There’s no way around it…there hasn’t been much in the way of awards contenders so far this year. When you think about the first half of 2013 only (January until the end of June), things dry up even more. There’s usually at least something out there that has major buzz about it. Most years, we’re wondering if a film will be able to sustain, not if it’ll be able to survive, but that’s where we find ourselves now. Last year I wrote a piece about the Oscar possibilities of the well regarded first half releases (found here) and saw only a few of them make it to the finish line, and this year…well, we’ll be lucky if any of them do.
That being said, I have compiled a list of 15 early year releases that stand at least a shot at some kind of awards love from the Academy (which doesn’t even count those film that once were thought to be in play but now are far from it, like 42, Gangster Squad, Side Effects, or To the Wonder). For many, it’s a long shot, though for others they have a definite chance, though it’s mostly in lesser or technical categories. Still, maybe one of these can up and surprise us? We’ll see at the end of the year, but for now take a gander at what the first half of 2013 sees as its best hopes for Oscar citations:
20 Feet From Stardom– The Best Documentary Feature category is always a fickle one to predict at this point, especially without knowing the long/short-listed contenders. Still, this music themed doc has most of the ingredients to make a play for a nod. The big question will be if similarly musical fare like A Band Called Death proves to be a major adversary or not. Right now, it’s certainly well in play for a nom.
Before Midnight– Before the ever so slightly box office haul began to factor into things, this was looking like a surefire nominee in a few categories. I do still think that the screenplay will find its way to Oscar night, but Best Picture and Best Actress for Julie Delpy have become major question marks now. Delpy will likely have that Adapted Screenplay nomination to again share with co star Ethan Hawke and director Richard Linklater, but their chances of winning have definitely took a major hit.
The Croods– I don’t know of anyone who thinks especially highly of this animated flick, but it did make a ton of money, so that could very well push it into the Best Animated Feature lineup. That category looks like a total mess though, so your guess there is just as good as mine. This one may wind up on the outside looking in, but it’s silly not to at least consider its chances.