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Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner Emerges as First Oscar Contender of 2014

While it’s true that Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is also an early contender for film awards, Mike Leigh’s lavish epic about Britain’s greatest painter is very likely a film to keep an eye on for end of the year voting — if it can last that long. Though it’s hardly a crowd-pleaser in any respect — if you put Argo on one side of the world you could put Mr. Turner on the other — there was a time when Academy members cared more about high achievements in filmmaking and to that end, Mr. Turner has it in spades. But it’s early. It’s only Cannes and there is a lot more on the horizon.

At the very least, we’re looking at solid nods for Dick Pope’s exquisite cinematography, the production design and costumes. At the very least, Timothy Spall as a major contender for Best Actor. I would add Picture, Director and Screenplay (5 of 7 of Mike Leigh’s previous Oscar nods have been for his screenplays) but it’s simply too early to get my hopes up that this strange old-school masterpiece can dazzle our ADD awards voting community.

The Cannes Film Fest will also showcase Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher as a top shelf contender.

10 Comments on this Post

  1. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Let’s look at possible Oscar contenders for Best Original Screenplay

    Mr. Turner – Mike Leigh
    Fury – David Ayer
    Mojave – William Monahan
    Boyhood – Richard Linklater
    Midnight Special – Jeff Nichols
    A Most Violent Year – J.C. Chandor
    The Rover – Joel Edgerton, David Michod
    Deep Tiki (working title) – Cameron Crowe
    Interstellar – Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan
    Jupiter Ascending – Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

    ok maybe that’s a list of original screenplays I’m most excited about.

  2. daveinprogress

    Great to see the wonderful Mr Spall’s name in the Contender list. He has delivered so many great performances, big and little; life’s strugglers as well as grotesques and oddities. Period, contemporary. Comedic and the dramatic. I look forward, to what looks like a tour de force.

  3. JPNS Viewer

    Thanks to Ryan, the thread has been diversified in a sense. [no sarcasm]

    Below are the films to which I am looking forward for different and/or common reasons:
    – Magic in the Moonlight (written and directed Woody Allen)
    – “Deep Tiki” (directed and reportedly written by Cameron Crowe)
    **
    – Mr. Turner (written and directed by Mike Leigh)
    **
    **
    – The Homesman (mainly owing to the talented Hilary Swank’s name […] to the project [, etc.])
    – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (because it’s co-produced and performed in lead by Jessica Chastain) (despite that I am not certain whether or not “Them”, one of the three films in the main title, has #always and #naturally been included with or without public knowledge, or later on shot and added [to the title] for certain strategic reasons [because I’d always understood that there were only two films in it, that is, “Him”, and “Her”]; there’s some nuance in my comment for which I could give additional explanation, but then this comment would have turned into a novella [lol].)
    **
    **
    **
    – Gone Girl (purely for *mainstream reason [for now])

    (*I mean, while I’m also looking forward to other films more or less for mainstream reasons, those other pieces mentioned, unlike Gone Girl [again: for now], to me for some reason seem to have a better shot at awards season – that’s how I #feel [well, I know intuition is priced not so highly in the West, but that’s how I’ve approached those films save for Gone Girl [for now].)

    (There may be more.)

  4. I think I went Deep Tiki last weekend…

  5. Bob Burns

    The award we get is that it may well make it to the hinterland multiplexes.

  6. phantom

    I think so far these are the films that made some noise although it seems only a few of them could still have the goods to score Oscar nominations :

    CANNES 2013
    The Immigrant – Despite great reviews and a highly acclaimed performance from Cotillard, Weinstein is releasing it this weekend suggesting he has no plans to campaign it for the Oscars.

    Venus in Fur – Polanski’s latest – another stage-to-film adaptation – received good notices for the flashy female lead performance but the buzz died down almost instantly.

    VENICE 2013
    Tracks – Like The Immigrant, this one will be released this month by Weinstein, though Wasikowska got raves and the film in general got quite a few, too.

    Night Moves – The Academy is probably still years away from getting the brilliance of someone like Kelly Reichardt, still, the film – like most of her films – sounds like a rare gem.

    Under the Skin – Too indie and too edgy, still, considered by many a masterpiece.

    TORONTO 2013
    The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – Weinstein gives this a shot with the September release and it will look good on the posters that by that time it will have played Cannes, too. I would watch Jessica Chastain read the phone book, so I can’t wait for this one !

    Begin Again – I guess a nomination in original song is a strong possibility for this quite little summer crowdpleaser, John Carney’s follow-up to Once.

    The Railway Man – Had it been released later, the star power, the subject matter and the Weinstein push could have probably made the underwhelmingreaderesque reviews work, but oh well!

    Belle – A nod in costume is possible though the acting drew strong notices, as well.

    Starred Up – One of three high-profile lead performances from Jack O’Connell who after making a striking debut in this and then in ’71, could have all the goodwill in the world to make a HUGE splash in the Oscar season with Jolie’s Unbroken.

    Le Week-End – A heartfelt little British comedy with great performances, excellent reviews and respectable arthouse Box Office.

    SUNDANCE
    Boyhood – A film like this only comes along once in maybe every decade. Question is, will the Academy realize that ?

    The Skeleton Twins – Raves out of Sundance will help, according to those acting is particularly strong.

    Whiplash – Ditto.

    Laggies – Ditto (to a lesser extent)

    BERLIN
    ’71 – Jack O’Connell’s second big performance, I guess people are waiting for his Unbroken exposure to release this.

    The Grand Budapest Hotel – Based on reviews and stunning worldwide Box Office, this film is the kind of ‘beloved’ that could survive an early release date. My guess ? Nominations in supporting actor (Fiennes) and original screenplay.

    CANNES (so far)
    Mr. Turner – If the year-end release works out and the distributor doesn’t fuck up, based on early word this should be a no-brainer in picture, director, screenplay, actor, supporting actress, cinematography, editing, costumes, art direction.

    CANNES (still to come)
    Foxcatcher
    The Homesman
    Maps to the Stars
    Clouds of Sils Maria
    The Search
    The Rover

    P.S. The Lego Movie should be a nominee in animated feature, on paper Noah has everything for a solid Oscar campaign ( decent enough reviews, decent enough BO) but it was probably too early and controversial for the Academy, and Chef feels like a nice little crowdpleaser probably strictly for Golden Globe voters.

  7. Edkargr

    Boyhood better receive at least 9 nominations . Picture. Director, screenplay. All 4 actors, editing , and cinematography.

  8. It is good that Sony Pictures Classics is distributing ‘Mr. Turner’. They know how to play the Oscar game although last year wasn’t good for them.

    My guess is that it goes to Telluride and then gets a limited theatrical release sometime end November or early December to qualify for the Oscars.

  9. phantom

    SPC is hit and miss when it comes to the Oscars. They had the critically acclaimed prestige pic The Invisible Woman last year, they released it in December, the performances were exceptionally great and Oscar-wise ? A costume nod…and frankly even that was a semi-surprise. And don’t even get me started on the Lesley Manville fiasco, ironically enough, the last Mike Leigh film (Another Year). I’m glad it received at least a script nod, but again, it was far from a sure thing going into Nominations Morning.

  10. Bryce Forestieri

    Did I miss it or did you guys post the trailer for MR. TURNER already? It is gorgeous.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn4zSR_5ioI

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