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YNMS²: Foxcatcher & Gone Girl

Unless you count the LEGO Movie's probable Best Animated Feature bid and the Sundance bow of Love is Strange (I'm still hopeful - it's playing Tribeca right now) 2014 hasn't seen much in the way of Oscar contenders just yet. Recent trailers are changing the collective shrug to raised eyebrows - between The Homesman (previously discussed), Jersey Boys (if you're feeling very generous), the Cannes lineup announcement and these two trailers from past nominated directors Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) and David Fincher (Gone Girl) the body is ready for the first wave of Oscar predictions. We'll manage them before April wraps.

Both of these trailers have been around for a bit and both blissfully play more like teasers despite their length; the job of a trailer is to sell a future ticket, not to make you feel like you've already seen it so you don't need one.  Foxcatcher's traiser was actually released last year and then swiftly pulled before we could get to it but it recently resurfaced and Gone Girl has been kicking around for a week but I've heard your plea to discuss so a couple of quick notes follow


Yes. What's not to love really? Remarkable use of music and uncomfortable juxtapositions in the montage. Plus, Rosamund Pike's gorgeousity turning to the camera just in time for the vocals of "She" is just a marvelous 'we're-making-a-star here' relief given that her career, though healthy, deserves more fame and a richer choice of scripts. That final shot of her in the water is so disturbing. (Yikes). And though they aren't prominently featured in this trailer the supporting cast is really good with a lot of underused faces like Sela Ward and Missi Pyle. 

No. I got nothing though I guess I hope Fincher takes a break from crime thrillers soon and that greenish color palette which was fun for a couple of films but three in a row. It's approaching Eastwood's inky black and Soderbergh's yellow as a default rather than an artistic choice.

Maybe So. Casting Ben Affleck as your leading man has to be considered kind of risky, right? Aristically speaking. He's not the terrible actor some say he is but neither has he ever proven himself a great one. 


Yes. Another minimalist peak at a crime drama, this one being a horrible and super weird true story. It has a very good chance of being riveting given the cast, the story and the writer/director (Bennett Miller of Capote and Moneyball fame). The "A coach is..." speech here is beautifully judged as a teaser framing device, especially with that pathetic shuffle into the gym with the pistol out. Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum seem like a pretty great trio to hang a movie on. And did I just spot Vanessa Redgrave?!? ( "Yes, please" times so so so many.)

Also Yes. Channing Tatum in a singlet

No. I dread any potential "sweepers" in any of the acting categories -- just on principle because there are ALWAYS more than four great performances in a film year -- so though I've long thought Steve Carell was an Oscar calibre actor (I nominated him right here for Little Miss Sunshine) I don't relish seeing him win everything because he went the prosthetic and vocal affectation route. He looks good in the trailer, don't get me wrong. I just know that no matter how brilliant he is, he'll be wildly overpraised merely because of this and the meat of the role. 

Maybe So. I suppose the ultra specific details of this tale might not help it with accessibility for the masses, or even to feel potent thematically. But we'll worry about that later if it happens.


Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So ?
And does the strength of your answer coincide with your faith in their Oscar play? 


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Reader Comments (21)

I'm a yes on both. I enjoyed both Capote and Moneyball so I was looking forward to Foxcatcher last year, its great to see it finally finding its way to theatres.

The Gone, Girl trailer is great for the reason you mentioned. It's a teaser not a mini movie and that cast is hard to resist. Hope it puts Rosamund on top where she belongs.

April 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Gone Girl: YES! That's how you do it. I'm a fan of Fincher and, though I also wish he'd change up his aesthetic and genre after this, I'm in.
Foxcatcher: (Sigh) I'm not feeling it just based on that release delay, and the trailer doesn't sway me enough into "this will not be completely generic prestige pablum" territory. So, yeah, I'm not seeing this without Oscar noms.

April 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Gone Girl was such a terrible book - the movie is really gonna test the limits of my love for Rosamund Pike.

April 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

So I'm dreaming in thinking that The Grand Budapest Hotel can pull off some Oscar nods? Like original screenplay, at a minimum, though I don't understand how Anderson's films can continue to be overlooked for art direction and costume design.

I don't really see Gone Girl as much of an Oscar player, but maybe I'll be proven wrong. I'm a maybe so, in that I thought the teaser was somewhat disappointing - Affleck seemed pretty flat (moreso than usual) and it wasn't very intriguing.

Foxcatcher is going to be incredible, though.

April 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Gone Girl-I love Fincher movies so I'm probably a Yes by default. Sela Ward, Affleck, the genre make it easy.

Foxcatcher--I'm a no. Tatum is the only actor I find interesting in the cast. I can take or leave Ruffalo, but SC just annoys me. I feel I can see him "acting" and I don't enjoy that. This trailer reinforced my impression.

April 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Gone Girl:
Despite aclaim, I'm not impressed by what David Fincher has done. I only liked "Seven" (a lot, though).
Very indifferent to Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.
The story is a maybe so. I'm a no however.
How is Channing Tatum a Yes? He's a forever eternal never ending gigantic NO.
Steve Carrell's prosthetics are very distracting.
As for Miller, I'd say "Capote" and "Moneyball" have to be two of the most boring Oscar nominees movies I've seen since 2000s. Top 3 easily.
However, the story looks compelling. I think I'm yes.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

Gone Girl: I haven't loved a Fincher film since Zodiac, but he's still putting out high quality films, he's a good match with this material, this is a typically inspired teaser, and based on the evidence here it looks like he might actually have gotten a good performance out of Ben Whofleck, so for all those reasons I'm an optimistic yes.

Foxcatcher: Carrell's fake schnoz and affected speaking voice could be VERY problematic over the course of a feature film, but this is a terrific teaser and Tatum in a singlet assuages many other concerns. This is a big yes too.

I couldn't care less about the Oscar hopes for either, and would prefer not to think about the Oscars at all for another, oh, six months or so?

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

YES and YES. Nice to see Vanessa Redgrave and Sela Ward in prestige projects.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I'm a "yes" to Foxcatcher for the solely shallow reason of wanting to see a slightly bulked up Ruffalo (and not the green kind).

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRichie

In the Gone Girl trailer, who is singing that version of 'She'? At the risk of putting my foot in it big-time, it sounds like Kermit the Frog!

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

I'm a yes on both films and an even bigger yes on Kermit the Frog singing Elvis Costello. Thanks, Edward L., I will dream of that!

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

I love that the Gone Girl trailer purposely keeps Amy a mysterious figure throughout -- we just get glimpses. Casting someone like Rosamund was really genius because the character is supposed to feel unfamiliar.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Gone Girl: maybe so. I was anticipating this (in spite of casting Affleck) but I was really disappointed by the trailer and its muddy colors. I think this might be a miss.

Foxcatcher: maybe more so than Gone Girl, on the basis of trailers. But SC is going to be irritating--too much of a "performance."

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachele

Yes and Yes. Why the fuck NOT?

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

I cannot wait to see noth of these

Pike always seemed like she was just needing that one role and Carrell just seems to be owning Foxcatcher but it's only a trailer and things look different one the whole is seen.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

Gone Girl: Maybe. I haven't loved a Fincher film. Affleck looks miscast and bad Looks Eastwood-somber.

Foxcatcher: Maybe. How generic is the sports side?

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Me34 - I've been a Chan fan since that Amanda Bynes movie he did so, yes. a big yes for me always.

Bia - you're so right. I wish more filmmakers would think outside the box for their leads.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yes to both ... Gone Girl was an excellent read

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterrick

So far, the major Oscar contenders I've seen are:
* NOAH - Production design, cinematography, visual effects and sound
* CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 - sound categories and visual effects (but AMPAS kinda doesn't like Marvel)

Not seen but released in film festival or in a very limited release:
* LOW DOWN - Actor & (Supporting)Actress (Hawkes & Fanning, Sundance was very receptive to their performances)
* WHIPLASH - Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, Screenplay (this year's Sundance big winner and Miles Teller is becoming a hot new star, that's always exciting)
* UNDER THE SKIN - Actress and maybe Cinematography (Johansson is living one of her career's best moments and it seems Glazer pulled a great performance from her)

Both FOXCATCHER and GONE GIRL are my two most antecipated movies of the year. GONE GIRL sounds specially intriguing...

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJake


Under the Skin: Best Cinematography? Maybe. Actress? Not with Lucy on the table. (Pop sci-fi has gotten some acting noms (see also: Aliens), but Under the Skin is art sci-fi, the latter of which which alienates most of the snotty upper-crust (which is also a fair bit of the Academy) AND the former alienates most action fans leaving only devout film lovers as the audience. (And even then, at least some of them could be completely turned off by the sexism inherent in the presentation of the concept.) At best, it helps the case for nominating her for her other film.)
Whiplash: I don't entirely buy it. It's an overexposed story template and it won't be able to keep up the heat all year in anything but Supporting Actor. Love is Strange is probably going to endure more in the long term.
Low Down: If Bradley Cooper could get nominated over him in 2012 (deserved, personally), I don't see how the far less interesting and mostly unimportant Joe Albany (drug addicted musician stories are also over-exposed, and unless they overstate the importance of "only white guy who played piano with Bird" (which would make it laughable, like John Cusack's Max, which contains the dialogue anti-gem "You're a hard man to like, Hitler") I don't see how it could even be interesting) will help matters for John Hawkes.

April 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Yes and Yes.
I do hope Redgrave has something exciting to do in Foxcatcher.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

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