as well as several of the acting categories.
There is still a whole lot that is unknown about the race at this point. I’m looking forward to more information about Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant and Paul Greengrass’s Green Zone – two Matt Damon starring films that have a great chance at making the cut. Also, I’m waiting for more word on James Cameron’s Avatar to see if it’s possible the Academy might go for a Sci-Fi movie.
For now, check out the updated Best Picture predictions.