Several films are already getting Oscar buzz. They include Les Miserables, Argo, Lincoln and The Master. It may seem early to talk about Academy Awards. However, it’s never too early when the films are first-rate and the actors are too. That seems the case with many of the films listed above.
There are a few other possibilities that belong in the list too. Those include Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and the very controversial Kathryn Bigelow film, Zero Dark Thirty.
The latter film has drawn early criticism because conspiracy theorists believe the White House leaked top-secret documents to the film director during the preparation stages of the movie. Many worry those documents may have helped lead to the deaths of Seal members involved in Osama Bin Laden’s capture and killing.
As for the latest Dark Knight film, as good as some believed it was, that got overshadowed by the tragedy that followed its premiÃ¨re in Colorado. Therefore, Academy members may opt to overlook the film out of respect for those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
Jackson is a favorite director going into the Oscars because his earlier Lord of the Rings trilogy performed so well. However, there is a major difference between that trilogy and the first in the Hobbit series. The latter is not as dark and ominous as its predecessor. It’s more playful, which might affect the voter’s thinking.
Buzz has it that Tom Hooper’s Les Mis may sweep a few categories. Whether that will include best director or best film, however, is unknown. Voters don’t always go for musicals, no matter how good they might be.
Ben Affleck is an up-and-coming director. That means his Argo could offer some real competition for those directors who usually take home all the prizes.
Of course, it is always a bad idea to count Steven Spielberg out. His Lincoln is drawing rave reviews. However, keep in mind that Oscar has managed to elude Spielberg on more than one occasion.
The real question is whether the summer blockbuster, The Avengers, will get any recognition at all. Sometimes when a movie is popular with the fans, the Academy thinks they’ve received enough accolades. Therefore, they ignore it at Oscar time. It could happen again.
Look for Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Daniel Day Lewis’s names among potential Oscar nominees. If they aren’t there then something is definitely wrong with the system.
Anthony Hopkins could sneak in there as well. He’ll play Alfred Hitchcock in the film Hitchcock. Leonardo DiCaprio could make the cut as well with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. Even Bill Murray stands a chance for a nomination, playing Franklin Roosevelt in Hyde Park on the Hudson.
Anne Hathaway may finally get the recognition she deserves as well. Not only was she good in Dark Knight Rises, but some insist her performance in Les Miserables is nothing less than breathtaking. Try as they might, the Academy can’t ignore the raven-haired actress forever.
Hathaway may gain competition from Anna Karenina’s Keira Knightley. There’s a long shot possibility Jennifer Lawrence could enter the fray too. However, it’s unlikely it will be for Hunger Games. Her nomination would probably come from Silver Linings Playbook, a film by David O. Russell.
Of course, all this is speculation until the nominations actually occur. The Academy has been known to go a completely different direction from the critics a time or two in the past. It’s called artistic freedom.