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Oscar Circuit: New Trailers for ‘Widows’ and ‘Suspiria’ Bring Slight Focus to This Year’s Awards Race

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We’re nearing the end of the first half of the year and then before you know it, fall festivals will be here and the “quality” films will be plentiful.  Observing this year compared to year’s prior, the upcoming “Oscar-bait” films seem to be quiet on the buzz side.  Quieter than usual when we there have been films like “The Aviator,” “The Revenant,” or “Unbroken” to look forward to.

New trailers have piqued our interests for films like “Widows” from Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), which admittedly on paper sounded like “Set It Off” 2.0.  After watching the first clips, you can’t help but want to include the film, director, Viola Davis and either Elizabeth Debicki and/or Michelle Rodriguez in your latest Oscar Predictions.  I sure did.

A teaser of a trailer dropped for “Beautiful Boy” from Felix Van Groeningen (“The Broken Circle Breakdown”) and showcased a very baity looking Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell.  There’s no telling if the film will just be an acting showcase or be able to break out in a larger manner.

Yann Damage’s “White Boy Rick” got a nice cut trailer showcasing Matthew McConaughey and newcomer Richie Merritt in prominent roles.  We’ll hope the film can transcend its “popcorn” looking demeanor and produce more than what may be on the surface. 

Dakota Johnson | Suspiria | Amazon StudiosLuca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” has people jumping in their seats based on its first reels where Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson looked downright spectacular.  With DP Sayombhu Mukdeeprom back behind the camera, following his snub for “Call Me by Your Name,” this could be a bigger tech player than we’re expecting.

Chuckles were numerous for Jacques Audiard’s “The Sisters Brothers” trailer.  It also showed that we could have a scene-stealer in Joaquin Phoenix and perhaps Riz Ahmed.  Andy Serkis’ “Mowgli” showed itself as a force in Visual Effects while “The Happytime Murders” may just be for a select group of the internet, though we pray for more.

Bradley Cooper, Stefani Germanotta | A Star is Born | Warner BrosWords of “test screening” have popped up on various message boards, forums, and Film Twitter.  “A Star is Born” is allegedly about to be a big player across the board including a supposed “Oscar-winnable” performance from Sam Elliott, who has never found Academy love despite “Grandma” and “The Hero” on his resume.  The still officially untitled Dick Cheney biopic is supposed to be a “slam dunk” nod for Christian Bale but haven’t heard much else in the sphere.  Annapurna Pictures tested it with the title “Cheney” though “Backseat” is still listed on IMDB, despite a representative claiming that is not the official title.

tonicollette hereditaryA New York audience full of critics were treated to “Hereditary” from newcomer Ari Aster and may produce a serious Oscar contender in Toni Collette, who is breathtaking and may deliver her finest work yet.  In a perfect world, she doesn’t sit in this world alone, as co-star Alex Woolf enchants as her complex son.

Lastly, we look ahead to the remainder of the month that will close this first half.  “Hotel Artemis” and “Ocean’s 8” look like fun though not exactly Oscar contenders.  “Hearts Beat Loud” is hoping for a screenplay run while “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is looking to do much better than just a Documentary Feature nomination (Best Picture perhaps?).

The first set of eyes will be on “Incredibles 2” this week (with an embargo) while the rest of the month gives us popcorn summer flair like “Tag,” “Superfly,” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”  Surely there are smaller things on the radar like Ben Foster (newly married) in “Leave No Trace” and Robert Pattinson in “Damsel” but we don’t expect much noise.  “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” will pray to not be a generic, unwanted sequel, so until we officially get the word, we’ll remain muted on the subject.

Oscar Predictions have been updated and you can access them from the menu bar above or the button on the sidebar.  Make sure to share your own predictions in the comments below.

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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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Patrick Downing

I was blown away by Leave No Trace. Very profound. Debra Granik has an oscar nomination. She knows how to blossom young talent. She gives character actors premium roles. Thomasin McKenzie is great at communicating with her eyes. Ben Foster gets a great role, and career best performance. Definite Spirit Awards player. There is often a small movie that catches fire. Moonlight did. The shots of the Forest are breathtaking. Critics are on board. There were people in the audience after the credits, still talking about it.


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