• Another week and more head-scratching at The Awards Circuit. As the awards race begins to really heat up, The AC team tries to come together and figure out this mess, albeit fun mess, that is Oscar season. During our latest episode of Power Hour, we discussed the current state of the race as well as some early Golden Globe predictions. Will the Globes help films on the bubble such as Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, or hurt non-stars like the amazing Quvenzhane Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild, who’ll probably be snubbed at this Hollywood-loving awards ceremony? Chances are the Globes won’t reflect the entire spectrum of Oscars 2013, but don’t be surprised if something as small as a Globe win for Meryl Streep in the “Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical” category for Hope Springs translates to a surprise 18th Academy Award nomination. With such a crazy and competitive year, anything is possible. 
  • Perhaps we’ll be able to figure this race out a lot more microscopically — and therefore accurately — with the help of fellow staff member and regular TIFF attendee, John H. Foote. In preparation for what’s sure to be a truly remarkable visit to the legendary Canadian film festival, John H. Foote reveals the Top 20 films he’s looking forward to viewing at the yearly venue. Is Paul Thomas Anderson’s heavily anticipated The Master going to be “the master,” pun intended, of next year’s Oscars, or will another film stand tall and position itself as an indisputable contender? John, please figure this out for us! We are all dying to hear your official report!
  • Trailers hit the site this week, as usual, but one trailer in particular caught many awards prognosticators’ attention. The new film The Impossible, which centers on one family’s survival story of the tragic 2004 tsunami, looks to be a major “dark horse” in the Oscar race. Naomi Watts, who stars in the film, seems especially ready to jump into Helen Hent’s potentially unoccupied spot in the “Best Actress” category if the rumors are indeed true that Hunt is going “supporting” for The Sessions. Mind you, this is all a guessing game, but Naomi Watts’ chances of getting Oscar nominated for a 2nd time get better and better with each new day. Other clips/trailers from the week include: The Master, Brian De Palma’s steamy Passion, and TIFF entry Inescapable.
  • Although there were no (****) reviews, the consensus was that the week was filled with many peaks and valleys when it came to new releases. Shining brightly were the UK’s Will Bill, John Hillcoat’s Lawless, Guillame Canet’s ensemble dramedy Little White Lies, Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me, and Christopher Kenneally’s Side by Side. Mildly disappointing were [REC]³ Génesis and Hit & Run. However, the biggest stink of the week — perhaps even of the entire year — was the torturous (to watch) The Apparition. Thank goodness Joey saw it so we all wouldn’t have to endure the pain, but one has to wonder whether this is truly the bottom of the barrel of 2012. I’ve heard quite a lot about a certain film called Hick, so there may be a small glimmer of hope for The Apparition that it’s not in fact the very worst of the year. However, whether any of us is brave enough to watch Hick and report back remains to be seen (myself included…eek!).
  • What new release got bragging rights for being Joey Magidson’s DVD Pick-of-the-Week? Before I announce the winner, let me first ship some bundle packs of Kleenex to my colleagues Robert Hamer and Terence Johnson. Okay, now that that’s all settled, Joey chose…Bernie, a 2012 dramedy that he cites as Jack Black’s finest role to date. A Separation barely missed the cut, and I can bet you that as you’re reading this both Robert and Terence are already on their third pack of tissue. For his vintage choice in honor of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Premium Rush, Joey chose the heist film The Lookout. I’m not the biggest fan of the film myself, but then again I really only started appreciating Gordon-Levitt’s films after the phenomenal 50/50 (would you be angry if I told you I’m not a big fan of either Brick or 500 Days of Summer?), so please ignore me and listen to someone who has a much firmer grasp on Gordon-Levitt filmography. I have no doubt many of you will enjoy this rarely seen JGL flick.
  • Mark Johnson provided us with his always-illuminating weekly articles, Around The Circuit and Circuit 3. For the latter piece, Mark asked everyone to post their three favorite Sean Connery films. Bonus points go to whoever can master the Scottish actor’s famed accent while reciting their top Connery movie choices!
  • John H. Foote gave everyone a task that was equal parts pleasure and misery: choosing the ten greatest films from the ’70s in his Best of the Decade: 1970s article. John’s list was impressive as well, and the participation in this edition of John’s popular series was the highest yet, so thank you everyone!
  • Finally, the most salient moment of the week was our brand new, shiny coated Oscar 2013 predictions. Check out what the Awards Circuit staff had to say about their gut feelings on the awards race, and then head over to Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis’ Oscar Circuit article. In it, Clayton makes the biggest gamble of the year with his predictions. This is the same guy who predicted The Artist and Octavia Spencer winning their Oscars before any of the precursor award ceremonies, so you know Clayton’s word means an Oscar ton! Thank you everyone for your readership this week and all weeks, and we look forward to bringing you along as we dive deeper and deeper into this crazy horse race! Better put your scuba gear on!