July 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders                "Star Trek Beyond" is a rare success for the 2016 summer movie season                The 2016 New York Film Festival will open with Ava Duvernay's documentary "The 13th"                Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make us swoon as "La La Land" drops a luminous Teaser Trailer                "Loving" announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for July                Woody Allen has another crowd pleaser on his hands with "Cafe Society"                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders                Kristen Stewart shines in the sci-fi love story "Equals"                'Ghostbusters' is an excellent re-invention of the classic franchise                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Director contenders                "Captain Fantastic" is one of the year's most pleasant surprises                This week brings an adorable bit of animation in "The Secret Life of Pets"                Aaron Eckhart has plum supporting roles in "Bleed for This" and "Sully"                "Cafe Society", "Captain Fantastic", and "Ghostbusters": Films to see in July        

Can “Tyrannosaur” stomp into the Oscar race? – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: I arrived late to the “Tyrannosaur” party, though I’d read the attempts at Hollywood Elsewhere, In Contention and elsewhere to drum up support for Paddy Considine’s indie cast, particularly Olivia Colman as Hanna, a shop keeper who opens herself up to a surly, destructive drunk (Peter Mullan) with devastating physical, spiritual and emotional results.

The film won trophies out of Sundance and gradually has been picking up support on the awards circuit. It recently nabbed a pack-leading seven nominations from the British Independent Film Awards, putting it in the company of Steve McQueen’s “Shame” and Tomas Alfredson’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”

And do you know what? It belongs there.

As suspected, Considine’s directorial debut is a redemption project, with broken souls leaning on each other as they find their way through difficult times. Like a traditional Irish wake, it is, at times, depressing, celebratory, devastating and boisterous. Yet the script’s honest probes of such taboo subjects as rape, alcoholism and savage, blue-collar violence are unflinching, which pushes “Tyrannosaur” past like-minded, melodramatic Sundance pap.

What you’ve heard about Colman is true. Her Hanna is a bruised and battered individual hiding behind her wavering faith. And when her belief system’s is challenged by an abusive husband (Eddie Marsan), the actress allows numerous difficult emotions to flood across her tranquil face. Considine’s focus shifts from Colman to Mullan at times, though both are so good at wallowing in the human pain of this raw story that “Tyrannosaur” rarely misses a step.

Can grassroots efforts help Strand Releasing get “Tyrannosaur” in front of enough Oscar voters to push the challenging drama into awards consideration? Anything’s possible. The performances are worthy. But every year, we see casualties of the awards marathon that, while deserved, can’t gain or maintain traction. It will be interesting to see how “Tyrannosaur” fares.

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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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