I’m starting up with a new weekly series here at Hollywood News, one tentatively titled “What’s up with the 2015 Awards Race”. Once or twice a week, I’ll be looking at potential 2014 awards contenders, and for the inaugural piece today, I figured I’d cover some of the films that have already come out this year, including one notable release that’s beginning its theatrical run today. Future pieces will more specifically focus on one title in particular, completely with more of an in depth look at them, but today we’ll start off with a primer.
I’ve got a quartet of films to discuss, though they all have various pros and cons to their potential candidacies, obviously. Consider this a template for what’s to come during the year, including a placeholder grade of either “likely contender”, “potential contender”, or “long shot contender” for each…
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson
This film just began its theatrical run today in limited release, but Wes Anderson projects always flirt with the Academy’s attention. Anderson himself has a trio of Oscar nominations to his credit so far (for co-writing Moonrise Kingdom and The Royal Tenenbaums as well as for making the animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox), so he’s no stranger to awards. Best Picture and Best Director has so far eluded him though. If the year is on the weak side, a comedically tinged film like this one could possibly slip in, though Anderson himself is more likely for another Screenplay citation than a Director one. Watch out for Ralph Fiennes too, as he could parlay a likely Golden Globe nomination into some Academy consideration as well.
Grade: Likely contender
The LEGO Movie
Directed by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Written by: Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord, and Christopher Miller
Cast: (Voices of) Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman
I have my doubts that we’ll see another animated title get a Best Picture nomination again for a while, but the reviews and box office for this one make me think that it’s at worth considering its candidacy at this early juncture. If nothing else, this one [...]