Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone has used a list from EW‘s Dave Karger of potential award-season contenders that will bow in Toronto as a kind of stalking-horse diving board….BUMP!…BUMP-bump-bump-buh-buh-buh!…so she can post a second list of potential Toronto stand-outs. And here I am running both their lists and going “okay, maybe, maybe, yes, naaah, maybe, no way!” and so on.
Karger’s Toronto contenders: Anna Karenina, Argo, Cloud Atlas, Hyde Park on Hudson, The Impossible, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Sessions, The Silver Linings Playbook, To the Wonder, Rust and Bone.
HE responses: Karenina‘s cup runneth over, abounding with the right choices and buffings as director Joe Wright does Tolstoy proud but…but!…the odds suggest only one heavyweight period drama will be Best Picture nominated, and that’ll be Les Miserables. There’s no reason to suspect or presume that Ben Affleck and Argo won’t be looking very good after Toronto (and perhaps after Telluride), but it’s a plot-driven “escape from Iran” movie and I wonder what kind of thematic undercurrent it’ll contain. Festival huzzahs for Cloud Atlas , of course, but it’s not, I’m sensing, up the Academy’s 62 year-old white male alley. Hyde Park on Hudson feels more like a performance thing (i.e., Laura Linney). JA Bayona‘s The Impossible, I’ve been told, is a much better film than most people realize at this stage, and is thus looking like potential Best Picture material. To The Wonder = Terrence Potrzebie. The Sessions (which I’ve seen) is an acting thing. The Silver Linings Playbook, I’m told, is primarily an acting thing. I know nothing about The Place Beyond The Pines beyond the vague aroma of indie downeritude. Rust and Bone is an acting thing (i.e., Marion Cotillard).
Sasha’s “Okay But What About These?” List: Mike Newell‘s Great Expectations. (HE response: possible critical respect, no Oscar play). Dustin Hoffman‘s Quartet. (HE response: neutral.) Thomas Vinterberg‘s The Hunt. (HE response: Not good enough.) The Sapphires. (HE response: First half is very winning, but pic is nowhere near substantial enough for award season.) Billy Bob Thornton‘s Jayne Mansfield’s Car. (HE response: Berlin reviews were respectful but not ecstatic.) Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado About Nothing. (HE response: A “look what I can do in my spare time” movie.) Stuart Blumberg‘s Thanks for Sharing (HE response: Neutral.) Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini‘s Imogen. (HE response: Neutral.) Mira Nair‘s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (HE response: No Kate Hudson film will EVER stir awards talk.) Blumberg’s Thanks for Sharing. (HE response: neutral.) Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha. (HE response: All hail Baumbach.)