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Do We Have Any Oscar Contenders From The First Quarter Of The Year?

As we wrap up the first quarter of 2019, we’re starting to get towards the point in the year where some early year awards contenders start to come out. At the same time, that doesn’t preclude things from the first three months of the year from contention for Oscar. Just look at Jordan Peele’s Get Out a few years back, along with Black Panther last year from Ryan Coogler and Marvel. This year, there aren’t a whole lot of obvious Acadmey Award hopefuls, but there’s a handful with a shot. Today, we’ll be looking at some of those, with six in particular having my attention…

Here are a half dozen possibilities for end of the year Oscar contention:

Captain Marvel – The latest smash hit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe could well be a technical player. Marvel has seen their MCU offerings mostly given only minimal attention by the Academy, but Black Panther last year changed all that. Not only did it get nominated for Best Picture, it won below the line categories as well. Captain Marvel is unlikely to do that, but below the line love is certainly a possibility.

Diane – As seen earlier today in my review, Mary Kay Place is phenomenal in the film. As such, it would be folly not to at least consider her as an outside the box Best Actress contender. She’s probably a pretty long shot in Actress, but Place is someone you want to keep in mind as the year progresses. It wouldn’t shock me to see some precursors cite her in an effort to keep her in the conversation…

Dumbo – Never count out a Tim Burton project for some tech category love, especially when Coleen Atwood is the one doing the costume work. Best Costume Design is certainly always going to be on the table in a situation like this. Best Visual Effects could be a possibility as well. When in doubt, don’t sleep on tech attention for a Burton outing. That’s just smart prognostication right there.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – The Best Animated Feature race this year likely will be a battle between Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4, though this other sequel may well be in contention as well. That would likely be the only place, unless one of its tunes manages to make a play in Best Original Song like the last one did. Anything is possible, right?

Us – As mentioned last week, Academy Award wise, Us probably faces an uphill battle. It’s very nature isn’t especially awards friendly. Still, Universal has a huge commercial and critical hit on their hands, and we’ve seen horror slowly start to get more prestige respect. So, expect a campaign. It will probably be a targeted one, looking at Best Picture, Best Director (for Jordan Peele), Best Actress (for Lupita Nyong’o), Best Original Screenplay (also for Peele), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score. Again, these could be long shots, but just keep in mind that we don’t fully know how voters will respond to this. Anything is possible.

Wrestle – In terms of documentaries, there’s no way to tell which movies will be remembered at the end of the year (for example, Fyre, is another that could easily have been on this list). This particular doc, however, could certainly end up being one of them. A modern version of Hoop Dreams in a way, it mixes sports and social issues in a way that only documentary truly can. If voters actually manage to see it, it could 100% be in contention…

Stay tuned to see if any of these films are able to score Academy Award attention!

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.

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