October 16, 2011

THE STATUETTE STAKES: The Contenders (Part 3)


Today we wind up SHOWBUZZDAILY‘s introduction of this year’s most promising Oscar contenders (see Part 1 here and Part 2 here, looking at those that could be called Also Eligible–they’re hoping just to get in the race.

Also Eligible

SHAME (Fox Searchlight – Dec. 2)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated:  11/1
Bookie odds to win:  33/1
Good Bet: Nobody who’s seen this very serious film about sexuality will forget it anytime soon.  Michael Fassbinder is art-house flavor of the month, Carey Mulligan is an awards magnet, and the NC-17 rating guarantees plenty of attention.
Bad Bet: A difficult, polarizing piece of work that may not be up the Academy’s alley.
LIKE CRAZY (Paramount – Oct. 28)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated:  12/1
Bookie odds to win:  33/1
Good Bet: This year’s Sundance darling.  One of the very rare films to tackle the ups and downs of romance believably.
Bad Bet:  Sundance was a looooong time ago.  A lot of people hate the ending.  Perhaps because it doesn’t have subtitles, some critics consider it insubstantial.

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (Weinstein – Nov. 23)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated:  14/1
Bookie odds to win:  25/1
Good Bet:  General acclaim for Michelle Williams as Monroe.  Harvey moved it from early November to super-competitive Thanksgiving weekend, so he’s not lacking in confidence.
Bad Bet:  Feels like more of an acting category push than Best Picture.
THE IDES OF MARCH (Sony – Released Oct. 7)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated: 15/1
Bookie odds to win:  10/1
Good Bet:  A weighty subject, strong cast, and everyone loves Clooney.
Bad Bet:  The Descendants will get the bulk of the Clooney love.  The reviews were favorable but not raves.  Although its low budget should make it profitable, the picture doesn’t seem to have ignited the zeitgeist.

IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY (FilmDistrict – Dec. 23)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated:  17/1
Bookie odds to win:  off the board
Good Bet: Director Angelina Jolie guarantees huge press attention.  Subjects don’t come more serious than sexual politics amid the carnage of Bosnia.
Bad Bet:  Buzz says a heavy, depressing sit with lots of script issues.  Shame may steal the season’s sexuality thunder.
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (Paramount/DreamWorks – Dec. 21)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated:  20/1
Bookie odds to win:  off the board
Good Bet:  Spielberg and Peter Jackson blazing new trails in fantasy and technology!  Initial reviews from overseas (where it opens 2 months earlier) are raves.
Bad Bet:  War Horse exists.  At least in the trailer, those damn motion capture humans still look creepy.

ANONYMOUS (Sony – Oct. 28)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated:  24/1
Bookie odds to win:  off the board
Good Bet:  Shakespeare In Love was very much the Academy’s cup of tea.
Bad Bet:  This one lacks the romance, the humor and the charming lead performers.  Roland Emmerich as an Oscar nominee?
WE BOUGHT A ZOO (20th Century Fox – Dec. 23)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated:  30/1
Bookie odds to win:  40/1
Good Bet:  A crowd-pleaser from Cameron Crowe that could put his career back on track.  Star performances from Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church.  Look, adorable animals!
Bad Bet: Buzz is that it’s better than Marley & Me, but not by as much as you’d think.  You need to read the credits to realize it’s a Crowe picture.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (PART 2) (Warner Bros – Released July 15)
SHOWBUZZDAILY odds to be nominated:  40/1
Bookie odds to win:  50/1
Good Bet:  The well-received final chapter of the most successful movie franchise in history.  The last Lord of the Rings bathed in Oscar glory.
Bad Bet:  The entire LOTR saga was directed by Peter Jackson, so it felt like a more unified artistic work.  Timing is no ally:  the LOTR films opened at Christmas, and their phenomenal success unfolded just as the Academy was making its choices; Hallows will be out on homevideo in a few weeks.  Warners has J. Edgar and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on its Oscar plate.  The filmmakers will just have to be content with their billions.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."