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Oscar Tracking and Golden Globe Peaks

Just as important as the Oscar Predictions of the Awards Circuit is the Oscar Tracker which I’ve neglected as of late.  I’ve made appropriate changes and additions as I see fit.  Official and Staff Oscar Predictions will be updated early this week in case you’re wondering.  I’ve also taken the liberty of updating the Golden Globe Predictions page as well.

Explanation of some of the additions or removals which you can see on the page:

  • Removal of “The Hunger Games”

March was a long time ago.  The Hunger Games had a great box office and probably has the support of a lot of fanboys and fans of the book series.  With the openings of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, and the eventual release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, any supporters for a blockbuster will have their votes split.  Picture and Director were a longshot anyway, even back in March.  Jennifer Lawrence holds on because the lack of quality contenders in the category.

  • The Avengers and Superhero fans Everywhere

More fanboy hopefuls.  The film is the highest-grossing picture of the year and received some of the best reviews of the year.  I still think its highly unlikely and with the next round of predictions, it’s still pretty low on the totem pole.

I’ve added Joss Whedon to the Directing category but have held reservations in Adapted Screenplay (and Original Screenplay for “The Cabin in the Woods”).

  • Is There “Hope” for “Springs?”

While many are saying, “it’s not going to happen,” Streep has been nominated for works that have been less then well-received.  Think Music of the Heart, One True Thing, and The Iron Lady.  She’s probably solid for a Golden Globe nomination along with Tommy Lee Jones who surprisingly has received standout notices.  Don’t be surprised if you see Streep on the Oscar lineup.

  • Is there “Magic” for McConaughey’s Oscar Campaign?

Read the full article here for the explanatation of Matthew McConaughey’s chances.  The addition of the film under Original Screenplay is what we need to discuss.  The film has made a butt-load of money, received good reviews, and the type of film that can get noticed in Screenplay.  A Writers Guild mention would really catapult things forward.  Staff Writer Terence Johnson’s concern is whether or not  Academy members will pop in a male-stripper movie starring Channing Tatum.  I tend to agree.

  • Jessica Chastain and the Seven Films

First of all, can I just say how much I am growing to absolutely love Jessica Chastain.  Last year, she was nominated for The Help, which was very deserved and besides Viola Davis, is the best performance in the film.  She’s the best part of the dreadful Coriolanus.  She balanced an uneven film with Helen Mirren in The Debt.  She worked the supportive/suffering wife role to a “T” in Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter.  And finally she was the beauty and the wonder of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.  This year, Chastain has already had a voice-over work in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, a cute sprinkle on her resume.  She is due later this month’s in John Hillcoat’s Lawless, a film that has received mixed reception but all seem to be championing her work.  Best-in-show reviews could translate into something for her once again Oscar-wise.  She makes her appearance on the Tracker.

She also has two films, that may or may not come out later this year.  The long-awaited poetic look at C.K. Williams’ life Tar, starring James Franco, Henry Hopper, and Mila Kunis has been awaiting a release date.  With eleven directors on board, I’m sure there must be some disagreements going on.  Not looking like an Oscar contender at all, Andres Muschietti’s Mama, a seeming horror genre film about a married couple that raise their young nieces after they’re left in the forest for five years, looks like popcorn-flare at its worst.  Don’t forget about what looks to be one of the leading female roles in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.

  • Small Films, Small Screenplays
With an Original Screenplay category that looks to have nothing to fill itself out, small films like Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress and Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister could sneak their way into the race a la Frozen River (2008) and Dirty Pretty Things (2002).
  • Is it time for Pixar to be de-throned?

With the unenthusiastic yet positive reviews for Pixar’s Brave from early Summer, a slot has been opened for a new company to have its time to shine.  ParaNorman is looking like a solid bet and was considered a dark horse for months.  Let’s not forget about the early release of The Secret World of Arrietty from Disney that could sneak its way back up to the top.  Based on history, Pixar has received a screenplay nomination to accompany its Animated Feature.  Looks like this year, it’ll be sitting this one out.

  • The Bad Movies with Special Effects

When the summer brings its blockbusters to the table, we usually are aware that they tend not to be the most thought-provoking screenplays or authentic character creations.  Peter Berg’s Battleship, based on the Hasbro board game received the worst reviews of the year.  Does that mean a Sound or Visual Effects mention can’t break in?  Surely not.  Remember I, Robot (2004) and War of the Worlds (2005)?  Both with Oscar nominations.

Even though it received better reviews, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus didn’t get the roaring induction into our 2012 summer season like it wanted.  Michael Fassbender and its sleek look and sound were the the big mentions.

The Bourne Legacy didn’t go the way it wanted in terms of rebooting the franchise and introducing Jeremy Renner to action films.  With the Oscar track record of its former film, The Bourne Ultimatum, the Academy may feel inclined to nominate something familiar.

  • “Sing, Sing a Song…Make it Simple…Make it Strong”

The Original Song category is impossible to predict.  First of all, the voting process is preposterous and we can never tell what films will have songs attached to them or if they’re deemed eligible.

The Documentary Feature hopeful, Paul Williams Still Alive unleashes one of the most tender songs of the year thus far, “Still Alive” written by Oscar winner Paul Williams.   It would be a great comeback story that the branch could easily get behind.

Though the film was obliterated by critics this past weekend, Sparkle with Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston has the R. Kelly written song “One Wing” that could translate into some attention.

  • Documentaries fight too

It’s hard to keep a pulse on the outcome of the Documentary Feature race.  Films like The Invisible War, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and Queen of Versailles have already been declared masterpieces in filmmaking.  With the branch having complete control and having a bakeoff of contenders, it doesn’t matter what the frontrunner looks to be, they’ll nominated what they want.

  • Best Exotic Girls with Some Compliance Too!
Judi Dench and Maggie Smith have been catapulted in serious Oscar talk after Best Exotic Marigold Hotel became the sleeper hit of the summer.  The film, which fits the Academy’s likings to a glove, has built some momentum to take it into the latter part of the year, even if people don’t LOVE the film like the numbers suggest.  The film has been added to the Picture contenders with some reservation held on co-star Bill Nighy who has previous a snub in Love Actually.
Ann Dowd, who is the best part of the underwhelming Compliance has been the talk of the weekend.  Dowd, who has been under-the-radar for years, seems to have finally made her way and is about to breakthrough in a big way.  My personal opinion is she fairs a better chance in the Supporting category than a Lead campaign.  Dowd’s role is one of the unique roles that seems to have a split on whether people see her supporting or lead.  That could spell a S-P-L-I-T as the critics’ awards and nominations start to come out.
  • The Globes Love the Stars
In terms of the Golden Globe categories, you can never really tell who they’ll love and what they’ll go for.  A bit of me thinks Fox Searchlight will push Ben Lewin’s The Sessions in the Comedy/Musical category along with Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  That would put Helen Hunt in the front spot to win Lead Actress-Comedy unless they feel Maggie Smith or Judi Dench can do better Lead.
If this works out, John Hawkes and Hugh Jackman will battle it out for their respective category with an outside shot for Russell Crowe who is the co-lead in Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables.  The Supporting categories, Anne Hathaway and Leonardo DiCaprio are the type of stars that the Globes would love to reward.  DiCaprio has won once before for Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (2004).
Terrence Malick and his films have never been Globe favorites so I don’t expect To the Wonder to break in (as of now).  I have wheels turning that Malick and his film may be the winner of this year’s Oscars but I don’t know who to process the information or how to fully explain it yet.  I will in the coming weeks hopefully.
Keira Knightley in Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina”

Keira Knightley and Anna Karenina looks set to be not only a Globes favorite but a chance for Joe Wright to get rlong overdue recognition.  If the Globes go for the film and Knightley, there’s no reason why Jude Law couldn’t find his way in as well.  I’ve also given up on Julianne Moore and The English Teacher until further notice.  I just want her to have an Oscar. :(

Rolling the dice that no matter how bad Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy may be, Nicole Kidman can still get recognized by the HFPA.  Remember Billy Bathgate?  Cold Mountain?  Birth?  Perhaps not “bad” films per se but surprising mentions for Kidman nonetheless.
The Globes have never been big on children which is why Quvenzhane Wallis remains on the sidelines for the HFPA.  Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld were both given the finger and both made Oscar attention.  Beasts of the Southern Wild should still do well with the Hollywood Foreign Press Academy but I don’t expect a huge showing for Dwight Henry or  director Benh Zeitlin.
Have some opinions on contenders?  Or don’t agree with Golden Globe predictions, please leave the comments down below or on the actual pages.  

What do you think?

Film Lover

Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. 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, CNN.com, 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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