The start of Oscar season is usually packed with a lot of hopefuls based on casts and prestige possibilities, but the reality is that at some point, someone’s going to see your movie, and eventually consensus will build. One day you may be the talk of the town, and then the next day your movie will come out in limited theaters and find no audience. Or just as bad, it’s forgotten about it shortly after its released because it’s only a decent movie — but doesn’t possess that Oscar star power that many hoped it had. This week’s Oscar Scuttlebutt we talk about those movies that have already gotten lost this year in the ocean of Academy consideration.
Easily one of the biggest ones that didn’t see awards traction was John Hillcoat’s Lawless, which premiered at Cannes to a modest reception. But this is nothing new for the director as his previous movie, The Road, was also an Oscar possible that didn’t stick the landing. The possibility of Lawless becoming a Best Picture contender fell away shortly after Cannes, but there was a hope at one point. It’s not a bad movie at all, but the drawn out story, mixed reviews and awkward release date helped diminish this movie’s Oscar chances. It is possible that Guy Pearce could get nominated for Best Supporting Actor after his terrifying role as villain Charley Rakes, but that depends on whether or not The Weinstein Company gives him a big push.
Then there’s The Master, another possible Oscar contender that’s lost some momentum mainly due to the film’s odd limited release date (September 14th). It was hailed as one of the year’s best with the potential of Oscar nominations from Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. But two months later, it’s not really a part of the conversation. As a Weinstein Company film, we could see a humongous marketing push in the next couple weeks but when the film failed to click with audiences, it doesn’t seem so sure.
A small but definitely DOA Oscar would-be was David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis. Sure, it got some buzz coming out of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but that all died off the minute people got a glimpse of Holy Motors, a film that supposedly takes this one out back and slaps it around. It’s not like Don DeLillo’s novel-turned-movie didn’t have anything to say, but most cinephiles weren’t interested in it aside from Robert Pattinson‘s role breaking him out of the Twilight franchise.
Warner Bros holds Clint Eastwood close to their chest like a mother would their child. He’s been making tons of memorable movies for them for Lord knows how long, but Trouble With The Curve wasn’t one of those films. The drab September release opened to a flurry of unimpressed reviews, shooting any chance it could’ve had at any sort of Oscar buzz for Eastwood’s return to acting. Out of the selections made of faded Oscar hopefuls this one is the least likely to get any sort of momentum going during the last month of the year – Warner Brothers has sent out their Academy screeners, and Trouble is not one of them. Warner Bros is concentrating more of their award achieving efforts on Argo.
While these movies may have faded away from Academy voter’s minds it doesn’t mean that we won’t be hearing about them again. Each one of these movies has either a stellar cast, story or director that made each one of these noticed in the first place. Perhaps word will start spreading about a couple of these once Oscar hopefuls once members get their screeners. And what’s a race without a bit of unpredictability?
Is there any random movies this year you hope will get Oscar love?