Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Look at New Trailers From Potential Oscar Nominees

Matt Damon in The Martian
Before I dive in, I want to personally apologize for this unexplained absence over the past week. This was caused largely due to personal and health problems that made writing and keeping up with Oscar-worthy news a little difficult. As of this moment, I should be in good enough of a condition to return to sharing my personal opinions and keeping you up to date on the latest happenings. First up, a look at the many trailers that premiered over the past week for films that we may be hearing about a lot over this Oscars season. Speaking as we're starting to enter the season when all of the trailers premiere (see: Suffragette and Bridge of Spies). While this round-up may not have nearly as many hits, we may be looking at a very interesting season ahead.


Possible Categories: Best Actor (Jake Gyllenhaal)

Among the films that have been making the rounds as of late, Southpaw is the one with the most hype. For starters, Harvey Weinstein has faith that it will earn Jake Gyllenhaal a Best Actor nomination - a prospect that many have hoped for since his magnificent turn in Nightcrawler last year. Since director Antoine Fuqua previously directed Denzel Washington to his Best Actor win for Training Day, it does seem plausible that this may be the case. Add in Gyllenhaal bulking up and it reaches further into the bias of actors taking on physical personas. Also, there is something favorable with it being a boxing movie, which seems to be The Academy's favorite sport if Rocky, Raging Bull, The HurricaneMillion Dollar Baby, and The Fighter (to name a VERY small amount) have any say. The only thing against it is Fuqua's uneven track record.

The Program

Possible Categories: Best Picture, Best Actor (Ben Foster), Best Adapted Screenplay

The Academy loves its share of biopics. Last year's Best Picture field was chocked full of these from Martin Luther King Jr. (Selma) to Alan Turing (The Imitation Game) and Stephen Hawking (The Theory of Everything). There is something to an inspiring story that people can really get behind. With The Program and this particular trailer, the details are laid on thick. Director Stephen Frears is making his follow-up to the heavily nominated Philomena with Ben Foster playing Lance Armstrong. While the trailer looks to be more full of deceit and tropes, it would be foolish to keep Frears out of consideration. We'll have to wait to see if this film is worth its weight and if we'll be seeing it in conversation (one advantage: looks better than The Walk).

The Martian

Possible Categories: Best Picture, Best Actor (Matt Damon), technical fields

It is hard to bet any ponies on director Ridley Scott right now. For starters, he has hit an arguable low critically with the back-to-back maligned films Prometheus and Exodus: Gods and Kings. While both were technically impressive, they didn't actually tell interesting stories. That is why it is hard to approach his return to outer space - a film that looks very reminiscent of Interstellar down to its central actor - without feeling some skepticism. For starters, the three minute trailer is very well done and promises something more grounded and human. Matt Damon looks to have something to work with. Could this be the sci-fi film that gets into the Best Picture field? That is still highly suspect to the point even of pushing more good will on a director without much. However, this still looks pretty good.

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