October 28, 2016
        Ten Contenders will compete for Best Documentary Short Subject                "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                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        

Brad Pitt is this year’s Sandra Bullock as “Moneyball” hits number one

HollywoodNews.com: “Moneyball” is a gorgeous grand slam of a movie that should hit all the right notes with Academy voters. Its opening weekend looks like a winner, but a small one, with maybe a $20 million gross by the end of Sunday. Sony has to stay the course with “Moneyball” for a lot of reasons: vindication after losing “The Social Network” last year, and the fact that what we call Big Sony–not Sony Pictures Classics–has been out of the Oscar business for eons otherwise. Last year when “Social Network” failed to win Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards, Sony pretty much folded its tent and ceded the Oscar to “The King’s Speech.” But the trick is staying in the game and going the distance.

Brad Pitt is this year’s Sandra Bullock. He’s the Hollywood star who’s finally going to make it. Of course, it helps that “Moneyball” is 100 times better than “The Blind Side” or whatever that movie was called. “Moneyball” has potential for Best Picture for real, best screenplay with two great screenwriters (Zaillian and Sorkin), best director (Bennett Miller). Jonah Hill is very good, and could get pulled along by Pitt in some races as Best Supporting Actor. For Big Sony, “Moneyball” should be a repeat of their “Jerry Maguire” from 15 years ago–only this time, the star can win. (Tom Cruise had heavy competition in 1996 from winner Geoffrey Rush, Ralph Fiennes, Woody Harrelson, and Billy Bob Thornton.)

Right now, the chief obstacle to “Moneyball”‘s box office is getting women into the theater. The film has no love story. If there are women in it– Robin Wright– they are barely seen. If I were Sony, I’d do something pr wise with Kerris Dorsey, who plays Pitt’s young daughter like she’s the next Fanning. (She comes from the TV drama “Brothers and Sisters.”) Otherwise, the box office is going to be tough: we’ve got a great–I mean a great– movie starring the World’s Sexiest Man, and there’s no sex of any kind. Just lots of balls.

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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411.com column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Foxnews.com. Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to Showbiz411.com

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