Sunday, September 4, 2011

2012 Oscar Contenders, Pt. I

Well, it's about that time again... Time to delve deeper into the films that could be the next big winner for the 84th Academy Award show.

Back in July, I listed 12 films I believed to be have a legitimate chance to be strong contenders during the 2012 Award season. Now, I explain those choice in further detail.

Four posts featuring three films each will be in this series of 12 for '12.

The first installment features a polarizing film, a long shot, and a dark horse for the 2012 award shows. 

Keep reading on for the three films featured in this post...

The Tree of Life

Director: Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The New World)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn

Reasons It’s a Contender:
This was a film I had tagged as a possible Oscar contender for the 2011 Award show season; however, Malick’s picture was ineligible for the 83rd Oscars. The anticipation was very high for this movie, too, as distribution issues constantly delayed it. Tree was finally able to premiere at Cannes Film Festival. Once the film finished, it was reported that it drew both cheers as well as boos from the crowd. Regardless, Tree took home the Palme d’Or, or in layman’s terms, the best film featured at Cannes. A humbling story exploring the depths of the human psyche, and reflecting on life, love, and loss definitely does sound like a strong Award show contender. The film led by Malick and helped by the usual strong acting from Pitt and Penn should help give Tree some steam come the Award show season. Tree is also easily one of the best films of the summer of 2011.

Reasons It’s a Pretender:
Tree is a rather polarizing movie, as non-linear, abstract stories like this one do not really do well during Award season. While it holds overall positive reviews, this film will most likely have a bit of difficulty garnering the attention it needs to be a strong contender when the Award race heats up. Being released in the summer really doesn’t help its chances either. In the end, I can see Tree getting lost in the rush for Award show glory.

Release Date: 27 May 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. II

Director: David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Reasons It’s a Contender:
I know, I know, this one’s a long shot. I realize this. As one commenter here so eloquently said that my Oscar contender list “loses any attempt at being correct with harry potter”. Hmmmmm. While Potter probably won’t be up for very few, if any, Oscars, it could be a dark horse for Best Picture. Why? Well, even though the Academy doesn’t usually give out “favors,” Potter could be given a nommy just out of desperation to one, get more viewers, and two, as a tribute to the contribution the Potter franchise gave to cinephiles everywhere. While this is a long shot, other “smaller” award categories, such as Visual Effects, Cinematography, etc., are not out of the question. 

Reasons It’s a Pretender:
While Potter and pals have been a dynamo in Hollywood, the Academy has always shied away. Even though Potter is the highest grossing franchise of all time, money doesn’t buy awards… Only Half-Blood Prince has received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography. I wouldn’t be surprised if the trend of being shut out come Award show season continues for the Boy-Who-Lived.

Release Date: 15 July 2011

Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy

Director: Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In- 2008)
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch

Reasons It’s a Contender:
A riveting spy tale set in the 1970s during the Cold War and based on the acclaimed novel by John Le Carre, Tinker (wow, I hate using that as an abbreviation…) seems to have all the ingredients to be able to whip up some Award show fun-food. Alfredson has proved his directorial chops with the critically acclaimed film Let the Right One In, and Soldier, Spy should allow him the mainstream success he deserves. Oldman, Firth, Hardy, Strong, Hurt, and the rising star of Cumberbatch are an all-star cast that should also help this project.

Reasons It’s a Pretender:
Well, thrillers aren’t usually well received come Award show season. Although… this film does look to be a strong contender. It really depends on how this film becomes marketed. If it comes off as a money maker rather than a stylish drama, the Academy may avoid Soldier, Spy like the plague. Regardless, Soldier, Spy should be one of the better films of 2011.

Release Date: 16 September 2011

Well, thus concludes the first installment.

All three don't really project to be heavy hitters during the Award show season. So... the first installment is a rather lackluster one.

Thank goodness these aren't the "Big Ones." 

I apologize for the bland post... I promise the others will feature more exciting, actual contenders. 



Be sure to check out Part II and Part III! Part IV Coming Soon!

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