As we inch closer to November, the number of Oscar-baiting films is definitely on the rise. This week brings two strong Best Actress contenders and a few wild cards.
Best Actress, Angelina Jolie
Jolie’s supporting-actress win for Girl, Interrupted eight years ago remains her only Oscar nomination to date. After nearly muscling into this race last year with A Mighty Heart, she’s an even stronger possibility for her steadfast single mom in Changeling.
Best Original Screenplay, J. Michael Straczynski
After decades of writing for TV series like Babylon 5 and Murder, She Wrote, he finally has his first produced feature screenplay—and it’s a harrowing tale of kidnapping and corruption with a terrific heroine at its center.
Though some critics are hailing it as Clint Eastwood’s best directorial effort in years, others (like EW’s Owen Gleiberman, who calls it “a rehash of other, better movies, such as L.A. Confidential”) aren’t convinced.
Best Director, Clint Eastwood
Most OscarWatchers expect Eastwood’s other fall release, December’s Gran Torino, to be his better shot at awards recognition.
I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG
Best Actress, Kristin Scott Thomas
Her performance may be entirely in French, but it’s impossible not to comprehend the utter devastation that her character, fresh out of prison for murder, feels in the film.
Best Supporting Actress, Elsa Zylberstein
As Scott Thomas’ loyal younger sister, the French actress, largely unknown in these parts, matches her higher-profile costar note for note.
SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK
Best Original Screenplay, Charlie Kaufman
Kaufman won this category for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But since Synecdoche contains all Sunshine’s trippiness but pretty much none of the fun, will the Academy respond this time?
PRIDE & GLORY
Best Supporting Actor, Noah Emmerich
He’s terrific as an NYPD family’s oldest son dealing with a corruption scandal and a terminally ill wife. If only critical response to the film were a little better.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR
Best Original Song, “I Want It All”
Disney hits usually claim at least one slot in this race. And Sharpay’s self-centered theme song (sample lyric: “Sold out shows? Think bigger. ‘And the Oscar goes to…?’ That’s better” ) may be HSM’s best shot at the gold.