Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) returns with a film that was a huge hit at Cannes this year. Lead actor Bruce Dern even won an award there. With Will Forte in the cast, might he get a surprising Best Supporting Actor nomination? Or is Macgruber too much of a long shot? Nebraska features an aging alcoholic making a road trip with his son to claim a million dollar prize. Basically, the pundits agree that it is a strong contender for a Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Screenplay nomination. The wildcard here is Forte.
2) American Hustle
Every once in a while a film with all the perfect pieces comes together. Let me spell this out for you. Academy Award Nominee David O’Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) directs Oscar Winners Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, and Robert DeNiro, and Oscar Nominees Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jeremy Renner, as well as Michael Pena, Louie CK, and Alessandro Nivola. Set in the 1970’s, a con artist and his partner are forced to work for the feds to turn the tables on mobsters and politicians… specifically the mayor of Camden, NJ. No one has seen the film yet, but with this pedigree, it is hard to imagine it not being a focal point off the Awards season.
3) Captain Phillips
Based on the harrowing true story of Captain Richard Phillips whose ship was hijacked by Somali Pirates in 2009. Not only is it based on a true story, it stars Oscar Winner Tom Hanks, and is directed by Oscar Nominated Paul Greengrass. You can bet that it will be a strong candidate for Picture, Director, and Actor, and possibly screenplay.
4) Wolf of Wall Street
Basically everything that gets buzz “pre Oscars” is because of combinations of typically nominated people. Leonardo Dicaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Jon Faverau, Cristin Miloti, Jon Bernthal, Shea Wigham, Kyle Chandler, Ethan Suplee, Rob Reiner, Spike Jonze, Jean Dujardin are starring in a Martin Scorsece film. A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking world and mob infiltration. Seems like we might see some Best Picture and Director talk, along with Actor talk for DiCaprio, and I’m sure someone will emerge as the front runner in Supporting Actor race.
5) August Osage County
Based on an Award winning play, John Wells directs Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Sam Shepard, Margo Martindale, and Julianne Nicholson stars. Ensemble drama. Meryl Streep. Oscars.
I’ll preview some more Oscar Hopefuls later.