12YearsaSlave_BenedictCumberbatchWe’re ankle-deep in the summer.  There are lots to look forward to on the horizon.  Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity was announced as the opening film for the Venice Film Festival, and the crews behind the Toronto and New York Film Festival are gearing up to unveil their potential slate of films that may or may not have awards chances.

Lots of award prognosticators are letting loose on their Oscar Predictions and putting themselves out there for certain films and performances.  I’ve updated my list on the Academy Award Predictions pages.  As we inch closer to the fall season, it’s important to start putting some things in perspective.  Are certain films even going to see the light of day in 2013?  Are studios serious about some of the films that have on their plates?  Joseph Braverman wrote a brilliant piece on ten performances that will likely have no shot at Oscar attention but felt it necessary to give it their time in the spotlight.  Joey Magidson’s annual Highlights of 2013 piece cited some of the films he felt strongly about at this point.  Finally, I threw my own thoughts and spoke about the films and performances that have presented themselves so far.  A varied amount of opinions on what the year has offered.

In the next few months, there are lots to look forward to.  Some that critics have seen at film festivals, others that haven’t had a screening yet.  Go through the list to see some of my most anticipated performances for the second half.  Next week I’ll chime in with the film side: