It's almost past time for the April Foolish Oscar Predi -- SIGH...
Okay, yes, kids. I'm behind. Before we get started on the April Foolish Oscar Predictions which have somehow migrated to May, I'd like your input a wee bit. Please peruse my list of films to watch out for in one to nineteen ways after the jump and let me know if I'm missing any you've heard about or are excited for. I don't want to post anything official if I'm stupidly forgetting a film somewhere.
Why do I say "one to nineteen" ways?
Well that's how many feature film Oscar categories there are if you ignore, for the time being, the documentary and foreign film categories which have different rules and which we don't make year-in-advance predictions for. Technically there are 21 feature film specific categories (the 3 shorts categories make the Oscar 24) but no film could be eligible in all of them since there are competing categories like Original and Adapted Screenplay. What's more, a film that could theoretically qualify for all three "special" feature prizes (Foreign Film / Animated / Documentary) like a Waltz With Bashir is never going to be nominated for all three and find itself eligible for acting prizes and craft categories.
I'm being silly and splitting hairs, but that's what makes Oscar talk fun. The most categories, by my count, that any film has ever been eligible for was Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000). Think about it. The Ang Lee wuxia classic had lead and supporting actors of both sexes AND an original song, many visual effects and it was released regularly in US theaters while being submitted by its home country Taiwan for foreign film consideration in the same year. Theoretically it was eligible for 18 categories. 18!!! But that was a very special case and it ended its run with 10 nominations and 4 statues. The most categories English language films can be eligible for is 17 and the most categories any film ever competed in was Titanic with 14 (missing only the male acting categories and a screenplay citation). All About Eve also won 14 nominations, as we discussed earlier this year when we pitted them against each other in an imaginary Oscar-off, but that film doubled up in both Actress categories so it only really competed in 12 categories.
Am I stalling?
Here's the List of Films We're Looking at for 2014. Let me know if I've forgotten anything in the comments.
FILMS OF 2014 AMPAS MIGHT CONSIDER
for categories much discussed and/or below the line
ANNIE - remake of the musical
BEGIN AGAIN - formerly "Can a Song Save Your Life" music industry dramedy
BIG EYES - Tim Burton does his first biopic since Ed Wood. With Amy Adams
BIRDMAN - Innaritu goes comic (darkly so at least). With Michael Keaton as a washed up actor who once played a famous superhero. Hmmm.
BLOOD TIES -actor/director Gulliame Canet (Tell No One) directs his girlfriend Marion Cotillard in this crime drama with Clive Owen
BOYHOOD -Richard Linklater's 12 years in the making family drama (reviewed)
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER - though they ignored him last time
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES -though they ignored them last time
DARK PLACES - Charlize Theron as a woman who survived the brutal murder of her family as a child
THE DROP -with Tom Hardy. Based on Dennis Lehane's "Animal Rescue"
EDGE OF TOMORROW - Tom Cruise & Emily Blunt team up. Scifi Action
ELEANOR RIGBY - Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy break apart from both perspectives. This was once two regular-length films. Looks like they're conjoining it in a new edit. Here's the review of the original cut(s)
END OF THE TOUR Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace. From James Ponsoldt (indie director on the rise)
EXODUS: GODS & KINGS - Ridley Scott's biblical epic with Christian Bale
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD - Remake of the 60s Julie Christie film. With Carey Mulligan
FOXCATCHER - true bizarre story of Olympics, wrestling, and murder
FURY - Brad Pitt and younger male stars in a tank in WW II
THE GAMBLER - Mark Wahlberg and fine actresses in a remake of the James Caan film
GET ON UP - James Brown biopic. With Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in support
THE GIVER - YA Dystopia. That's going around. But this one's got Streep & Bridges
GODZILLA - high end remake of the monster movie classic. Amazing cast
GONE GIRL - David Fincher with another dark thriller. With Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.
GRACE OF MONACO - Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly. Cannes Opening Night. Final cut issues
GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - Wes Anderson's hit. They've mostly ignored his others
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - Marvel goes to outerspace. But it's still a superhero film and they don't really care for those...
THE HOBBIT 3 - Because they keep nominating them (sigh)
THE HOMESMAN - Western with Hilary Swank & Tommy Lee Jones
THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY - Lasse Halström directs Helen Mirren in this restaurateur drama
HUNGER GAMES 3 - Though they ignored the others
IMITATION GAME -Benedict Cumberbatch in a WWII drama / bio
THE IMMIGRANT - James Gray's handsome period drama about a woman, a pimp, and a magician
INHERENT VICE - P.T. Anderson adapted the Thomas Pynchon novel. With Joaquin Phoenix
INTERSTELLAR - Chris Nolan returns with an original about space travel. With Matthew McConaughey
INTO THE WOODS - Rob Marshall's adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's fairytale musical
JERSEY BOYS -Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the Broadway musical
THE JUDGE - Robert Downey Jr in a legal drama
JUPITER ASCENDING - Another crazy ass spectacle from the Wachowski Siblings
KILL THE MESSENGER - Jeremy Renner takes on the CIA. From the director of L.I.E.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS - Adaptation of the great Off Broadway musical. With Anna Kendricks
A LITTLE CHAOS - Kate Winslet & Stanley Tucci competing for King Louis XIV's favor in this period drama from Alan Rickman
LOST RIVER - Ryan Gosling's directorial debut about a surreal underworld (formerly "How To Catch a Monster") With Christina Hendricks
LOVE IS STRANGE - Gay senior drama. With John Lithgow & Alfred Molina (reviewed)
LOW DOWN -music biopic with John Hawkes as a drug addict
LUCY -Scarlett Johansson gains incredible powers in this actioner
MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT - Woody Allen's latest, a period comedy with Colin Firth
MAPS TO THE STARS -Cronenberg's Hollywood satire. With Julianne Moore
MALEFICENT - Angelina Jolie as everyone's favorite Disney villain
THE MAZE RUNNER -YA sci-fi with Teen Wolf's breakout star
McFARLAND Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country) directs Kevin Costner in a sports drama
MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN Jason Reitman again (he's prolific). Ensemble dramedy
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL - Jeff Nichols (Mud) returns with Michael Shannon in supernatural drama
MILLION WAYS TO DIE... - Seth MacFarlane directs a Western Comedy
MISS JULIE Liv Ullman directs Jessica Chastain in this Strindberg stage classic
MOJAVE - Desert set thriller with Oscar Isaac & Garrett Hedlund
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR - Jessica Chastain & Oscar Isaac in a NYC thriller set in 1981. From JC Chandor (All is Lost)
MUPPETS MOST WANTED - another musical from everyone's favorite felt critters
MR. TURNER - Mike Leigh returns with Timothy Spall as an eccentric painter
NIGHTCRAWLER - Jake Gyllenhaal gets super skinny in this crime drama
NOAH - Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic with Russell Crowe
PADDINGTON - An adaptation of the children's tale. Nicole Kidman is the bear's nemesis
PAWN SACRIFICE - Edward Zwick's Bobby Fischer biopic. With Tobey Maguire
QUEEN OF THE DESERT -Werner Herzog directs Kidman in the biopic of Gertrud Bell
ROSEWATER Jon Stewart turns to directing! Gael García Bernal stars as a tortured journalist
THE SEARCH - Michel Hazanavicious (The Artist) remakes the Monty Clift post war drama
SERENA - Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence in bestseller period drama. If they ever release it.
SIN CITY 2 - Though they ignored the first one...
SNOWPIERCER - Boon Jong-Ho's acclaimed scifi dystopia with an all star cast and final cut issues
STARRED UP - Prison drama. With 2014's probably breakout star Jack O'Connell (reviewed)
SUITE FRANCAISE - Michelle Willliams and Matthias Schoenaerts in this WW II French Village drama
ST. VINCENT -Young boy befriended by eccentric neighbor. With Bill Murray
TAMMY - Melissa McCarthy road trip comedy. With Susan Sarandon
THEORY OF EVERYTHING - Stephen Hawking biopic with Eddie Redmayne
TRANSFORMERS 4 - Because they keep nominating them... (sigh)
TRACKS - Mia Wasikowska trekking through the desert. From John Curran
TRASH - Oscar magnet Stephen Daldry directs a drama about... I can't sum it up in one line
TRUE STORY - Jonah Hill stars in this journalist stolen identity drama
TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT - The Dardenne Bros and a desperately poor Marion Cotillard
TWO FACES OF JANUARY - Adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith thriller
UNBROKEN - Angelina Jolie's WWII prestige drama starring Jack O'Connell
THE WATER DIVINER - Russell Crowe directs and stars in this period drama about a man searching for his missing sons post Gallipoli
WHIPLASH - Sundance smash with Miles Teller as a drummer and J.K. Simmons as his father
WILD - Jean Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) directs Reese Witherspoon in this hiking drama based on a bestseller
X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST - the mutant gangs all back. Not that Oscar has ever cared...
AMERICAN ANIMATED FILMS
(the foreign & indie ones are hard to predict this early in terms of when they're finished / arriving.)
BIG HERO 6 - Marvel and Disney team up to create an original superhero team
BOOK OF LIFE - Guillermo del Toro produced romantic animated film which takes place during the day of the dead. Wasn't Pixar doing something on that topic, too?
THE BOXTROLLS - Laika Animation and they're the new Pixar their quality is so consistent
HOME - Dreamworks animation about an alien
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 - sequel to the oscar nominated fantasy
THE LEGO MOVIE - massive hit with an original song possibility
MR PEABODY & SHERMAN - already opened but in a year without a Pixar release the category is wide open
RIO 2 - colorful birds again but in a year without a Pixar (repeat)
CAROL - Todd Haynes directs lesbian drama based on a Patricia Highsmith novel. With Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Sarah Paulson
EVEREST - Jake Gyllenhaal in mountain climbing adventure
GENIUS - Colin Firth as a legendary book editor. With Nicole Kidman & Jude Law
MACBETH -Fassbender & Cotillard are the evil royals in this Shakespearean adaptation. Oscar isn't usually too keen on Shakespeare but you never know...
SUFFRAGETTE - All star period drama about the womens' rights. Carey Mulligan headlines.