Award Profile: Inside Out

Inside Out
Welcome to the 2015 Awards Profiles series.  For the next two months, every day (except for Saturday), we will bring you a run down of a future 2015 film that we see as a potential awards vehicle for next year’s Academy Awards.  This is all speculative since with just about all these films, we haven’t seen a frame yet.  Nonetheless, we venture on.  If you miss a film, then click on the tag “2015 Awards Profile.”

Directed by: Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen
Written by: Josh Cooley and Pete Docter
Starring: (Voices of) Diane Lane, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Kyle McLaughlin, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith
Synopsis: After a girl moves to a new home, her emotions are plunged into chaos as they compete for control of her mind.

Why it may succeed
Disney and Pixar are at it again. That’s exactly why this movie could succeed. When has a Disney/Pixar collaboration failed? (Okay, okay, we’ll just forget about Monsters University, since even that one got an Oscar nod.) And this wildly imaginative story from the director that brought us Up has all the ingredients for a sure-fire hit. This isn’t just a story about a young girl who’s conflicted about moving to a new place. The story is told by her competing emotions Joy, Disgust, Fear, Sadness, and Anger. Pete Docter has proven he knows what to do with emotion onscreen, having left grown-ups sobbing in the opening scenes of Up. But Inside Out will be so much more than that. It is sure to be funny, thoughtful, and full of heart.

Adding to the rich visuals and storytelling will be music by Michael Giacchino, who previously collaborated with Docter for Up. Giacchino hasn’t won an Oscar yet, but he is a talented composer whose previous work with Disney includes Ratatouille, Cars 2, and the upcoming Tomorrowland.

Also in the mix will be the vocal work of a host of talented actors, several of which have previously done voice work before. Can you imagine anyone more perfect to represent the emotion of Joy than Amy Poehler? And who can do Anger better than Lewis Black? The casting choices, as of now, seem pretty perfect and it will be interesting to see how these big personalities play against each other.

It remains to be seen whether this will be a big player at awards time, but it will almost certainly be one of the biggest hits of the summer.

Why it may not succeed
I’m honestly reaching to find reasons here. The biggest one I can think of: The LEGO Movie. The biggest animated hit of last year failed to even receive a nomination for Best Animated Feature and that could easily happen again. Especially when this will not be the only Disney/Pixar release of the year. (Check out the Awards Profile on The Good Dinosaur, which releases this fall.) In a year where the box office will be inundated with major animated releases, it won’t be difficult for a film to be overlooked, or crowded out of a dense field. Inside Out could fall victim to that this year. Looking objectively at the overview and trailers of the film, I find it hard to believe that Inside Out will be bad, or poorly received. But it could simply fall off the radar before the end of the year.

Awards Speculation

Although The Good Dinosaur will probably provide stiff competition, I really think Inside Out is going to do very well, and could even become one of the few animated films to be nominated for Best Picture. It will almost definitely be nominated for Best Animated Feature, and could see itself with a few other technical awards as well.

Potential Nominations
Best Picture
Best Director
Best Original Screenplay
Best Animated Feature
Best Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Original Score
Best Original Song