Oscar stock watch: 5 contenders up and 5 contenders down

80th Annual Academy Awards - "Parade of the Oscars"

With an almost daily influx of awards to make note of, this is the sort of time where things change for Oscar contenders quickly. As such, I wanted to try out a new segment, where I periodically take the temperature of the race and list some of the Academy Award hopefuls who have seen their stock rise or fall of late, relating to the precursor season. It’s the sort of thing I can check in with every week or every other week, depending on what’s appropriate. Anyway, I wanted to give it a shot now and see how it played for you all.

Below you’ll see ten different contenders, broken up into two separate groups. One group of films/performances have seen their stock trend upwards, while the other group has seen the exact opposite happen. It’s almost a quick snapshot of the major changes in the season, though by no means is it all encompassing. Anyway, I hope this is of interest to you all…

Here are five contenders who have seen their stock rise of late:

1. Boyhood – As mentioned yesterday, Richard Linklater’s film has solidified its frontrunner status in Best Picture for Linklater, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette, and Best Original Screenplay for Linklater as well. That sort of early precursor dominance only helps increase its Oscar stock. As long as the Golden Globes and Guilds don’t bring it back down to Earth, this is a blue chipper, to say the least.

2. Nightcrawler – One of the surprises of the early precursor season has been to see Dan Gilroy’s thriller slowly but surely establish itself as more than a fringe awards player. Star Jake Gyllenhaal has received (justly) some attention, but the film itself is popping up more than initially expected. I’m not ready to predict it for a Best Picture nomination, but I’m at least toying with the idea.

3. Jennifer Aniston/Cake – What was initially a real long shot/Hail Mary pass in the Best Actress race has become a viable contender. Jennifer Aniston’s vehicle Cake doesn’t have a ton of money to campaign with a huge distributor backing it, but it’s still managing to create a buzz. That easily affirms it as a player with its stock trending in an upward direction.

4. American Sniper – Despite some originally mixed reviews at its AFI Fest premiere, Clint Eastwood’s latest showed up on their Best of the Year list, as well as getting Eastwood a Best Director prize from the National Board of Review. It’s not the likeliest of players overall, but it’s not the also-ran that many had assumed just a few short weeks ago. Don’t sleep on this one…

5. Shailene Woodley/The Fault in Our Stars – I’ve obviously been saying for months now that Shailene Woodley is very close to a Best Actress nomination for The Fault in Our Stars, but it’s only been the past couple of weeks that my colleagues are starting to notice her candidacy as well. The film is getting a campaign, and with the other Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay contenders seemingly dropping like flies, it’s one to really watch out for.

Here are five contenders who have seen their stock fall of late:

1. Foxcatcher – Through no fault of its own, Foxcatcher and its cast/crew have seen their Oscar stock drop, ever since their rapturous Cannes Film Festival bow. It’s just been due to the other major contenders establishing themselves in more concrete ways. I don’t expect Bennett Miller’s film to be shut out, but it’s anyone’s guess what the nomination total will be now.

2. Angelina Jolie/Unbroken – When you’re the final major contender to screen, you’re either going to need to blow people away or run the risk of getting harsher reviews than expected. With Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, she’s gotten more of the latter than the former. Now, I’d say her chances at a Best Director nomination are over, with the film far from a sure thing to even get a Best Picture nomination.

3. The Imitation Game – The early section of the precursor season hasn’t taken too kindly to The Imitation Game. It’s shown up far more sporadically than something that some see as the Best Picture frontrunner (though far fewer now in the wake of Boyhood’s early run) really should. The Guilds could definitely rescue it, but for the time being, its stock is falling.

4. Interstellar – It’s not too surprising, but the critics groups haven’t gone for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in any really notable way. The technical groups will go for it without a doubt and the Guilds could as well, but there hasn’t been a real rallying cry for this one yet. That could change at some point, but for now this is now a bit of a second tier contender in some places.

5. Wild – Any chance that Reese Witherspoon had to win Best Actress for Wild seems to be slipping away. She’s still a very likely nominee, but it’s a distinct possibility that she’ll be its only representation in the end. There just hasn’t been much attention paid to this contender. There’s still time, especially for Laura Dern to get herself into Best Supporting Actress, but not too much time.

Stay tuned to see what happens next!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Follow us

Breaking Hollywood News   


Comments are closed.