Still no TV in the family room, so I’m now two weeks behind on Boardwalk Empire. I’ll try my best to get retroactive thoughts up, though I’m uncertain how valuable they will be to even me.
With Fall in the air, it’s time to start thinking about Oscar contenders, and equipping yourself with the right viewing experiences come Award season. The big show airs March 7th, and nominees will be announced January 25, but serious contenders will be starting to hit theaters in the upcoming months.
If you followed my best/worst summer movies lists, then you know I’ve already blocked out three of the 10 Best Picture noms for “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right,” and “Toy Story 3.” Cross off one more slot for “The Social Network,” and we’re left with room for six more potentials. Here’s is a simple guide to track your pre-nominations viewing.
“Hereafter” — Release Date: October 22
Clint Eastwood is director here, for this multi-story take on death. Eastwood’s last directorial takes, Invictus and Grand Torino, have both been Oscar favorites, so expect “Hereafter” to follow suit.
“127 Hours” — Release Date: November 5th
Not for the claustrophobic or weak of stomach, “127 Hours” is the true story of Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who had to cut off his own arm after it was trapped underneath a boulder. Director Danny Boyle makes his return in his first film since Oscar winner “Slumdog Millionaire.”
“The King’s Speech” — Release Date: November 26th
The ever-talented Colin Firth stars in this period piece about King George VI’s struggle to overcome a stuttering problem. It’s a limited release and not so huge on my radar, but could be an early favorite in the Best Picture category.
“Black Swan” — Release Date: December 1
Paranoia and ballet are the key components here. Natalie Portman stars and Darren Arnofsky (“The Wrestler”) directs, in this film about the competition for the leading role in Swan Lake and how it’s pursuit overcomes one hopeful.
“The Fighter” — Release Date: December 10
If you want a horse in the Oscar race but want to keep it less artsy, this could be the flick for you. Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale star in the Micky Ward biopic. IMDB shows a limited release, but it may be worth hunting down a showing near you.
“True Grit” — Release Date: December 25
Last but not least, the Coens. I was extremely fond of their last picture, “A Simple Man,” and this one looks like it has all the making of another great one. Pair their expert film making with Jeff Bridges top-notch acting (he took home last years Best Actor for “Crazy Heart”) and this John Wayne remake could have a real shot.