Published on November 27th, 2011 | by dvdpinson0
Let the Oscar Murmur begin
Where is the Oscar Buzz? Something should be percolating by now. Normally this is the time of year when we, the movie-going audience, are told what films are important and need to be seen. But with 2011 filled with sub par offerings, there doesn’t seem to be any front-runner and the buzz on the streets is more like a murmur.
The members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have changed the rules (again). This year we will see between 5 and 10 Best Picture nominations and not the required 10 that plagued the ceremonies the last couple of years. This should get rid of “The Blind Side” and the required Pixar nomination (no “Cars 2” please) that has really taken away from any prestige the mention might have had in the past. Unfortunately the way the field is shaking down though and exposing no truly great films, the Academy will be lucky to reach the minimum of 5 nods in any of the major categories. But let us muse a little anyway and see what we can come up with. Let the Oscar Murmur begin!!!
Everyone talking about the French romance film, “The Artist” but I haven’t met anyone who has actually seen it. The film is presented in black and white and is almost completely silent (I think it may feature Marcel Marceau saying the word “No” at one point….Get it?). If it is a silent film I suppose the fact that it is produced in France is moot. Look for some acting noms from this one as well.
“The Ides of March” had promise but seems to have lost some steam. As a director George Clooney has been nominated before (“Good Night and Good Luck“) and Ryan Gosling gives a stellar performance that might be recognized but the film has come and gone at the box office and no one seems to care. Review here. My bet is Gosling gets selected for his work in “Drive,” this year’s critical darling.
Clooney’s better bet is getting an acting nom for “The Descendants“. Alexander Payne gives us his first film since 2004′s “Sideways” and it’s a strong contender that feels like traditional Oscar fare. The tears and emotions are here in droves. Also look for Shailene Woodley to get the supporting for the most honest performance of the year. Review link here.
The Brad Pitt vehicle “Moneyball” has to be mentioned because of pedigree alone. Aside from mega-superstar Pitt being on screen the entire running time, any film written by Steven Zaillian (“Schindler’s List“) and Aaron Sorkin (“The Social Network“) is at least a shoe in for Best Screenplay. Review link here.
Many of the usual suspects are trotting out their product in time for the Award Season and most of them are included in this conversation merely because they have been invited to the party in the past.
Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” could garner a Best Actor mention for Leonardo DiCaprio but the film is tanking and nearly no one likes it.
Martin Scorsese delves into the 3D world of “Hugo“. The auteur seems to be relishing the addition of the extra dimension, which makes for a beautiful and enchanting film.
The film didn’t do well at the box office though with too many children’s movies at the theater to choose from. “Hugo” is a wonderful achievement however and is the most intimate, personal film Scorsese has made to date. Review here.
Steven Spielberg is offering two movies for your consideration; “The Adventures of Tin Tin” and “War Horse“. Look for the latter to be among the elite come Oscar Night.
The team behind “Juno” has grown up a little and brings us “Young Adult” starring Charlize Theron who spends the film trying to get over a recent divorce. Sounds like some Best Actress bait. Michelle Williams is a definite for her work as an icon in “My Weekend with Marilyn”. This is the sort of stuff the Academy eats up (“Ray,” “Walk the Line”) and Williams really does transform and gives us another sample of her considerable talent. Review here.
Finally, let us all hope that Harry Potter gets some love. “Deathly Hollows” is a solid movie but the Academy should recognize the series as grand achievement. Considering the rest of the lackluster competition, maybe it can even win. That would be true magic.