Oscar Season Preview: Part 2
Previously on The Argus, this dashingly handsome Arts Editor listed upcoming films likely to make the Oscar cut. Without further ado, here are some more of the most anticipated films of the season you won’t want to miss!
“Lincoln” (Nov. 9): This is the one movie this year that screams Oscar on all fronts. Directed by Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, written by Tony Kushner, and scored by John Williams, “Lincoln” has been in the works for almost a decade and now that it’s finally coming to the big screen, it will be sure to garner the attention of critics and movie-goers everywhere. Spielberg’s last cinematic outing, “War Horse,” felt like Disney was trying to produce an Oscar-blockbuster, and thus fell flat. His last decent films were “Catch Me If You Can” and “Minority Report.” However, let there be no doubt: “Lincoln” will likely restore Spielberg's place as one of the greatest directors of all time.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Dec. 14): While there are a good many other potential award-winning films coming out in November, nothing else is hyped with the paranoid-hysteria of “The Hobbit.” Another project that was in development for a hell of a while, “The Hobbit” is being helmed by Peter Jackson, who returns to Middle-Earth after a nice break following the critically acclaimed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. While the recent announcement that the planned two-film series was being extended into another trilogy has frightened many, there’s hopefully still enough magic in the story of Bilbo Baggins to reignite the love of critics and fans everywhere.
“Les Misérables” (Dec. 14): Fans of the musical can finally rejoice, for come December, theatergoers will enjoy a proper film adaptation of one of the greatest stories ever told on Broadway. While it’s usually a difficult feat to successfully direct a musical film, Tom Hooper was clearly the right choice for the job. The trailer alone has already created Oscar buzz for Anne Hathaway, and there has yet to be a screening for critics. Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe head the all-star cast, but the performance I am most looking forward to is Eddie Redmayne as student revolutionary Marius Pontmercy. Since I saw him on Broadway in 2009’s “Red,” I’ve been following Redmayne closely, waiting for him to land a role that will give him greater recognition. Don’t be surprised if his name starts coming up for Best Supporting Actor.
“Zero Dark Thirty” (Dec. 19): Leading the year for most controversial film, “Zero Dark Thirty” was originally going to be about the early search for Osama Bin Laden immediately following 9/11. Following the killing of Bin Laden in May of 2011, director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal scrapped their project and rewrote the entire film based on the mission to kill him. The writer-director combo reunites following their success with 2009’s Oscar Best Picture winner, “The Hurt Locker.” While the subject of the Middle East treads familiar ground, the content of the story carries with it a huge burden that could swing either way. Bigelow was reportedly given crucial information about the Bin Laden mission to help make the film as accurate as possible, which has stirred even more political controversy. For this reason and a multitude of others, “Zero Dark Thirty” has been scheduled for release after the election to avoid more bad press.
“Django Unchained” (Dec. 25): For many, the greatest gift this Christmas will be the release of Quentin Tarantino’s newest film, which is surely a cause of celebration among Wesleyan film freaks. It seems that Tarantino is staying in the realm of historical fiction, choosing as his setting the Deep South of America during the Civil War. Jamie Foxx stars as the titular Django, a slave freed by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), who asks him to help hunt down a pack of murderers. In return, Schultz will help Django free his wife from the villainous plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). DiCaprio playing a villain is all the convincing I need to buy a ticket for this gem. Expect the typical Oscar nominations for Tarantino: picture, writing, and directing.