(On paper, 'The Update' will be a monthly thing give or take a few days.)
Midnight in Paris is bound to become the highest grossing Woody Allen-film of all time (if we ignore tiny factors like inflation and overall attendance), it will probably end up over 100M worldwide; add the outstanding reviews + feel-good factor, and we might just have „the comedy” in this year's Best Picture category.
The Tree of Life was supposed to divide critics but it didn't, it was universally praised, it IS doing excellent arthouse-business at the moment, has a shot at a decent worlwide total and of course the Palme d'Or looks good on its imaginary CV, as well. Malick – just like Woody Allen – might just have the industry support to pull off that crucial 5% of No1 votes...
Super 8 is doing remarkably well : it received good to great reviews (several raves) and people seem to be very enthusiastic about it, it also has the kind of emotional ending the Academy tends to appreciate. The fact that it became a Box Office-hit despite the lack of stars and a relatively low-budget (by tentpole-standars), definitely helps, too. In the 'old' 10-slot-system, it could have gotten in easily, but this new rule might have crushed its best picture-hopes. It has to get 5 % No1 votes and that will be tricky because A) the Academy isn't big on sci-fi-s and B) even if they love Spielberg, he has two other Oscar-contenders this year and they might go with those.
Beginners could be another 'The Kids are all right' for Focus, if they play their cards right : it received excellent reviews and will be a decent arthouse-hit, as well. The new rule might have been fatal in this case, as well, BUT Christopher Plummer and the original screenplay could still have viable shots at this.
Bridesmaids is the breakout comedy of 2011, the shockingly strong Box Office and the surprisingly positive reviews definitely put it on the map...having said that, if The Hangover didn't make the cut in the classic 10-slot-system, Bridesmaids probably won't even have a shot 'thanks' to this new rule. It will be a strong Golden Globe-player, and the Academy might still acknowledge Wiig's breakthrough year with a script nomination...I mean, they DID nominate the screenplay of Borat...
Machine Gun Preacher WILL get an Oscar-push and there are already whispers about an outstanding lead performance by Gerard Butler. The story is ridiculously Oscary, so who knows, maybe even Marc Forster could sneak in finally.
The Ides of March will open the Venice Film Festival which shouldn't mean THAT much, but it is still an honor worth mentioning. Could Clooney pull another 'Good night and Good Luck' ?
The Wettest County in the World is expected to be platformed for Oscar and released in early 2012 . That's interesting news considering everybody (?) thought it will be a 2012-contender.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy now has a release date, a trailer and excellent early word on Gary Oldman's lead performance...this could be his first Oscar-nomination...FINALLY.
Beautiful Boy received decent reviews, raves for the Bello-Sheen duo BUT its Box Office is basically non-existent and even the similar Rabbit Hole could barely get away with that remarkably damaging factor...and that film had a December release date and an Academy Award-winning movie star willing to promote the hell out of it.
A Better Life got a lot of good reviews, but not many great ones. Unless critics groups really go for Bichir's performance, this could go unnoticed in the end as far as the Oscars go.
Cars 2 should be out of the race entirely, based on reviews, but the Pixar name could still do wonders, so a nomination MIGHT happen in the Best Animated Feature category. For what it's worth, I don't think it will.
X-Men : First Class received good reviews and is doing good Box Office worldwide...but considering the Academy's scifilitis, it should have done GREAT instead of good and that still might not have been enough...Star Trek, anyone ?
Hanna did surprisingly well at the Box Office and critics liked it, too..but they didn't LOVE the film, although they DID love the two female performances, so if Focus decides to campaign and critics groups won't forget Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett, the film could still have a shot at important Oscar nominations...for what it's worth, the Academy didn't forget last year's badass teenage girl in an early release (Winter's Bone) and they do love a leading lady delivering a baity SUPPORTING performance...
Win Win could have been a much stronger player, had it come out later in the game. This way, a script nomination is its best shot.
Larry Crowne is OUT.
A Dangerous Method (Sony Pictures Classics)
Albert Nobbs (Lindell Entertainment / Roadside Attractions)
NEW RELEASE DATES
J. Edgar has been confirmed for an October-release.
My Week with Marilyn will start its US-theatrical run on November 4.
Coriolanus will start its US-theatrical run on December 2.
W.E. will start its US-theatrical run on December 9.
The Iron Lady will start its US-theatrical run on December 16.
The Artist will start its US-theatrical run on December 23.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been confirmed for a December-release.
The Help will start its run two days earlier than previously announced.
Contagion now has a September 9 – release date instead of October 21.
Anonymous will start its run a month later (October 28) than previously announced. Good sign ?
The Ides of March will start its run a week earlier than previously announced.
STILL WAITING FOR RELEASE DATES
Young Adult (Paramount)
A Dangerous Method (Sony Pictures Classics)
Carnage (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Skin I live in (Sony Pictures Classics)
This must be the place (The Weinstein Company)
The Wettest County in the World (The Weinstein Company)
Machine Gun Preacher (Relaitivity)
The Impossible (Summit)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight)
We need to talk about Kevin (Oscilloscope)
STILL WAITING FOR RELEASE DATES AND DISTRIBUTORS
On the Road
The Eye of the Storm
Salmon Fishin in the Yemen
Peace, Love and Misunderstanding
Violet and Daisy