It appears Jason Reitman has hit it home again with ‘Up in the Air’ (pictured). This looks likely to be in the top ten Best Picture nominees come Oscar time. It also nearly, at this moment, cements the nomination for George Clooney for lead actor (say it is his best work yet) and gives Vera Farmiga serious traction in the supporting actress category, especially when Variety says this”
“Impeccably groomed and with a ready answer to almost any remark anyone can throw at him, Clooney owns his role in the way first-rate film stars can, so infusing the character with his own persona that everything he does seems natural and right. The timing in the Clooney-Farmiga scenes is like splendid tennis, with each player surprising the other with shots but keeping the rally going to breathtaking duration.”Unless the competition turns extremely fierce nearer to the end of the year, this seems like a safe bet.
Also getting great notices is ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ by Michael Moore. It is an apparent return to form up there with ‘Bowling for Columbine and ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ that could see it nominated in the top ten for Best Picture.
At Venice ‘The Informant!’ showed and the word for the film and especially Matt Damon is very good indeed – so look for him to perhaps make a splash in the race.
Although Todd McCarthy at Variety hated ‘The Road’ there have been some reviews saying the film is great.
Its art direction has been praised highly as has Viggo Mortensens’ performance.
Sure the negative reviews have hurt it a bit, but it is still in the game, just probably not as a Best Picture contender, most likely technical and lead actor.
This is probably the most exciting time in the awards season. When the Venice, Telluride and Toronto festivals coinside you really get a strong picture of who are the real contenders and who is just wishful thinking.
Venice, if an acting prize goes to an actor for an English speaking role (or well known foreign actors who do films in English) then they will have serious awards traction. Maybe not for the win, but a nomination is quite likely.
At Toronto all eyes will be on the Peoples Choice Award. It could go to any number of films. If ‘Precious’ wins that award, then it will become a major threat.
However, it is up against these films: ‘Bright Star’, ‘The Boys are Back’, ‘Broken Embraces’, ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’, ‘Fish Tank’, ‘An Education, ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’, ‘The Informant!’, ‘The Invention of Lying’, ‘Leaves of Grass’, ‘London River’, ‘Life During Wartime’, ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’, ‘Mr. Nobody’, ‘The Road’, ‘A Serious Man’, ‘A Single Man’, ‘Up in the Air’, ‘The Vinter’s Luck’, and basically any other film out there that could come along and surprise.
In a few weeks time we will have a much clearer picture, then it is the home stretch and the unveiling of some of the year end big guns. All in all a very exciting time to be Oscar watching. Also, these festivals may hold a key to potential surprises, especially in the acting categories.
I for one will be paying specific attention to how the following performances are received, and if they can find their way into the race.
Clive Owen – ‘The Boys are Back’
Katie Jarvis – ‘Fish Tank’
Edward Norton – ‘Leaves of Grass’
Brenda Blethyn – ‘London River’
Allison Janney – ‘Life During Wartime’
Jared Leto – ‘Mr. Nobody’
Sarah Polley – ‘Mr. Nobody’
Julianne Moore – ‘A Single Man’
Keisha Castle Hughes – ‘The Vinter’s Luck’