40 Potential 2014 Oscar Contenders: Part Two – ‘The Fifth Estate’ to ‘Labor Day’

Yesterday kicked off my 2014 Oscar Preview with the first ten films in a look at 40 potential contenders to be on the lookout over the course of the next ten months, today we take a look at ten more and among them I have included the only animated contender I’m listing as well as the only blockbuster feature.

Today’s installment includes the dramatization of the Wikileaks story in The Fifth Estate, Bennett Miller (Moneyball) returns with Foxcatcher starring Channing Tatumand Mark Ruffalo, Disney’s animated feature Frozen, the Sundance standout Fruitvale starring Michael B. Jordan, Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, the long-awaited Alfonso Cuaron feature Gravity with Oscar winners George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, the question mark that is Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby, another question mark in Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, the black-and-white Coen brother feature Inside Llewyn Davis and Jason Reitman‘s Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

This may be the widest range of films this preview has to offer and will hopefully continue to further the conversation. Just as with the Part One, please add your thoughts on each film and any potential categories I may have overlooked in each, or miscategorized as I did yesterday with a few of the Screenplay contenders.

I have included a navigation for the entire feature directly below and as the additional installments are added I will update the links.

2014 Oscar Preview Navigation

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Complete List

Now let’s get started…

The Fifth Estate
DIR. Bill Condon / November 15

Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl in The Fifth Estate
Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl in The Fifth Estate
Photo: Dreamworks Pictures

What a way for Bill Condon to quickly get away from the payday that was directing Twilight: Breaking Dawn than to tackle the Wikileaks story with Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange. The script was written by Josh Singer (“Fringe,” “The West Wing”) based on “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website” by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy” by David Leigh and Luke Harding and should definitely be a contender down the line.

POTENTIAL OSCAR CATEGORIES: Best Picture, Director, Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Supporting Actor (Daniel Bruhl), Adapted Screenplay (Josh Singer)

STUDIO: Dreamworks Pictures

CAST: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Peter Capaldi and Carice van Houten

SYNOPSIS: Following Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl), an early supporter and eventual colleague of Julian Assange (Cumberbatch), The Fifth Estate traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks. The website’s overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects and transformed the flow of information to news media and the world at large.

DIR. Bennett Miller / TBA 2013

Bennett Miller has given us Capote and Moneyball and now he’s got Steve Carell, one of the hottest names around in Channing Tatum and the always-reliable Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, a based on a true story feature from screenwriters Dan Futterman (Capote) and E. Max Frye. This one has a lot of potential in several categories.

POTENTIAL OSCAR CATEGORIES: Best Picture, Director, Best Actor (Steve Carell), Supporting Actor (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), Adapted Screenplay (Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye), Cinematography (Greig Fraser), Film Editing (Stuart Levy)

STUDIO: Columbia Pictures

CAST: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall and Vanessa Redgrave

SYNOPSIS: Based on the true story of John du Pont (Carell), the paranoid schizophrenic heir to the du Pont chemical fortune who built a wrestling training facility called Team Foxcatcher on his Pennsylvania estate. David Schultz (Ruffalo) was a longtime friend of du Pont who had repeatedly tried to help him before du Pont shot and killed him in 1996.

Police never established a motive for the crime, which was witnessed by Schultz’s wife and du Pont’s head of security. After the shooting, du Pont barricaded himself in his mansion for two days while he negotiated his surrender over the phone.

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