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Oscar Watch: What To Look For Before The Big Night

For those who love and appreciate film, it is an unspoken creed that it is never too early to create Oscar buzz. Although the biggest night in cinema isn’t until February 26 of 2012, there is a wide variety of literature and media surrounding Academy Award predictions.

What makes this hype interesting is that many of the movies discussed haven’t even been released yet. In this case, many of the forecasts are predominantly based on director, cast, genre, trailer, or any combination of those four factors.

The biggest factor, at this stage, however, is how certain films faired at various film festivals. The Cannes International Film Festival and The Toronto International Film Festival are considered some of the biggest platforms for filmmakers. These festivals typically lead to legitimate critical reception from top critics as well as audiences.

With this in mind, the predictions for this year’s Academy Awards are fruitful and span a multitude of genres and styles. Already, there have been prophecies for best director and best actor/actress. The coveted award for “best picture” still remains unclear.

In the best actor category, most of the hype is synonymous. George Clooney is gaining recognition, especially from the film festival crowd, for his performance in The Ides of March, opening everywhere October 7.

Co-stars Gosling and Clooney at the “The Ides of March” premiere.

In addition to Clooney, The Ides of March co-star, Ryan Gosling, is continuing to make waves. Gosling stars in the highly stylized, well-reviewed Drive, which opened in September.

It also appears likely that Leonardo DiCaprio may be a strong contender, as he stars in the period drama J. Edgar, which has yet to be released.

French actor Jean Dujarin, lesser known to Americans, has been recognized for his performance at the Cannes International Film festival for his role in The Artist. Because of this, he is also being reviewed as a frontrunner for best actor.

Other predictions for best actor include America’s “Sweetheart,” Brad Pitt in Moneyball, Michael Fassbender in Shame, and Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

The best actress category appears to offer a ripe selection. Although it hasn’t been released yet, there are notions that Meryl Streep will win for The Iron Lady. This is clearly based on the fact that she is Meryl Streep; her name, to many, is credibility enough.

From what audiences have seen, however, Viola Davis from The Help has received positive reviews and should not be overlooked in the best actress category.

Other possibilities include Kirsten Dunst, who won best actress at Cannes for her performance in Melancholia. Audiences and critics also have their eye on Michelle Williams, who plays Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn.

Dunst in “Melancholia”

As far as best director, there still appears to be a wide range of contenders. There is Oscar buzz surrounding powerhouse Steven Spielberg for his picture War Horse, which opens on Christmas. Audiences seem to believe that the combination of Spielberg and “war film” create a guaranteed spot for him concerning nominations.

Other possibilities include Terrence Malick for the experimental Tree of Life, Steve Mcqueen for Shame, and Stephen Daldry for the film adaptation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Still from “Tree of Life”

It is important to note that these predictions will alter as more films are released and as Oscar Season approaches. It will be interesting to observe which predictions will materialize, and which ones will ultimately fail to make impressions.

Sources:
http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/09/07/oscar-2012-nominations-predictions-… http://www.firstshowing.net/2011/cannes-film-festival-2011-winners-tree-… http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/awards-campaign/posts/84th-academy-awards-st… www.imdb.com http://www.indiewire.com/article/2012_oscar_predictions/

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