The Oscar Race Heats Up This Christmas Season

Edwin Pereyra

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Heads Up!
With the winter Olympics stretching into three weekends in February in Salt Lake City, some studios are avoiding that period and releasing their potential Oscar winning films in December instead. Variety notes that TV ratings are usually high for a US hosted Olympics.
With that, here is the slate of Oscar contender films with their scheduled release dates (subject to change):
December 7:
Michael Mann’s Ali
Steven Sorderbergh’s Ocean’s 11
December 14:
Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise
December 21:
Martin Scorcese’s Gangs Of New York
Frank Darabont’s The Majestic with Jim Carrey
Tuesday, December 25:
Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind with Russel Crowe and Ed Harris
Lasse Hallstrom’s The Shipping News with Kevin Spacey and Judy Dench
The Royal Tenenbaums with Gwenyth Paltrow, Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston
Films with no scheduled release dates as of yet and might go into limited release in December for Oscar qualification only with a wider release in January:
Robert Altman’s Gosford Park with Maggie Smith and Emily Watson
Irwin Winkler’s Life As A House with Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas
I Am Sam with Michelle Pfeifer and Sean Penn
Scott Hicks’ Heart In Atlantis with Anthony Hopkins
As always, one or two or more of the above films might fizzle. We’ll just have to wait and see.

~Edwin
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Robert Crawford

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Ocean's 11 as an Oscar contender? Which means this remake must be a helluva upgrade from the original!
Maybe, a good fun action flick but AA material, something, tells me I don't think so.

Crawdaddy
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Tino

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Id like to see my Top 3 films of 2001 so far, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Moulin Rouge and Memento, get some major Oscar nominations, but I doubt that they will. A few perhaps, but no Best Picture or Diretor. But hey, ya never know.

Of the films listed above, I will probably see most of them, but will be rooting for my paisan Martin Scorcese to finally get some Oscar recognition for Gangs Of New York, assuming it's a great film.
Also looking forward to Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky and Steven Soderbergh's Oceans 11.
Hopefully there is ONE truly great film in that bunch.
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Lou Sytsma

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Being a King fan I'm eagerly awaiting Anthony Hopkins in Hearts in Atlantis.

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Dominik Droscher

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What about "Lord of the Rings"? They have some decent actors, one of the greatest books of all time to work from and a director who cares for his material!

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David Oliver

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I am looking most forward to The Royal Tenenbaums. I beleive this is Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson's first collaboration since Rushmore.
 

Kevin Leonard

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The five winter films I'm most looking foward to:
The Royal Tenenbaums - C'mon, it's Wes Anderson's follow-up to Rushmore! How could you not want to see it? Add to that a great roster of actors (Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Tom & Owen Wilson and...ugh, Gywneth Paltrow), and you have a must see on your hands.
Ali - Gotta see it just out of curiousity. To see if Smith really can make one believe he IS Ali, and to see if Michael Mann can top his previous outing The Insider.
Hearts In Atlantis - As others have pointed out, the combination of Anthony Hopkins and Stephen King is just too strong a lure to ignore.
Gangs of New York - It's Martin Scorsese's latest. 'Nuff said.
Training Day - Though it sounds like a standard rookie-cop-being-trained-by-veteran-story, I've read this is supposed to be a very gritty, down and dirty film. Plus, it's not often one gets to see Denzel Washington being a badass.
Lord of the Rings--unless it's a total masterpiece that takes the world by the storm--will probably have to settle for Oscar noms for makeup, music, production design, costumes, editing, etc.
The film I hope that doesn't get neglected by the Academy is The Others; such an exquisite bright spot in the somewhat lackluster summer movie season.
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Aaron Hose

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I see Visual Effects nods for A.I. (along with nods for Art Direction, Costume Design, Original Score and Sound) JP3, and Lord of the Rings. If the Academy has any sense (which, I know, they very rarely do), Moulin Rouge will nab nods for Sound, Sound Effects Editing, Cinematograhpy, Costume Design, Film Editing, and Art Direction. Expect a Best Song nod for Shrek somewhere in there. What I'm really rooting for are Best Foreign Film and Best cinematography slots for The Road Home, and a Best Original Screenplay Oscar(period!) for Memento.

- A.
[Edited last by Aaron Hose on August 15, 2001 at 12:26 PM]
 

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Aaron Hose

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quote: it's an adaptation[/quote]
Fine. Be that as it may, I'd still give the darn thing (the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar) to Memento!!! Can't beat it...

- A.
PS: You're right about "Shrek"...
[Edited last by Aaron Hose on August 15, 2001 at 10:16 PM]
 

Edwin Pereyra

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What I'm really rooting for are Best Foreign Film and Best cinematography slots for The Road Home...
I'm not quite sure how the Academy is going to treat this film. It was released in its home country in 1999 but only made it here this year. They may or may not consider it as a 2001 film. We'll just have to see but I hear what you are saying though.
~Edwin
 

Seth Paxton

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Edwin, I think the FFilm nomination year has a lot to do with when the country chooses to submit it, although I'm not 100% on that. It might be that they can slip them by a year, but I'm not sure.
Most likely the 5 nominees will be films that we will see around November 2002.

My outside money is on The Royal Tenenbaums. Anderson and Murray got good buzz around Rushmore. Not enough to score with that picture, but enough to make people feel a bit guilty.
Gangs of NY...a LOT depends on just how rough the shooting went and how much Leo brings to the table. He's got tons of talent, but he needs the effort to show it.
Forget screenplay, I think a decent push should be made for Guy Pearce to get an actor nod. I think if anyone steps up and champions the picture he could get one. But that looks to be a big "if" right now.
Let's not forget Black Hawk Down. Finally JB is tied in with material right up his instinctive testosterone alley. I've heard the script is pretty good.
Ali REALLY hangs on Smith's shoulders and I think it's a tough burden to bear. You never know though.
Maybe Crowe can get in with some guilt voting with Vanilla Sky, or maybe it will just be flat out good enough.
So far I have seen a few pictures that should get AA talk - Moulin Rouge (several in editing, art, etc), Memento (2-3 I would think), A.I. (at least art direction or visual effects), The Pledge (I think Jack could make the field with this one, screenplay could be considered as well).
Moulin Rouge has a possible best song, especially considering that it's an "anchor" song for the film, tied in with one of the most emotional moments.
I also like The Mexican's score and could see that nominated.
I see very little for Shrek come Oscar time. But then it already got it's reward in terms of a big fat payday. Not a bad thing for a film focused on entertaining only.
 

Edwin Pereyra

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Edwin, I think the FFilm nomination year has a lot to do with when the country chooses to submit it, although I'm not 100% on that. It might be that they can slip them by a year, but I'm not sure.
Yes, it would be interesting to find out. If it is as you say then it wouldn't be fair as the filmmakers are able to gauge the competition and choose not to submit it until a year or two later when there is less competition thus a higher chance of winning, which would not be a good practice. I still think that it should qualify only in the year it is originally released in its home country. The filmmakers either submit it that year or they don't at all.
~Edwin
 

Jason Seaver

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The filmmakers don't submit their film; the country itself does via a "film office" or their equivelent of the AMPAS. Which is why In The Mood For Love didn't even get submitted last year; Taiwan chose Crouching Tiger to represent it.
I say, use the same rules for foreign films as with American films - first LA County release.
 

Edwin Pereyra

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Yes you are right. When I said "submit" it is actually the country itself that does. This would make The Road Home less likely to be submitted for 2001. I can now see other filmmakers in Taiwan protesting over this because in their homeland it is a 1999 film and should have been considered then.
As for last year, Taiwan also passed over Yi Yi in favor of CTHD.
~Edwin
 

Jason Seaver

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It might also make it impossible for The Road Home to be submitted - I'm not totally up to speed on the Acadamy's arcane qualification rules, but I've never heard of a movie being submitted for a Best Foreign Language Film nomination in a year other than that of its initial release.
The Road Home should still qualify for the main categories, though, if its US distributor wishes to pursue them.
 

James_Kiang

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Various comments here:
- I loved Moulin Rouge. So far, it has been my favorite film of the summer and since I haven't seen some of the other highly-touted films yet (Memento, Harry, etc.) I would even go so far as to say it has been my favorite movie of the year (sorry, I don't hold A.I. in high regard). All that being said, I don't think it will get much recognition by the Academy. Best Song nom probably, but not much more than that.
- While we are prognosticating and speaking our opinions, let me just go ahead and make the unpopular statement that I don't think A.I. deserves major nominations. However, if the rest of the year is pretty soft it could sneak in there.
- Some of the films mentioned in this thread I feel are going to be entertaining movies but I don't think they will be seriously considered for nominations. Specifically, I am talking about Ocean's 11 and Vanilla Sky - both of which I am eagerly anticipating.
- Last one
. Something I am surprised no one else has mentioned just yet is the Best Animated Film category. Looks like Shrek has that one locked up unless Monsters Inc does some major business. Atlantis disappointed box-office wise and that tends to hurt the chances of being nominated in the general category so I expect the same here (also, haven't seen it). Final Fantasy is one I bet most people would have thought would be right there but I don't know.
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Rob Willey

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I guess I'm a little confused about the original post. To be eligible for Oscar consideration, films have to be released by the end of the year anyway, so I'm not sure what the Olympics in February has to do with it.
Is it that these films are going into wide release immediately in December as opposed to the usual practice of opening them in NY/LA for a week and then opening them wide in the new year??
If so, this is real good news for those of us outside NY and LA!
Rob
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