Oscar hopes for Venice flicks

Posted by · 6:01 pm · September 6th, 2011

I had asked Guy for a quick one-off on each of the Oscar-contending films he’s seen at Venice so far. I was going to use it for today’s Off the Carpet column, but I published before he got around to it. Nevertheless, it’s worth boiling things down (from his perspective), so here’s what he’s thinking (with the film titles linked to his Venice reviews):

“The Ides of March”
Possible Best Picture and Director nominee (but only if US critics are more enthusiastic than the ones at Venice and the film does okay commercially). If it gets those, possible supporting nods for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Evan Rachel Wood. Film Editing is the only tech possibility.

“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
On the one hand, it’s possibly too low-key for big Oscar categories, but I’m thinking the Brit vote could make a big difference here. It should do very well with the BAFTAs. Best Adapted Screenplay is a strong possibility, as is Gary Oldman — if not the slam-dunk we might have thought. I suspect the supporting male ensemble is too large (and too uniformly high-quality) for any individual to break through — kind of an “L.A. Confidential” situation. Watch for Albert Iglesias’ score and the production design.

“Wuthering Heights”
Not a chance, though in a just world, it would win the Best Cinematography Oscar walking away.

“A Dangerous Method”
Well, you know. I’m increasingly thinking it’s just going to fade away.

I’m sure you agree this isn’t going to happen (sadly).

I just think this is too bitter and brittle for Academy voters to embrace. Perhaps Christoph Waltz is in the Supporting Actor frame, but he’s a dark horse.

Best Costume Design nod, here we come.

[Photo: Columbia Pictures]

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32 responses so far

  • 1 9-06-2011 at 6:09 pm

    BEF said...

    You don’t see Alfredson or van Hoytema transaction? I am really excited about Wuthering Heights after reading the review at the playlist. Of course, as a big fan of Dogtooth — Alps is high on my list, too.

  • 2 9-06-2011 at 6:17 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I also was thinking van Hoytema could sneak in for TTSS.

    And there seems to be no shot whatsoever for Fassbender in ‘Shame’, huh? What about a SAG nom?

  • 3 9-06-2011 at 6:23 pm

    BEF said...

    Sorry, I didn’t see your updates on the side.

  • 4 9-06-2011 at 6:27 pm

    DylanS said...

    Can anybody confirm whether or not “Tinker, Tailor” was shot on Super16? That’s what it looked like from the trailer, but I wasn’t sure.

  • 5 9-06-2011 at 6:29 pm

    Andrew M said...

    It will be very interesting to see how Tinker, Tailor pans out. It looks very subtle, yet I still think it will do well with the Oscars. The big factors are critical, box office (like always), and BAFTA. Also, maybe GWTDT will be a factor, because I don’t think there will be room for 2 genre pics in BP.

  • 6 9-06-2011 at 6:51 pm

    m1 said...

    Venice is over already? Wow, that was fast.

  • 7 9-06-2011 at 6:54 pm

    nickclement said...

    no cinematography — at all — could be better than what lubezeki did on TOL

  • 8 9-06-2011 at 6:55 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Allow me to republish the first line of the article, m1, since clearly you missed it. Here, I’ll even put some of it in bold, just in case:

    “I had asked Guy for a quick one-off on each of the Oscar-contending films he’s seen at Venice so far…“

  • 9 9-06-2011 at 7:02 pm

    m1 said...

    Oh, oops. Sorry. I sometimes get so excited to read an article on this site that I forget to read the beginning parts of the articles. Maybe I should start reading them.

  • 10 9-06-2011 at 7:09 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 11 9-06-2011 at 7:32 pm

    tony rock said...

    Not sure why you guys are propping up Hoffman over Gosling. Most reviews are citing Gosling and Wood as the standouts. Havn’t heard much about PSH.

  • 12 9-06-2011 at 7:51 pm

    SC said...

    “Wuthering Heights”‘ cinematography trumps “The Tree of Life”‘s, huh? Interesting.

  • 13 9-06-2011 at 8:11 pm

    Philip said...

    Oh my goodness…if Evan Rachel Wood could get an Oscar nod, it would make her snub for Thirteen hurt a little less. (Yes, I’m still bitter).

  • 14 9-06-2011 at 8:57 pm

    Steve G said...

    JJ1, Shame hasn’t got a US distributor yet. Of course it could get one out of Toronto and be released by year’s end, or else held until 2012. I’ve also read a few people saying they could see it getting NC-17 rating. Which would likely hurt its award chances.

    But I suspect it will score highly on critics’ lists (like Hunger) this year and next as it starts to get seen.

  • 15 9-06-2011 at 9:31 pm

    John said...

    I still believe that Fassbender could get in!!

  • 16 9-06-2011 at 11:33 pm

    Jasper said...

    Shame sounds great, but NC-17 films have such a hard climb towards nominations that I just can’t see it happening.

    On another note, from what I’ve been reading, we may see Alps and Himizu show up in the foreign language races one day. For those who don’t know, Himizu is well-received, from a respected auteur, and about the recent earthquakes in Japan. If Japan submits it, I don’t see how it can NOT be nominated.

  • 17 9-06-2011 at 11:34 pm

    Jasper said...

    Wuthering Heights cinematography is better than The Housemaid’s, eh? I’m intrigued.

  • 18 9-07-2011 at 4:04 am

    ninja said...

    I`m happy for mixed reception and low enthusiasm for these Oscary movies. It`s about time a big movie wins. Fat chance it happens this year but next two will have the return of AMPAS favorite Jackson/Tolkien combo so that should make up for forgettable small winners.

  • 19 9-07-2011 at 4:19 am

    GlenH said...

    @Jasper: Sono’s less a respected auteur than a cult favourite. Outside of Love Exposure his work has had a very uneven reception. Still this one does seem to be much tamer than his recent outre efforts, you’re definitely right to cite the earthquake connection and Japan did submit Confessions(!) last year so you could well be on to something.

  • 20 9-07-2011 at 4:42 am

    JJ1 said...

    ninja, I know what you mean …

    “I`m happy for mixed reception and low enthusiasm for these Oscary movies. It`s about time a big movie wins”.

    I have no problem with smaller films, and have loved quite a few of the recent winners.

    But perhaps I’m a traditionalist, at heart. I prefer BIG.

    Throw me your Last Emperors, Dances with Wolves, Forrest Gumps, Bravehearts, English Patients, Titanics, Gladiators, Return of the Kings, etc..

    I was ALL aboard ‘The Way Back’ last year, but it just didn’t have the $$/campaign. I also thought it was very good, but not excellent. And too many films were excellent last year.

  • 21 9-07-2011 at 6:59 am

    tony rock said...


    All of those listed above are also period flicks, and Hollywood rarely makes big-budget period flicks anymore unless they’re something like Pirates of the Caribbean.

  • 22 9-07-2011 at 8:27 am

    JJ1 said...

    very true

  • 23 9-07-2011 at 3:25 pm

    Jake Garza said...

    I really think Weinstein is going to sweep the oscars this year with The Iron Lady, My Week With Marilyn, The Artis, W.E, and I feel like Im missing one…but yeah!

  • 24 9-07-2011 at 3:51 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Yeah, I’m with the above. How can anything top the cinematography of “The Tree of Life?” I just can’t believe anything else would deserve to win it ‘walking away.’ This is Lubezki’s Oscar.

  • 25 9-07-2011 at 3:55 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Well, it’s all moot, since I’m sure Wuthering Heights won’t come out this year in the US — and would never figure in the Oscar race anyway. But the opinion of someone who’s seen both movies versus the conviction of someone who’s seen one isn’t going to make for a productive discussion. Both extraordinary feats of lensing, in any event.

  • 26 9-07-2011 at 3:56 pm

    Filipe said...


    The Hobbit (novel) doesn’t have the emotional journey that Lord of the Rings have, so I’m thinking it won’t have the same impact.

  • 27 9-07-2011 at 6:58 pm

    Lucky said...

    Huh, most films we expected to succeed (Carnage, Ides of March) didnt’ have such a great reception, and the ones that did (Wuthering Highs, Shame) are not your typical Oscar fare. Interestingly, Venice didn’t provide much for Oscar predictors.

    I have a question though. We know it’s not happening, but what about Kaya Scodelario in WH?

  • 28 9-08-2011 at 2:21 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Lucky: See my review.

  • 29 9-08-2011 at 5:31 am

    ninja said...

    “The Hobbit (novel) doesn’t have the emotional journey that Lord of the Rings have, so I’m thinking it won’t have the same impact.”

    Filipe, I agree with you but they are reportedly beefing up the movies to feel like LOTR. So anything is possible although even if they pump the Battle of the Five Armies to Pelennor Fields level, it still remains that the “war” was over a treasure not for freedom of all people. So different cause and feel for sure. OTT battle spectacle may even feel out of place since it`s really a skirmish rather than all-out war in the book.

    JJ and Tony, La Jolie`s Cleopatra should be the big gun we are hoping for. Unless it becomes another Alexander.

  • 30 9-08-2011 at 5:53 am

    JJ1 said...

    Ha! I’ve had my eye on ‘Cleopatra’; and ‘Alexander’ rumblings have definitely been floating in my mind. Thanks. :)

  • 31 9-08-2011 at 5:43 pm

    Lucky said...

    I read it and I know you think she handled the part well, but does that mean she could have any chances at getting traction?