The upcoming Oscar season has been blown wide open, with high profile favourites either postponed until next year or crushed by middling reviews.
Do WALL-E and The Dark Knight now have a serious shot at the big time? Or will favourites such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Wrestler persevere.
Take a look at our cases for the following flicks:
Gus Van Sant‘s Milk stars Sean Penn as the titular Harvey Milk, the first openly gay gay man to be elected to public office.
Sam Mendes is directing wife Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road, a slow-burn kitchen sink drama about the broken dreams of a married couple.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a priest accused of sexual abuse in Doubt, which also stars Meryl Streep as a vindictive nun.
Mickey Rourke is still in the running for Best Actor, for his work in Darren Aronofsky‘s tale of a failed fighter past his prime, The Wrestler.
Paramount has delayed their Robert Downey Jr/Jamie Foxx flick The Soloist until next March, so they can save money in their promotional budget for 2008. Cheapskates.
John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has also been postponed until 2009, which is bad news for Best Actor and Supporting Actor contenders Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit McPhee. However, it’s also bad news for moviegoers waiting for a film about cannibalism. Your time will come friends.
The production of Stephan Daldry‘s adaptation of The Reader has controversially been rushed into completion by maniacal producer Harvey Weinstein. Harvey’s hopes to have the film ready for this years Oscar race may likely come at the cost of having a good movie. Oh the sweet irony.
Other major contenders like Ron Howard‘s Frost/Nixon and Clint Eastwood‘s Changeling are still in the race, but are suffering from severe critical backlash. The same could end up being true of David Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Although I still have high hopes for the flick, bad vibes have been coming off the set for a while now.
And then there’s Australia. I think my feelings on that film’s Oscar chances have been detailed enough elsewhere.
Charlie Kaufman‘s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York might be a bit too much of a head-trip, but he has seen Oscar gold before.
Danny Boyle‘s low budget Slumdog Millionaire has been receiving rave reviews, and could be the Juno-style audience pleaser this (particularly) dark Oscar race needs.
Woody Allen‘s Vicky Christina Barcelona features Penelope Cruz making out with Scarlett Johannson. Umm, how about Best Picture EVER MADE!
THE ‘REAL’ WINNERS
WALL-E! Come on. Have YOU seen a better picture this year? Best Pic, Director and Screenplay nominations should be in the bag.
The Dark Knight is the other unanimousy beloved film of the year. Best Pic, Director, Supporting Actor and Screenplay nominations are definitely deserved.
Tropic Thunder – call me crazy, but wouldn’t it be great if Downey Jr’s Oscar-mocking role as Kirk Lazarus scored him a nod?
And just because the Coen Brothers should always win Oscars, Burn After Reading for, well, anything.
What do you think? Anything you’ve seen this year that deserves a shot at Oscar glory? Do you think any of these major contenders will bomb? Does anyone dare question WALL-E’s Acadamy Award worthiness?