If you remember from last week, I looked at a few potential winners and losers on the blockbuster front in the upcoming months. This week, we'll look at the inverse: Oscar movies! The Toronto International Film Festival has wrapped up, and this year's winner of their People's Choice Award is the musical La La Land. Also mentioned last week, the People's Choice Award winner has (off-and-on) had a history of being big at the Academy Awards. Without further ado, let's get cracking!
La La Land: It's not just winning big at Toronto. Just watching one of the trailers is enough to win you over. The color washes alone, reminiscent of any of the classic Technicolor films of Hollywood, are enchanting. Plus, not only have stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling worked together in the past, Stone has proven that she can singas well as Gosling. This will be sure to melt even the hardest of Oscar voter hearts.
Loving: Well, this is timely: In an era where massive protests arise when black people are continuously killed by police, and same-sex marriage is the new normal, here arrives a biopic involving the Lovings, a white man and a black woman who got married at a time when such marriages were illegal in the state of Virginia, leading to a landmark Supreme Court case. If the reviews are anything to go by, we might be looking at a highlight with this one.
The Founder: Another biopic, this time about Ray Kroc and he turned McDonald's into...well, you know. Will it be an awards favorite? We'll see. That said, given how Michael Keaton made the comeback of a lifetime with Birdman, it wouldn't be too far of a stretch to consider that he'll make the waves in the Best Actor category.
American Pastoral: Never heard of it? By the end of this year, you probably won't remember it existed. Given its credentials (including a cast with star power, source material from noted author Philip Roth, and the directorial debut of Ewan McGregor), you'd think there'd be more promise, but the reviews so far are saying otherwise.
Allied: Again, some major credentials: the newest film by Robert Zemeckis, Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as the stars, a WWII film. The one major thing going against it, perhaps, is timing. It has yet to be seen whether or not the reviews can separate the film from all the developments the divorce heard 'round the world (though, as this Salon piece correctly points out, it's wrong to point fingers at Cotillard for instigating this divorce; at this point, we should let the divorce unfold before us and see what happens). Time will tell.
Fences: Again, credentials: star power, Denzel Washignton directing, a biopic set in the 1950s with Washington as the star. Everything you just read should have Oscar voters drooling. However, given that Washington's previous efforts with directing were both films that fell short as far as the Academy is concerned, it remains to be seen if this one will prove Washington is a director to watch.
Again, this list is brief. You can add your objections and suggestions in the comments. Until then, let Oscar season commence!