Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Trailer Tracker: Early Oscar Hopeful Flood Edition

The summer movie season is only three weeks in, and we already have some trailers for Oscar hopefuls hitting the web.  Shall we just dive in? 

Everyone is featured in the first two trailers, The Butler and August: Osage County.  I feel like they automatically get Best Ensemble SAG nominations by default.  Director Lee Daniels was nominated for Precious three years ago, and his last effort, The Paperboy, was maligned by critics.  I don't know how that could go wrong.  You have Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron dancing in his underwear.  If that's not quality entertainment, I don't know what is.  Daniels returns for more awards-friendly fare with his star-studded The Butler.  Forest Whitaker leads as Cecil Gaines, a White House butler who, during his long career, served eight presidents. 

This movie has Oscar winners out the ass!  It appears that Oprah Winfrey, however, gets the juciest scenes (at least from the trailer).  Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Melissa Leo, James Marsden, Minka Kelly, Jane Fonda, Liev Schreiber, David Oyelowo, John Cusak, Alex Pettyfer all pop up in this trailer.  Maybe another feature trailer will clarify the centrail storyline the movie is trying to make?  It kind of looks jumbled up and ensemble-y.  Harvey Winstein is behind this, so you best believe he will be pushing someone for an Oscar nomination.  Hopefully, this will be more Precious than .  Does anyone else get a Bobby feel? 


Get it, girl.

The cast for August: Osage County isn't smaller, mind you, but it does have Meryl Streep front and center.  Let me say that again.  Meryl Streep is starring in the adaptation of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning play.  I admit that I have never read or seen the play, but I have always wanted to (I just ordered a copy of the play off Amazon for a penny -- BAM!).  When the Weston family patriarch suddenly vanishes, the entire brood reunites to get to the bottom of the matter.  Streep plays Violet Weston, the quick-tongued mother while Julia Roberts plays Barbara, the eldest child who is desperately trying to keep her marriage together. 

I thought the play was BURSTING with drama, but the trailer indicates a lighter touch.  Is this just clever marketing?  Or is the adaptation lighter than normal?  Slant has warned that the material is a lot darker than the trailer promises.  The screenplay is by original playwright Tracy Letts, but the movie is being directed by Emmy Award winner Jon Wells.  He directed one little-seen drama (The Company Men starring Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones), but his work with Showtime's Shameless might hint that he can handle family dysfuntion.  The film co-stars Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch (humana humana), Abigail Breslin, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, and Juliette Lewis (squeal). 

Streep is almost guaranteed a Best Actress nomination.  Juicy role + Meryl Streep = awards season porn.  Will they campaign Roberts as Supporting or will August take up two Best Actess slots next year? 

I find it surprisingly that neither Butler or August put "Academy Award Winner/Nominee" titles before anyone. 

Am I the only one who wants Ewan McGregor to get an Oscar nomination?  How unloved, he is!

Alfonso Cuaron hasn't directed a feature since 2006's Children of Men.  You've all seen Children of Men, right?  Good!  The teaser for his long-awaited latest, Gravity, dropped this past weekend.  It stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, and, to be quite honest, it scares the crap out of me.  The film is about two astronauts struggling to return to Earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle.  Seems pretty standard, no?  Well, Cuaron is a visual wizard, and the imagery of this trailer is absolutely arresting.  I shall not elaborate more.

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