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OSCARS: NYFF Prepares to Drop ‘Wonder Wheel’ and ‘Last Flag Flying’ in the Oscar Race

The New York Film Festival pre-screenings began this past Monday and over the next three weeks, we look to the East Coast for the next chapter in this Oscar season.

All eyes will be on Amazon Studios, who will have three high-profile slots at the festival.

Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel,” which has been screening privately for the past few weeks, will be the big thing that Amazon Studios hopes will land.  Starring Academy Award winner Kate Winslet (“The Reader”), the seven-time nominee almost picked up her second Oscar for “Steve Jobs” two years ago.  Teamed up with veteran Woody Allen, the early word has been that she could join the ranks of Jodie Foster and Hilary Swank.

Also from “Wonder Wheel,” we’ll be keeping an eye on Juno Temple, who may be able to capitalize on a very vacant Supporting Actress race.  We could even see Grammy winner Justin Timberlake make a splash in Supporting Actor.  Not to mention, this is the same guy who was in the hunt (somewhat) for 2010’s “The Social Network.”

Richard Linklater made his place in film history with his historic film “Boyhood” in 2014.  Losing out two big awards for Original Screenplay and Directing, his latest film “Last Flag Flying” is highly anticipated from the Oscar community.  Casual movie-goers and message boards have been lit up for months about the possibilities for stars Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne.  What hasn’t seemed to happen is a clear consensus on where any of them will campaign.  Sources close to the studio have suggested that Carell and Cranston will campaign in Lead Actor with Fishburne taking his chances in Supporting Actor.

Finally, Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck,” which has made the rounds through Cannes and Telluride has gained some lovers but not as many as the studio would like.  The film’s best chances seem to be in Adapted Screenplay, where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to list 10 solid contenders, and perhaps Julianne Moore can capitalize on a weaker Supporting Actress field.  Cinematographer Ed Lachman also seems to be on the table in a substantial manner.

three billboards outside ebbing, missouriNew predictions have been unveiled for the Oscars (in the major categories, techs coming later in the week).  “The Post” from Steven Spielberg sits at the top still but “Darkest Hour” and “The Shape of Water” look ready to pounce at any moment and declare themselves the ones to beat.

The TIFF Audience Award gave a huge boost to Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”  The film could be this year’s “Dallas Buyers Club” and/or “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and/or “Room,” as the film that overperforms on Oscar morning.

We welcome the entries of Margot Robbie and Allison Janney from NEON’s “I, Tonya” while Laurie Metcalf could hold the torch for those who love A24’s “Lady Bird” from Greta Gerwig.

We’ve also listed the eligible films for Foreign Language film so far, but have only listed the predicted nominees, which you can see on the sidebar.