October 26, 2016
        Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams        

Brad Pitt, “Moneyball” making Oscar waves ahead of release – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball” opens in theaters tomorrow, giving mainstream audience members a chance to see Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who introduced a revolutionary (though some might argue “controversial”) new way to pay baseball players into the major leagues.

Ever since the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, however, talk on awards-tracking sites has involved a “will he or won’t he” approach to Pitt’s performance, as well as to the film as a whole.

I went on record in my review about Pitt’s multi-faceted turn, saying that “Moneyball” dropped him smack dab into the Best Actor race. I’ll get to see Miller’s film for a second time tonight and will be able to confirm whether I was on a “festival high” (always possible), or if Pitt’s performance really stands tall with the likes of fellow Oscar contenders George Clooney, Jean Dujardin, Michael Fassbender and Gary Oldman.

In the meantime, other Oscar analysts are weighing in regarding “Moneyball’s” chances ahead of the film’s opening.

Jeff Wells, this morning, puts Miller’s film at the top of his Best Picture guess, including “Moneyball” in Actor, Supporting Actor (for Jonah Hill) and Director, as well.

Movieline’s Oscar Index puts “Moneyball” at No. 8 in its weekly guess at a Best Picture Top 10. Pitt, meanwhile, is in for Best Actor, and Hill is in at No. 5 for Best Supporting Actor. But the site emphasizes how early we are in the process.

Gold Derby’s also on Pitt’s bandwagon, but adds a wrinkle, saying the actor could run – and receive support — for his turn in Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life.”

It’s early. But “Moneyball” is in the discussion. Will it stay there after anticipated films like “War Horse,” “The Ides of March,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and “J. Edgar” screen?

We shall see.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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