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Beauty vs. Beast

Nancy, what would the coven do to a reader who doesn't vote on Beauty vs. Beast?

they would kill her"

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COMMENT DU JOUR
Cannes Red Carpet 
Out of (literal) competition. Still competing

"The Best-Julianne (If for nothing else making that crimson work with her hair but her whole look is striking)" Joel6

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88th Oscars. The Oscar Contenders of 2015 - For prediction, discussion and entertainment purposes. Discuss on the blog

CHART AS OF APRIL 29th

Tier 1 - April Foolish Best Guesses
THE DANISH GIRL
d. Tom Hooper
Focus
Nov 27th
THE REVENANT
d. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Fox
Christmas

BROOKLYN
d. John Crowley
Fox Searchlight
Nov 6th 

BRIDGE OF SPIES
d. Steven Spielberg
Disney
Oct 16th 
IN THE HEART OF THE SEA
d. Ron Howard
Warner Bros. 
December 11th

Why this one?
The Les Miz team reunited + Eddie Redmayne's career heat for this story of one of the first trans women to seek a sex change operation

But...
Hooper has his detractors and the casting of Redmayne as a trans woman is sure to anger those who want trans actors to play their own stories 

Why this one?
The current Best Director returns with Oscar good luck charm (if not for himself) Leonardo DiCaprio in this manly wilds of nature revenge drama. Can Inarritu win consecutive honors?

But...
Rumors of trouble on set could mean something. Or not. 

Why this one? 
Perfect release date for this old fashioned handsome melodrama about an Irish immigrant in New York City. It impressed all types at Sundance.

But...
Oscar will have to misplace their aversion to feminine drama to give it its best shot.
 

Why this one?
Are Cold War stories hot right now (see "The Americans")? Oscar loves Spielberg and Hanks and The Coen Bros so this could be major. Plus it's got Billy Magnussen on his way up!

 But...
Disney hasn't had much look in the realm of "Best Picture"

Why this one?
The sudden release date change to December seems to suggest that they have faith in it. If it's a rousing sea adventure it'll stand out.

But...
Hemsworth isnt exactly bankable without his hammer and Howard hasnt been in Oscar play in quite awhile

Tier 2 - Also Formidable (On Paper)
SICARIO
d. Denis Villeneuve
Lionsgate
Sept 18th
FREEHELD
d. Peter Sollett
Lionsgate
Oct 2nd
SUFFRAGETTE
d. Sarah Gavron
Focus
October 23rd

STEVE JOBS
d. Danny Boyle
Universal
Oct 19th

THE WALK
d. Robert Zemeckis
Sony/Tri-Star
October 2nd

Why this one?
It's only a matter of time before Villeneuve has an Oscar hit. This one is headed to Cannes and Emily Blunt is also due for a signature role. If this is it... watch out

But...
Could just be a solid drama like Prisoners

 

Yes Yes Yes / But...
Perhaps it's wishful thinking to earmark two female driven films for Oscar success this early. The Academy nearly always prefers male-driven narratives but if both of these films are good, they could well be hard to ignore with so many attractive elements in acting, social messages, and presumably solid filmmaking craft. Gay relationships and voting rights are both hot topics that could hit the zeitgeist.

Why this one?
Oscar tends to be attracted to biographical true stories of Great Men as it were.

But...
Will this be dramatic enough? The other bio "Jobs" didn't go over so well

Why this one?
Oscar went wild for this story when it was a documentary. Might they respond as enthusiastically to a narrative feature.

But...
If it's tacky with CG or Zemeckis isn't on his A game...

Tier 3- Don't Discount...

JOY
d. David O. Russell
Fox
Christmas
CAROL
d. Todd Haynes
Weinstein Co
TBA
THE HATEFUL EIGHT
d. Quentin Tarantino
Weinstein Co
TBA
I SAW THE LIGHT
d. Marc Abraham
Sony Classics
TBA
UNTITLED HOWARD HUGHES PROJECT
d. Warren Beatty
TBA
TBA

Why this one?
Russel had two consecutive Oscar hits with Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence.

But...
can this streak really last forever.

Why this one?
Oscar really does owe Todd Haynes and Cate Blanchett could be a big enough selling point

But...
Two Oscar winning actresses in lesbian dramas in one year? Oscar has never completely gotten Haynes' works

Why this one?
Oscar really loved Tarantino's last two pictures.

But...
Will a third straight violent manly period piece be another bloody charm? Or will they move on

Why this one?
Oscar loves a musician biopic, particularly when it's tragic with drug use and the like.

But...
Abraham is largely unproven

Why this one?
Beatty is right in Oscar's wheelhouse... as are Hollywood dramas about infamous men

But... 
If you rest you rust. Does Beatty still have it as a director?

Tier 4 - Or Maybe...?
DEMOLITION
d. Jean-Marc Vallée
Fox Searchlight
TBA
MACBETH
d. Justin Kurzel
Weinstein Co
TBA
RICKI & THE FLASH
d. Jonathan Demme
Sony/Tri-Star
August 7th
TRUMBO
d. Jay Roach
Bleecker Street
TBA
TOMORROW LAND
d. Brad Bird
Disney
May 22nd

Vallee is on a roll, at least in terms of directing actors to nominations. This time Jake Gyllenhaal as a widower and Naomi Watts as a single mom could do it. But is it too small? Too intimate? Too comedic?

Oscar rarely goes full hog for Shakespeare but since it's been awhile maybe they will. Especially if it feels fresh and Cotillard and Fassbender, two our best actors, kill it. Don't laugh. Yes, a movie about an older woman rock star doesn't scream "Oscar" but it is Meryl Streep and Demme is sometimes pure magic. Sometimes. We'll see. If Hollywood wants to tell it's own story again how about this blacklisting Hollywood drama starring Bryan Cranston Brad Bird is a magical talent behind the camera. At some point a genre-loving family friendly blockbuster is going to be a hit with Oscar again.
Tier 5 - Really, Too Early To Discount Anything
BLACK MASS - d. Scott Cooper, Warner Bros (09/18)
CRIMSON PEAK - d. Guillermo del Toro, Universal (10/16)
33 - d. Patricia Riggen, TBA (TBA)
ICON - d. Stephen Frears, TBA (08/01)
A BIGGER SPLASH - d. Luca Guadagino, Fox Searchlight (TBA)
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS - d. J.J. Abrams, Disney (12/18)
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL - d. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Fox Searchlight (06/12)
THE MARTIAN - d. Ridley Scott, Fox (11/25)
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL - d. Jeff Nichols, Warner Bros (11/25)
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES -d. Billy Ray (TBA 10/23)

and everything else -- there are still many films without distribution that could pop up in major ways and release dates apart from the tentpoles are still highly changeable.