Oscar Update: Best Picture Predictions, New Reviews and More


I haven’t been moved at all to do an Oscar Update because nothing has happened that warrants any kind of real attention. Either predictions are being made on films that haven’t been seen or much ado is being made about nothing. However, I can’t make it seem like I have abandoned “The Contenders” section so I was able to pull a TON of little tidbits together and bring you what I believe to be a rather impressive update if I may say so myself.

We can start with a few of the Oscar contenders I saw recently. I reviewed Blindness (D), Appaloosa (B), The Duchess (C-) and Miracle at St. Anna (D+). Obviously I wasn’t all that impressed with three of them and those three are going to struggle for an Oscar nom outside of costume and art noms for The Duchess. As far as any topline awards go, all four are out of contention. However, while I didn’t review Happy-Go-Lucky yet I did do an editorial on it – “Happy-Go-Lucky Should be Nominated for at Least Five Oscars” – and I stand by the headline. Give it a read to find out why.

Negative buzz is beginning to brew surrounding Clint Eastwood’s Changeling starring Angelina Jolie as Karina Longworth at Spout gave it a highly negative review, but that isn’t stopping Tom O’Neil at the Los Angeles Times from asking if the film will be Angelina Jolie’s next break into Oscar.

Bad reviews or not, love for Eastwood continues as he was named Director of the Year honor at the 12th annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards.

Director Ed Zwick is also getting a little praise in advance of his upcoming World War II film Defiance starring Daniel Craig as he will receive the annual Kodak Award for Excellence in Filmmaking at the 2008 ShowEast convention in Orlando on Oct. 16.

For some reason all the Oscar bloggers are making a big deal about Frozen River and Elegy screeners making the rounds. Personally I don’t see it as a big deal whatsoever, but when your angle is award news only sometimes you have to write about what you are given.

Kris Tapley wonders if City of Ember‘s Martin Lang may have a potential art direction Oscar nom for the flick after watching this featurette.

Early Best Picture predictions are coming in from the following:

Movie City News (link)

The Envelope (link)

Hollywood Elsewhere (link)

Looks like Benjamin Button and Milk are the frontrunners when it comes to movies no one has seen.

Sasha Stone at AwardsDaily has done a fantastic round-up of this year’s Documentaries. Whatcha think? Has Man on Wire got it in the bag?

For a long time Jim Sheridan’s Brothers was talked about as an Oscar potential pic. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman and was expected to release in December, but it has been bumped and set to debut at next year’s Cannes.

Michael Cieply at the New York Times may have received Paramount and Sony stock options with this article. Quantum of Solace has “provoked early Oscar talk”? Really? Who told you that Mike?

The biggest update is probably the final list of 54 total films from 53 countries with one independent submission in the Foreign Language category. Today I added 21 new films to the list as the final submissions were received. The list of new submissions is directly below with corresponding links to IMDb, you can see the full list of all 54 films right here.

Guy Lodge at InContention has weighed in with his frontrunners for the nomination and it sounds like he isn’t deviating from the expected with The Class, Gomorrah, Waltz With Bashir, Baader-Meinhof Complex, Everlasting Moments, O’Horten, The Mermaid and Lion’s Den. His final five are The Class, Everlasting Moments, Gomorrah, O’Horten and Waltz With Bashir. His pick of Bashir is due to last year’s supposed “snubbing” of the animated Persepolis, a film I personally thought deserved little to no attention. Based on what I have heard of Der Baader-Meinhof Complex I would be surprised if it didn’t eek in, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The trailer for Australia below has caught some attention.