Chadwick Boseman Joins Early Contenders as the Pre-Telluride Season Closes

In just one month Telluride will happen and by then we’ll have a decent enough picture of the Oscar race for Best Picture.  The New York Film festival will deliver three heavy hitters, namely David Fincher’s Gone Girl, but also Inarritu’s Birdman and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.  It’s a good time to take stock in what we know so far heading into, what we here at awards daily like to call, the ovulation phase – that is, the most fertile time for Oscar implantation to take place.  Fertility and the Oscar race has a window of opportunity — the egg must be fertilized by the time that window of opportunity ends.  In Oscar season of late, for the last ten years or so, the doors close for a Best Picture winner after October.  Things might change, of course.  One never knows what could happen but that’s how it’s been since the last late comer, Million Dollar Baby, won.

Here is what I know so far, and have already stated for the record.

The strongest Best Picture contender is Richard Linklater’s 12 year opus, Boyhood.  Linklater has the built up clout, and the film is universally loved, for this film to be the most serious contender so far.  With 47 reviews and a total score of 100 at Metacritic, Boyhood is a record breaker already.  Nominations expected across the board for Picture, Director, Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (or lead) for Patricia Arquette, a possible nod for Ellar Coltrane in lead actor, editing.

Out of Cannes, and next in line is Bennett Miller’s exquisite meditation on wealth and privilege - Foxcatcher. A cool remove from humanity and a spot-on performance by Steve Carell, not to mention Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher seems poised for several nominations, including Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor for Mark Ruffalo.  Anne Thompson always says you build an Oscar contender branch by branch and that is exactly how they will build up Foxcatcher.  Possibly cinematography, possibly editing.

Also out of Cannes, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, the only film festival goers could agree upon.  Leigh’s film is a long, brooding meditation on Britain’s greatest painter.  It will likely dominate, or come close to dominating, the BAFTAS and since the Brits now have a chokehold on the Oscars there is no reason why Mr. Turner won’t do well with voters. As of now, nominations expected for Picture, Actor, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume, Score – and possibly director and screenplay.

Tommy Lee Jones’ complex western The Homesman that stars Hilary Swank in one of the strongest female leads the year will produce.  Nominations expected, at the very least, for Swank, but possibly Best Picture, maybe screenplay and supporting actor for Jones. Time will tell on that one.

Finally, one of the darker films out of Cannes is David Cronenberg’s wonderfully bitter Maps to the Stars. This is a film that has a great shot at an original screenplay nod, at the very least, for the great Bruce Wagner, whose script will be among the year’s very best. It also has a really shot for the actors – especially the lead, Julianne Moore, who has yet to win an Oscar. AwardsDaily thinks she has a really good shot to win this year, even though it’s a dark performance.  Mia Wasikowska and Evan Bird could show up in the supporting categories.

Now, Get On Up has produced the rare African American acting contender with Chadwick Boseman earning rave reviews for his portrayal as James Brown.  Boseman is facing incredibly stiff competition, as always, in the lead acting category but this early out one can’t exclude him.  Get On Up is also in line for costumes, art direction and sound.  It has an outside shot for Best Picture — easier if there were a solid ten, harder with only five nomination slots for voters to fill in.

The big game cats are just about to show up. They could leave these contenders in the dust, or they could only make them look better by comparison.  It’s a mystery that has yet to unfold.

18 Comments on this Post

  1. I’m feeling very optimistic for both Boyhood and Foxcatcher to get nominated for Best Picture. I’m excited to see how these next films do when they are first seen by an audience:

    Gone Girl – September 26 (NYFF)
    Inherent Vice – October 4 (NYFF)
    Birdman – October 11 (NYFF)
    Interstellar – November 7 (Wide – Official release)
    Fury – November 14 (Wide – Official release)
    Exodus: Gods and Kings – December 12 (Wide – Official release)
    Big Eyes – December 25 (Wide – Official release)
    Unbroken – December 25 (Wide – Official release)

  2. Forgot to include:

    The Imitation Game – September (TIFF)
    Wild – September (TIFF)
    Kill the Messenger – October 10 (Wide – Official release)
    Into the Woods – December 25 (Wide – Official release)

  3. SallyinChicago

    When did Channing Tatum become an “actor”? LOL Going to See Get On up today, but I fear for Boseman’s acting future. So far, two movies and both based on celebrated Black celebs.

    Which brings me to this essay question — are the ONLY movie roles that Black males can be nominated for based on real-life (and dead) celebrities? (Mandela, Robinson, Ray Charles, Solomon Northrup)

  4. In the supporting actor category there have been 17 nominations for black men. I believe only 2 of them were biographical (Cry Freedom and Captain Phillips). The 4 wins (Freeman, Gooding Jr, Washington and Gossett Jr) were all original creations. The lead actor category shows that half of the black men who won were for original characters (or rather non-biographical). Sidney Poitier won for Lillies of the Field and Denzel Washington won for Training Day. Round Midnight, Defiant Ones, Sounder, Driving Miss Daisy, Flight, Shawshank Redemption, Pursuit of Happyness and Hustle and Flow were not biographical. But it’s sad my list isn’t longer because there should be more Oscar nominated African Americans. But those that have won, biographical or not, we’re the deserving winners nonetheless.

  5. “rare African American acting contender”… really? There are usually at least two every year, with some peak years, like 2004 and 2006. For a group that is about 13% of the U.S. population (especially given all the foreign acting nominees), that’s pretty good.

  6. Expect meryl streep to deliver possibly the best female performance of the year…

  7. Suzanne

    The Homesman is being distributed by a brand new, tiny distributor. I don’t know that they will be able to mount a real campaign.

  8. phantom

    I’ve just read a few of the more prominent Get on up reviews and they are basically love letters to Boseman. The reviews are actually BETTER than the director’s previous film’s (The Help) so if it can get a fraction of its Box Office (I think it will do more than that, tbh I’m expecting butlernumbers here), Universal will have a pretty good case for a flashy (=expensive) Oscar campaign. I also hope Spencer and Davis will get some traction in supporting actress.

  9. SallyinChicago

    Just came back from Get on Up. Never saw Mr. Boseman before, but this movie will definitely make him a household name. The movie is great. The music is great and it soars with Boseman in the lead.

  10. Cristian

    What about Ethan Hawke for his wonderfully nuanced work in BOYHOOD?! He is just as deserving as Patricia Arquette and is worthy of a supporting actor nomination.

  11. I clicked to Facebook like your reply! hahaha

  12. Well, I didn’t see GET ON UP yet as I saw stupid GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY today. So dumb. I hope to go during the week.

    Are there usually that many contenders out of Cannes?

  13. SallyinChicago

    RE: Meryl Streep — oh no not again! There should be a limit to how many times an actor/actress can be nominated.

  14. Golden Globe Predictions for Next Year
    Motion Picture Drama
    Boyhood*
    Foxcatcher
    Gone Girl
    Interstellar
    Unbroken

    Actor-Motion Picture Drama
    Steve Carrell in Foxcatcher
    Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
    Eddie Redmayne in Theory of Everything
    Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner*
    Chaning Tatum in Foxcatcher

    Actress-Motion Picture Drama
    Jessica Chastain in Miss Julie
    Jennifer Lawrence in Serena
    Julianne Moore in Map to the Stars
    Helen Mirren in The Hundred Foot Journey
    Reese Witherspoon in Wild

    Motion Picture Musical/Comedy
    Birdman
    Get on Up
    The Grand Budapest Hotel*
    Inherent Vice
    Mr. Turner

    Actor-Motion Picture Musical/Comedy
    Chadwick Boseman in Get on Up*
    Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood
    Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Micheal Keaton in Birdman
    Joaquin Pheonix in Inherent Vice
    Christoph Waltz in Big Eyes

    Actress-Motion Picture Musical/Comedy
    Amy Adams in Big Eyes*
    Emily Blunt in Into the Woods
    Krystan Ritter in Big Eyes
    Soarise Ronan in The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Octavia Spencer in Get on Up

    Director-Motion Picture
    Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Richard Linklater for Boyhood
    Mike Leigh for Mr. Turner
    Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
    Christopher Nolan for Interstellar*

    Supporting Actor
    Richard Armitage in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice
    Bill Murray in St. Vincent
    David Oleyeyo in Serena
    Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher*

    Supporting Actress
    Patricia Arquette in Boyhood*
    Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
    Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
    Meryl Streep in Into the Woods
    Emma Stone in Birdman

    Animated Feature
    Big Hero 6*
    The Boxtrolls
    How to Train Your Dragon 2
    The Lego Movie
    The Princess Kuyaga

    Original Score
    Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Alexandre Desplat for Unbroken
    Jonny Greenwood for Inherent Vice
    Stephen Sondheim for Into the Woods
    Hans Zimmer for Interstellar*

    Screenplay
    Boyhood
    Foxcatcher*
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    The Imitation Game
    Mr. Turner

    Original Song
    Begin Again
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Into the Woods*
    The Lego Movie
    Muppets Most Wanted

    Oscar Predictions for First Round
    Best Picture
    Birdman 6 Nominations
    Boyhood* 6 Nominations
    Exodus: Gods and Kings 5 Nominations
    Foxcatcher 7 Nominations
    The Grand Budapest Hotel 9 Nominations
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 7 Nominations
    The Imitation Game 6 Nominations
    Inherent Vice 4 Nominations
    Interstellar 8 Nominations
    Mr. Turner 5 Nominations

    Best Director
    Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Alejandre Gonzalez Innaritu for Birdman
    Richard Linklater for Boyhood*
    Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
    Christopher Nolan for Interstellar

    Best Actor
    Chadwick Boseman in Get on Up 3 Nominations
    Steve Carrell in Foxcatcher*
    Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
    Micheal Keaton in Birdman
    Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner

    Best Actress
    Amy Adams in Big Eyes* 2 Nominations
    Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl 2 Nominations
    Michelle Williams in Suite Francaise 1 Nomination
    Kate Winslet in Rosewater 1 Nomination
    Reese Witherspoon in Wild 1 Nomination

    Best Supporting Actor
    Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice
    Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
    Bill Murray in St. Vincent* 1 Nomination
    Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
    J.K Simmons in Whiplash 1 Nomination
    `
    Best Supporting Actress
    Patricia Arquette in Boyhood*
    Emily Blunt in Into the Woods 2 Nominations
    Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year 1 Nomination
    Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
    Julianne Moore in Map to the Stars 1 Nomination

    Best Foreign Language Film
    Leviathan from Russia 1 Nomination
    Mommy from Canada 1 Nomination
    Two Days One Night from Belgium* 1 Nomination
    Wild Tales from Argentina 1 Nomination
    The Wonders from Italy 1 Nomination

    Best Documentary Feature
    The Case Against 8 1 Nomination
    The Green Prince 1 Nomination
    Life Itself* 1 Nomination
    Return to Home 1 Nomination
    Rich Hill 1 Nomination

    Best Animated Feature
    Big Hero 6 2 Nominations
    How to Train Your Dragon 2 1 Nomination
    The Lego Movie* 2 Nominations
    The Princess Kaguya 1 Nomination
    Song of the Sea 1 Nomination

    Original Screenplay
    Birdman
    Boyhood*
    The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Interstellar
    Mr. Turner

    Adapted Screenplay
    Foxcatcher*
    Gone Girl
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    The Imitation Game
    Inherent Vice

    Costume Design
    Exodus: Gods and Kings
    Get on Up
    The Grand Budapest Hotel*
    The Imitation Game
    Mr. Turner

    Cinematography
    Dariusz Woloski for Exodus: Gods and Kings*
    Hoyt Van Hoytema for Interstellar
    Emmanuel Lubeski for Birdman
    Dick Pope for Mr. Turner
    Robert D. Yeoman for The Grand Budapest Hotel

    Production Design
    Big Eyes
    Exodus: Gods and Kings
    The Grand Budapest Hotel*
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    The Imitation Game

    Film Editing
    Birdman
    Boyhood*
    Foxcatcher
    The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Mr. Turner

    Visual Effects
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 3 Nominations
    Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Nominations
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies*
    Interstellar
    Noah 1 Nomination

    Makeup and Hair Styling
    Exodus: Gods and Kings
    The Grand Budapest Hotel*
    Guardians of the Galaxy

    Original Score
    Jonny Greenwood for Inherent Vice
    Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Alexandre Desplat for Unbroken
    Stephen Sondheim for Into the Woods
    Hans Zimmer for Interstellar*

    Original Song
    Annie 1 Nomination
    Begin Again 1 Nomination
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    The Lego Movie*
    Muppets Most Wanted 1 Nomination

    Sound Mixing
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    Fury 1 Nomination
    Get on Up
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Interstellar*

    Sound Editing
    Big Hero 6
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    Foxcatcher
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Interstellar*

  15. Rita Forscher

    I agree. I saw Get On Up yesterday, and it was a fantastic movie, with Boseman a sensational James Brown! I hope that he get an Oscar nomination.

  16. My very early, rough predictions

    Best Picture
    Big Eyes
    Birdman
    Boyhood
    Foxcatcher
    Gone Girl
    The Grand Budapest Hotel
    Inherent Vice
    Interstellar
    Unbroken
    Wild

    Best Director
    Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
    Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
    David Fincher (Gone Girl)
    Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
    Christopher Nolan (Interstellar)

    Best Actor
    Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
    Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
    Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
    Michael Keaton (Birdman)
    Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar)

    Best Actress
    Amy Adams (Big Eyes)
    Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
    Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
    Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
    Shailene Woodley (The Fault In Our Stars)

    Best Supporting Actor
    Edward Norton (Birdman)
    Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
    Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) (He has to be nominated, no question)
    Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher)
    Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)

    Best Supporting Actress
    Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
    Carrie Coon (Gone Girl)
    Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods)
    Emma Stone (Birdman)
    Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice)

  17. K. Bowen

    These Oscar nominations are all about whether the two best snubbed directors of this era – Richard Linklater and and Wes Anderson – are nominated. Then when Interstellar lands and makes gobs of money, it will presumably re-shuffle the race.

  18. Saw the film two nights ago and Boseman is instantly in the lead in my Best Actor rankings. if there are somehow five performances better than Boseman’s this year, we’re in for a special Oscar season.

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