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The Unusual Suspects - The 'Surprise' of the Season ?

  1. Wuthering Heights
      It might be surprising that I list this film here considering its remarkably Academy-friendly genre and source material BUT for some reason, Wuthering Heights isn't considered seriously for awards...or at least not just yet. Although the Venice Film Festival is two short months away, we still haven't seen a promotional still let alone any footage yet, so hopefully, that will change...SOON!
  2. The Door
      The source material – Magda Szabó's novel – is excellent, Helen Mirren will do wonders to the role of Emerence and Istvan Szabó has already proved that he is more than capable of directing a stunning female performance (Being Julia)...he also has an impressive body of work : Sunshine (Golden Globe bp-bd nominee), Meeting Venus (Golden Lion - contender), Colonel Redl (Oscar-nominee : best foreign language film), Mephisto (Oscar-winner : best foreign language film). The story is something between Driving Miss Daisy and Terms of Endearment...both won best picture...just saying.
  3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
      Pretty much everything about this screams Oscar but there is no buzz at the moment...although that might not be a problem, it still has months to get on the radar.
  4. Shame
      Hunger-reunion accompanied by Carey Mulligan ? Good enough for me...
  5. Albert Nobbs
      It might be all about Close, but then again, the story is VERY Oscary, so if Garcia exceeds our expectations, who knows how far this could go ?
  6. The Help
      Long story short : the Academy nominated The Blind Side in the best picture category, so The Help has a shot, as well.
  7. The Impossible
      It has an edgy director (Juan Antonio Bayona), two excellent actors (Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor) and a rather baity story (An account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time.)...could that be enough ?
  8. Contagion
      Soderbergh making an Oscar-comeback ? With a cast like this, it might just happen...although considering the Academy didn't go for Inception (they ignored Nolan's directing once again), their scifilitis might be more severe than we thought.
  9. Machine Gun Preacher
      Marc Forster is a solid director and based on the synopsis, this might just be right up the Academy's alley : The story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers.
  10. Bridesmaids
      Excellent reviews, excellent Bo Office, likeable HAS a shot...I mean, they gave BORAT (!) a script-nod !
  11. In the Land of Blood and Honey
      Angelina Jolie's directorial debut...IF she nailed it, it would be THE story of the season...but for now, that's a big IF.
  12. On the Road
      Will the young cast impress the critics ?
  13. W.E.
      Madonna wrote the screenplay...Madonna directed the film...BUT Abbie Cornish should be great and the Weinsteins bought it so there has to be some kind of Awards-potential...... right ?
  14. Drive
      Cannes embraced it...will the Academy do the same ?
  15. Dream House
      Jim Sheridan, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Daniel definitely looks good...ON PAPER!
  16. In Time
      Sci-fi...NOT good, when it comes to the Academy. But if it's TRULY excellent...then MAYBE.
  17. The Eye of the Storm
      Charlotte Rampling, Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis...the cast alone will be worth the ticket.
  18. 50 / 50
      Too early release date for a comedy contender?
  19. Salmon Fishing in Yemen
      Another 'under the rader' McGregor film with a baity premise : the story of Dr Alfred Jones, a fisheries scientist - for whom diary -notable events include the acquisition of a new electric toothbrush and getting his article on caddies fly larvae published in 'Trout and Salmon' - who finds himself reluctantly involved in a project to bring salmon fishing to the Highlands of the Yemen - a project that will change his life, and the course of British political history forever.
  20. Anonymous
      If it weren't for Roland Emmerich, it could be considered seriously in this „unseen phase "of the season ...but I just can't see it. If he pulls it off, it will be the biggest shocker of the season for me.

Honorable mentions
Peace, Love and Misunderstanding – If the Academy feels sentimental enough, this family dramedy starring Jane Fonda and Catherine Kenner, directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies), might just be a player after all. For some reason, I'm getting a 'straight-to-DVD' vibe, though...hopefully I'm completely wrong.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Another dramedy, one that stars the wonderful Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love).
Violet and Daisy – Could Geoffrey Fletcher break the curse of screenwriters-turned-directors ?
Like Crazy – Decent early word...fading buzz.
Killer Joe – Could William Friedkin - Academy Award-winning director of French Connection and The Exorcist – make an Oscar-comeback this year ?

Wouldn't be THAT surprising considering...
...the Weinstens AND Meryl the Great (The Iron Lady)
...Focus pulled off a succesful Oscar-campaign for a similiar film last year (Beginners)
...Reitman's last two films got picture-director-script-acting nominations (Young Adult)
...Lone Scherfig's previous film made the top10 WITHOUT a likeable movie star in the lead (One Day) received outstanding reviews and has a very 'Oscary' studio in its corner (Jane Eyre)'s Shakespeare...AND Fiennes...AND Redgrave...AND Logan (Coriolanus) was a big hit at the Cannes Film Festival (The Artist)'s a biopic starring Johhny Depp (The Rum Diary)
...Almodóvar is an Academy-favourite (The Skin I live in)
...its leads are remarkably popular, Academy Award-winning movie stars (Larry Crowne)

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