Oscar season preview (November/December) part 3: DiCaprio finally poised to win

Posted: September 11, 2013 in Movies

Late November, early December is usually a good spot for movie studios to push their Oscar contenders and it’s no secret that Paramount studios really wants their upcoming film, The Wolf of Wall Street, to win all of the awards.

Here’s a run down of the films you should be paying attention to this coming Thanksgiving:

The Wolf of Wall Street (Nov. 15)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, Kyle Chandler

Synopsis: Martin Scorsese reteams with Leonardo DiCaprio on this adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir surrounding his indulgent ride as a crooked banker made headlines in the 1990’s. Terrence Winter provides the screenplay.  Jonah Hill and Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin co-star.

Mark’s Take: Leonardo DiCaprio has been searching for that long awaited Oscar win for quite some time now.  He’s been on quite the upswing as of late and was, by all accounts, robbed of an Oscar nomination last year for Django Unchained.  DiCaprio’s last team up with director Scorsese – Shutter Island, The Departed, and The Aviator – have worked out well for the actor.  If the trailer is any indication, we’re in for a wild ride with this one.  Look for McConaughey to get a strong push for Best Supporting Actor in this one.

Her (Nov. 20)

Director: Spike Jonze

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara

Synopsis: Spike Jonze takes the helm for this comedy about a withdrawn writer (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his computer’s highly advanced operating system.

Mark’s Take: Joaquin Phoenix continues his Hollywood resurgence with Her, a romantic comedy (!) penned exclusively for him.  It’s written and directed by Spike Jonze, which could either be good or bad – depending on who you ask.   Phoenix’s last film, The Master, was a spectacular output by him and there’s no reason to believe that his performance here won’t be the same.

Nebraska (Nov. 22)

Director: Alexander Payne

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk

Synopsis: Director Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) takes the helm for this black and white road trip drama starring Bruce Dern as a tempestuous Missouri father who’s convinced he’s won a million dollar magazine sweepstakes, and Will Forte as the son who grudgingly agrees to drive him to Nebraska to claim his winnings. Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach costar.

Rotten Tomato Score: 81%

Mark’s Take: Alexander Payne is that director that makes films that you don’t think will interest anyone but turn out to be some of the best film’s you’ve seen.  His last film’s, The Descendants/Sideways/About Schmidt, were all intense character studies dealing with loss.  Nebraska looks to be another character study worth watching.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec. 12)

Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans

Synopsis: The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

Mark’s Take: It took Peter Jackson three Lord of the Rings films to finally get one nominated for an Oscar even though all were pretty deserving.  The Hobbit, last year, wasn’t The Fellowship of the Ring but it was still deserving of consideration.  The Desolation of Smaug should be a better all around film than the first, so expect Warner Bros. to push it hard this Christmas.

You can read part’s 1 and 2 – here and here.

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