Because 2011 already arrived for movies (after the awards season was over), it should be noted that there are already Oscar hopefuls around. Here is an alphabetical list of films to watch out:
50/50 – Dir: Jonathan Levine ; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
- Though the director’s resume isn’t really impressive, it’s the ever promising Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the wonderful Anna Kendrick. And cancer? Seems like a bait.
Albert Nobbs – Dir: Rodrigo Garcia ; Mia Wasikowska, Glenn Close, Jonathan Rhys Myers, Aaron Johnson
- Period film. Wasikowska’s in her peak now. Glenn Close is back in the movies! Would this give her the overdue Oscar that she deserves?
At Swim-Two-Birds – Dir: Brendan Gleeson ; Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, Jonathan Rhys Myers
- FASSBENDER PACKAGE. Quite a weird concept. Actor turned director.
The Beaver – Dir: Jodie Foster ; Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Lawrence, Anton Yelchin
- Actor turned director. Jennifer Lawrence. Drama may work so well.
Beginners – Dir: Mike Mills ; Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent
- Cancer and homosexuality. Oscarphilic and Oscarphobic themes together. Which will resonate more?
Certified Copy – Dir: Abbas Kiarostami ; Juliette Binoche, William Shimell
- Binoche won the Cannes. It is already out. Can the Cannes help her get her much deserved Oscar nom (an possibly, win?) the same way that gave Bardem his Oscar nom last year?
The Conspirator – Dir: Robert Redford ; James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Robin Wright
- Period piece. Strong cast. Definitely an Oscar contender.
Contagion – Dir: Steven Soderbergh ; Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow
- Looks like high concept. But look at the cast! All Oscar winners/nominees!
Coriolanus – Dir: Ralph Fiennes ; Gerald Butler, Ralph Fiennes, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain
- Period piece. Actor turned director. Fiennes and Redgrave = OSCAR.
A Dangerous Method – Dir: David Cronenberg ; Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley
- FASSBENDER PACKAGE. Cronenberg+ Mortensen = critical success. Oscar love? Maybe.
The Debt – Dir: John Madden ; Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain
- Traces of Shakespeare in Love. The Dame is here. Made a wise move of avoiding the tight race of films last year. Definitely in contention.
The Descendants – Dir: Alexander Payne ; George Clooney, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges
- Sounds like a big drama. Grief clicks with the Academy, for most of the time.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Dir: David Fincher ; Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer
- Who doesn’t trust Fincher? And Mara’s so promising since we saw her in The Social Network.
Hugo Cabret – Dir: Martin Scorsese ; Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer
- Scorsese never makes a false movie. That’s a guarantee.
The Iceman – Dir: Ariel Vromen ; James Franco, Benicio del Toro, Michael Shannon
- Serial killer? Not really the Academy’s taste. But look at the cast!
The Ides of March – Dir: George Clooney ; George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman
- Actor turned director. Another political drama from Clooney. The cast.
The Impossible – Dir: Juan Antonio Bayona ; Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts
- McGregor’s really busy this year! Catastrophe sometimes do well with awards.
The Iron Lady – Dir: Phyllida Lloyd ; Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent
- Meryl Streep in her sure 17th nomination. British biopic. The Queen? The King’s Speech? Accent!
Jane Eye – Dir: Cary Fukunaga ; Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender
- FASSBENDER PACKAGE. Mia’s promising career. She’s in demand. Already released and really did well with the critics, but can it maintain the steam for the whole year?
Larry Crowne – Dir: Tom Hanks ; Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts
- Actor turned director. Hanks + Roberts = 3 Oscars. It resembles Eat Pray Love in some ways, but who cares?
The Lincoln Lawyer – Dir: Brad Furman ; Mtthew McConaughey, Ryan Philippe, Marisa Tomei
- Already did well with the critics. Can it maintain the steam given that courtroom drama is already for TV nowadays?
Midnight in Paris – Dir: Woody Allen ; Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates
- Woody Allen with an Oscar cast. Can he regain the trust with this?
One Day – Dir: Lone Scherfig ; Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson
- Lone Scherfig was great in An Education. The three stars are definitely trustworthy. We would just wait if this will work.
Perfect Sense – Dir: David Mackenzie ; Ewan McGregor, Eva Green
- It is getting the buzz. Drama-romance-sci fi – would it work?
Shame – Dir: Steve McQueen ; Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan
- FASSBENDER PACKAGE. He and McQueen were so great in Hunger. Add Mulligan and you’ve got a great movie. Well, I really hope so.
The Tree of Life – Dir: Terrence Malick ; Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
- This is the most anticipated movie of the year. Since 2009, everybody sees it as a sure contender. And it really looks like it will be
Trust – Dir: David Schwimmer ; Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Viola Davis
- Controversial and TIMELY subject. Trio of Oscar nominees. TIMELY.
War Horse – Dir: Steven Spielberg ; David Thewlis, Emily Watson
- WAR. SPIELBERG. Definitely in the race.
Water for Elephants – Dir: Francis Lawrence ; Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz
- Maybe too sweet. And given that we have the Twilight star here. But it could work.
There are a lot of other movie which are definitely in the race, but they’re too many that I can’t type about them all. Here are they (in alphabetical order):
- 5 Days of August – starring Rupert Friend. War normally does the work with awards.
- The 13 Women of Nanjing – starring Christian bale. Period piece. Afterglow from Bale.
- Americana – starring Kate Winslet. Period piece. War. Two Oscar winners.
- The Bang Bang Club – starring Ryan Philippe. True story. Apartheid.
- Beautiful Boy – starring Michael Sheen. Grief. Divorce. Timely subject (mass murder in school).
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – starring Judi Dench. British drama. British dame. There you have it – marriage with Oscars.
- Black Gold – starring Antonio Banderas. Period piece.
- Brighton Rock – starring Helen Mirren. British drama. British dame. Great reviews overseas. Could be a big contender.
- Butter – starring Hugh Jackman. Period and comedy. Could be too sweet, but it could work.
- The Convincer – starring Billy Crudup. Drama. Maybe the concept is too small for a movie, but weirdly though, I also said that to The King’s Speech (though they’re completely different).
- The Cup – starring Brendan Gleeson. Sports drama sometimes do well.
- The Deep Blue Sea – starring Rachel Weisz. Is this a period drama? Because if it is, then it may work.
- The Devil’s Double – starring Dominic Cooper. This must be a political film (or is it?) About Saddam Hussein’s son.
- Die Blutgräfin – starring Tilda Swinton. Who won’t expect anything from Tilda.
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – starring Sandra Bullock. It’s Stephen Daldry’s 4th directorial job and his previous 3 films all gave him Best Director nom. Would this give his 4th? Also, it’s about 9/11.
- The Eye of the Storm – starring Charlotte Rampling. She chooses her time to die? Weird, but could make a Best Actress contender.
- Hanna – starring Saoirsie Ronan and Cate Blanchett. Thriller.
- The Help – starring Emma Stone. Period piece.
- Here – starring Ben Foster. Drama.
- The Ledge – starring Terrence Howard. Religious thriller.
- Like Crazy – starring Anton Yelchin. Long distance romance drama.
- Little Birds – starring Kate Bosworth. Road drama.
- London Boulevard – starring Colin Farrell. Crime thriller resembling Public Enemies.
- Margaret – starring Anna Paquin. Drama about grief and guilt.
- Margin Call – starring Kevin Spacey. Financial thriller.
- Martha Marcy May Marlene – starring Elizabeth Olsen. Drama about cult.
- Meek’s Cutoff – starring Michelle Williams. Period piece.
- Melancholia – starring Kirsten Dunst. Sci-fi from Lars von Trier.
- Miral – starring Frieda Pinto. Britsh drama.
- My Week With Marilyn – starring Michelle Williams. Drama resembling Me and Orson Welles.
- On the Road – starring Kristen Stewart. Adventure drama.
- Oranges and Sunshine – starring Emily Watson. British drama.
- Rampant – starring Sigourney Weaver. Crime drama.
- Real Steel – starring Hugh Jackman. Too high concept? This would either work or not.
- Restless – starring Mia Wasikowska. War drama about WWII.
- Salmon Fishing in Yemen – starring Ewan McGregor. Drama.
- Salvation Boulevard – starring Perce Brosnan. Drama about religious war.
- The Skin I Live In – starring Pedro Almodovar. Revenge drama.
- Twixt Now and Sunrise – starring Francis Ford Coppola. Do I need to explain?
- We Bought A Zoo – starring Matt Damon. Comedy drama.
- We Need to Talk About Kevin – starring Tilda Swinton. This must be a hard drama from Tilda. But John C. Reilly? I haven’t seen him in drama yet.
- The Whistleblower – starring Rachel Weisz. Drama about scandal.
- Win Win – starring Paul Giamatti. Sundance hit.
- Young Adult – starring Patrick Wilson. Jason Reitman in his 4th? Would this bring him another Oscar nom?
So, there you go! Which of these movies do you expect to do well with the awards?