Welcome to the 2020 Awards Profile series, where we talk about films coming to a theater near you in the coming year (at least at this time of writing). The series analyzes the films and their awards season potential, most notably for the Academy Awards, based on the talents attached, filmmakers involved, and story and source material.  Monday through Friday until mid-May, AwardsCircuit will bring you a new and exciting project and discuss its chances for success. If you have a suggestion for a movie we should cover, include it in the comments section below. If you miss a film covered, click on the tag or category for “Awards Profile.”

FILM: “On the Rocks”

DISTRIBUTORS: A24 Films and Apple TV+
DIRECTOR: Sofia Coppola
PRODUCERS: Sofia Coppola, Roman Coppola, Youree Henley, Mitch Glazer
WRITER: Sofia Coppola
CAST: Rashida Jones, Bill Murray, Marlon Wayans, Jessica Henwick, Jenny Slate, Barbara Gain
SYNOPSIS: A young mother reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York. (IMDb)

SCHEDULED RELEASE: To Be Announced

POTENTIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Director Sofia Coppola is an acclaimed auteur whose sophomore effort “Lost in Translation” was an Oscar sensation, earning her the award for Best Original Screenplay. She even received a Best Director nomination, becoming the third woman in history to do so. Should the film have the right quality, she’d be in the running to be the first woman to score a second nomination.

Because Coppola is re-teaming with actor Bill Murray, they could recapture their “Lost in Translation” magic. Murray hasn’t entered the Oscar fray since he received a Best Actor nomination for that performance. Yet, he could still earn a “welcome back” citation. Murray’s role as a father trying to reconnect with his daughter might play into both his comical and dramatic sensibilities. In addition, his upcoming roles in “The French Dispatch” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” will boost his visibility.

Then there’s actress Rashida Jones to consider. Daughter of famed composer Quincy Jones, Rashida Jones is a proven force as an actress, writer, and director. Jones has never been in the Oscar hunt before, but her role as Murray’s daughter could be a golden opportunity for her. As of now, our editor-in-chief Clayton has her ranked third in our Best Supporting Actress predictions.

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES

Coppola did strike gold with “Lost in Translation,” but she’s had a mixed track record since then. Coppola won the Golden Lion at Venice for “Somewhere” ten years ago while “Marie Antoinette” and “The Bling Ring” were met with divisive responses.

Also, even with Coppola’s previous Oscar history, voters have trouble embracing female filmmakers. Just last year, despite names like Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wang, and Alma Har’el doing quality work, the Best Director category remained a boy’s club. One shouldn’t be surprised if history repeats itself.

The Apple TV+ factor is another thing to consider. The relatively new streaming service hasn’t entered the Oscar conversation yet. So, one has to wonder if they’ve figured out the science of awards strategizing. With A24 Films co-distributing, they should have an easy time doing so. However, they could still pull a Netflix and give it a day and date release.

POTENTIAL AWARD CATEGORIES IN PLAY:
  • Motion Picture (Sofia Coppola, Roman Coppola, Youree Henley, Mitch Glazer)
  • Director (Sofia Coppola)
  • Actor in a Leading Role (Bill Murray)
  • Actress in a Leading Role (Rashida Jones)
  • Actor in a Supporting Role (Marlon Wayans)
  • Actress in a Supporting Role (Rashida Jones, Jenny Slate, Jessica Henwick)
  • Original Screenplay (Sofia Coppola)
  • Cinematography (Phillipe Le Sourd)
  • Film Editing (Sarah Flack)
POTENTIAL KEY NOTICES FROM OTHER GROUPS:
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Golden Globes): Murray won this award for “Lost in Translation” and has been nominated by the HFPA six times.

Do you think “On the Rocks” has Oscar potential? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!