25 Potential 2013 Best Picture Oscar Contenders

25 Potential 2013 Best Picture Oscar Contenders

UPDATE: I’ve already realized I forgot to add Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly and John Hillcoat’s The Wettest County to this list. That would make 27.

I haven’t yet gotten around to cleaning up “The Contenders” section of the site just yet and while some may argue it’s too early to look toward the 2013 Oscars considering we just closed the book on the 2012 Oscar ceremony I have to kindly disagree. If for no other reason, looking at films that might be vying for Best Picture next year we get to sort through a bunch of films that may end up being considered the year’s best. What’s wrong with that?

Granted, as is often the case when looking this far into the future, several of these films may end up being duds. Some may not actually hit theaters in 2012 (though most do have established release dates) and others just might not fit the Academy’s “taste”.

The biggest difficulty in compiling a list like this, however, is to try and not make it too long and still manage to not forget anything. With that said, please let me know of anything you think I may have left off that has a legitimate shot at Best Picture and also feel free to offer your thoughts on other categories as I still need to take a look at everything else before putting together a complete list of 2013 Oscar contenders.

This list is presented in alphabetical order so no favorites have been made yet though certain titles among these 25 certainly do bubble up closer to the top than others…

Anna Karenina
DIR. Joe Wright / TBA

Photo: Focus Features

So Joe Wright dabbled in non-period features the last two years with Hanna and The Soloist and so he’s ready to head back in time with Keira Knightley once again. Last time he did that he scored a Best Picture nomination with Atonement and I have a hard time believing this adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel written by Oscar-winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) won’t be on most early year contender lists.

Cast: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew MacFadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams and Ruth Wilson

Get more on this film here.

DIR. Ben Affleck / September 14

Ben Affleck‘s directorial career has started off very strong with Gone Baby Gone and The Town, the latter of which many thought would get a nomination for Best Picture but it ended up falling short. The third time’s a charm right? With Argo, Affleck has compiled a stellar cast to tell the “based on a true story” events chronicling the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis — the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. The kicker is that the rescue mission is undertaken as the CIA poses as a Hollywood film crew scouting a movie.

Cast: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Scoot McNairy, Tate Donovan, Taylor Schilling, Clea DuVall, Richard Kind, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Victor Garber, Zeljko Ivanek, Chris Messina and Michael Parks

Get more on this film here.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
DIR. Benh Zeitlin / June 29

I don’t know much about Beasts of the Southern Wild outside of the fact that everyone that saw it at Sundance this year seemed to love it. Fox Searchlight quickly snatched it up, which is a sign in and of itself, and laid out plans for a June release date. My guess is they will get it into the Cannes Film Festival, hope it garner’s as much buzz on an international stage as it did in Sundance and get it into theaters one month later.

Cast: Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry

Get more on this film here.

DIR. Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman / June 22

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar

If there’s a chance an animated film is nominated that chance lies with Pixar right? This year’s field looks pretty strong and I’m not sure I see this one having the impact of say Up or Toy Story 3, but I couldn’t not consider it.

Voice Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane and Kevin McKidd

Get more on this film here.

Cloud Atlas
DIR. Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer / TBA

Will it be too weird? Will it be brilliant? Will it be a convoluted mess? The possibilities with this film are endless and to ignore its chances at greatness would be a mistake. If I was to bet I’d say it probably wouldn’t end up among the final nominees, but that bet would only be partially due to the possibility of it not being any good, and more to the possibility that it just doesn’t fit into the Academy’s wheelhouse.

Cast: Tom Hanks, Ben Whishaw, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant and James D’Arcy

Get more on this film here.

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