It has been insanely quiet on the Oscar front for the past week and a half. Many films are being pushed back, some are coming to fruition, and other films are still a mystery.
The Lovely Bones, Nine, Avatar, and Invictus are the biggest question marks of the season, especially Clint Eastwood's film. We don't even have a poster for the Nelson Mandela biopic starring (supposed) Oscar front-runner for Best Actor Morgan Freeman.
As you may know, Peter Jackson's Oscar hopeful has been on the top of my prediction list all year. It may be a complete biased towards the book or it may be just the undying belief in Jackson himself. Until the first official review hits the web, I'll hold on to the notion of it as long as I can.
The next prediction update will include and omit many films and actors. The big question mark in my mind today is distributors on certain films. Toronto didn't produce all the things we hope for in a film festival. A lot of films not being picked up, other films being pushed back to 2010, it's becoming such a headache. If by October 14th, the day when I sit down to update my predictions, if a film is not slated yet for a release in 2009, I will leave it off. This rings most loudly for Edward Norton's praised performance in Leaves of Grass and Annette Bening's tour de force in Mother and Child. These are two actors anyone would love to see have a statue in their hands someday soon.
Other things is the lack of front-runner status that any film seemingly wants to take at this point. In the next Podcast with Staff Writer Myles Hughes and I, we touch a lot on this point. There are "default" front-runners that bloggers are taking onto but nothing that stands out. Could this be one of the weaker year in films? Could be. Maybe I'm just speaking for myself but there aren't too many films I have the jitters about like I did in past years.
What is there to look forward to in the next couple of weeks/months? This week we have the releases of An Education, Trucker, and The Damned United, all slated to have some of the strongest performances of the year. The former film is the only Best Picture hopeful in the lineup but it's great to see Michelle Monaghan getting buzz along with Michael Sheen, once again, getting raves, but of course Sheen will probably be absent as in previous times.
Staff Writer Joey Magidson has not been quiet about his excitement for Where the Wild Things Are based on the popular children's book. After looking at TV spots for the Spike Jonze picture, I share this excitement. Is it a contender? I'm leaning towards a probably not but in technical categories, it'll be a great addition. There have been some raves for lead child actor Max Records thus far which would be a pleasant surprise and addition to the already stacked Best Actor race.
This is all mumblings at this point since there isn't too much news out there.
In regards to The Awards Circuit, the writers and myself were on a conference call and started discussing Academy Idol and what film stands out as a front-runner on that subject. Some were throwing out Inglourious Basterds (a definite Best Picture contender if others fall by the wayside), The Hurt Locker (our very close to a 'lock' in that category), Avatar (for nothing else than it's a complete mystery), and Star Trek (the popular summer blockbuster).
Other question arose such as, do we have a Knocked Up on our hands this year? The answer is who the hell knows. When voting starts we'll see. A great finale would include perhaps District 9 and Avatar, or The Lovely Bones and Nine, and maybe even A Serious Man and Up in the Air. This is going to be a very head scratching season.
Anyways, comment. Start a discussion. Talk amongst yourselves.