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2014 Oscar Watch – Sony Pictures Classics Loads Up, Disney Waiting to Pounce

Disney_FYCIt’s all beginning.  The studios are on their marks, publicists are sending e-mails, and screenings are happening by the day.  Last week we constructed the first version of the “FYC Tracker” where I’ll share the screeners box art and other information about campaigns as they become available.

CateBlanchett_LeadActressSony Pictures Classics seems to be the first one to have their FYC site up and running for the most part.  The awards company will have “Before Midnight” and “Blue Jasmine” endure the bulk of their business.  Woody Allen’s film have already started Academy screenings last week with Cate Blanchett being campaigned Lead and co-star Sally Hawkins going the supporting route.  On one of our episodes of Power Hour, the staff and I were divided and worthy male presence from the film if there was any.  Unsure of where they would put their focus, SPC has listed all the men including Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard, and Michael Stuhlbarg.  The film will also be lobbying for technical branch love for Production Design, Cinematography, Costume Design, and Film Editing.

The pitch for Richard Linklater‘s film is softer than I had hoped for.  Obvious listings include Best Picture, Best Director for Linklater, Lead Actor for Ethan Hawke, Lead Actress for Julie Delpy, and Adapted Screenplay.  It’s unfortunate that the buck stops there.  Not a technical marvel by any means, I’d think they at least put into the minds of the tech branch the amazing Cinematography or tightly cut Film Editing.  Maybe they just see the film like the rest of us do, an Adapted Screenplay nomination at best.  Pitty because it’s so much more.

John Krokidas‘ “Kill Your Darlings” – a film I had no connection or admiration for whatsoever, is lobbying for around the world technical love.  Star Daniel Radcliffe will campaign in Lead Actor with co-stars Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, and Ben Foster falling into the Supporting route.  With minimal screen time, they’re making a pitch for Elizabeth Olsen, mostly forgettable in the film and Jennifer Jason Leigh, an actress who’s been ignored too much already.  The Leigh mention makes sense.  It’s a fine performance, one of the better in the film, but has no extra jolt to push into serious contention.  Krokidas’ film will also make a play for Production Design, Cinematography, Costume Design, and Film Editing, my least favorite aspect of the entire picture.  Don’t be too bummed because Terence loved it back at Sundance (read here).

Saudi Arabia’s submission for Foreign Language Film will maneuver its way in the circuit.  Obvious Foreign Language Film will be the main goal for “Wadjda” but that doesn’t stop the studio from making a play in Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Cinematography.

With no listing or screenings yet but still in contention is the documentary “The Armstrong Lie” – the story about Lance Armstrong and his deception of drug use.  Also, Ralph Fiennes’ “The Invisible Woman,” a film not receiving glowing praise, Iran’s submission “The Past” by director Asghar Farhadi, and the documentary “Tim’s Vermeer,” which just showed at the New York Film Festival.  Quite a big slate indeed.

SAVINGBANKS_FYCWalt Disney Studios have their lineup listed with screenings open to AMPAS members for their pony “Saving Mr. Banks” beginning on November 11 in Los Angeles, Burbank, and San Francisco.  No categories are listed yet and still has not been TOTALLY confirmed that star Tom Hanks will compete in Supporting though that is likely where he’ll end up.  Disney has two shorts in play; “The Blue Umbrella” which is said to be amazing on almost all levels and “Mickey Mouse in ‘Get a Horse’.”

Disney’s “Frozen” has their first AMPAS screening in London on October 28.  The American crowd begins to screen it on November 2 in New York City.  I guess we’ll get the first words on it potentially being an Animated spoiler to Disney’s other gem from earlier in the year, “Monster’s University.”  As of now, I’m starting to lean more towards Pixar.

croods-logoOn the Dreamworks Animation side, “The Croods” is the second screener to go out to AMPAS voters.  The site is up and running and listing the film for Best Animated Feature and a few technical citations.  The film has an Original Song, “Shine Your Way” – written by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard and is performed by Owl City and Yuna.  Dreamworks is also pushing for Silvestri in Original Score which is a feasible get for the moneymaking March release.  The first Academy screenings will occur October 17 in New York and Los Angeles.

Sony Pictures is already hitting the ground on “Captain Phillips” – opening Academy screenings beginning October 21 in New York and Los Angeles.  No categories are listed yet and there’s no mention for “American Hustle” and “The Monuments Men,” which I’m sure will change fairly soon.

Check the FYC Tracker for all screening information as well as marketing for the film’s of 2013.

Include your thoughts in the comment section.

What do you think?


Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.

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