Guess who’s gunning for the Oscars? | Jobi Cool

Along with festive holiday decorations everywhere we go today, the annual movie awards brigade arrives, the season’s most hyped Oscar lure doesn’t always deliver the goods, but long shots and jockeys at the front of the line do. .

Studios have checked their lists twice (or more), and by the end of the year will be releasing wannabe Oscar contenders with sparkles in their eyes and dreams of year-end awards in their hearts.

Before Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light” hits on December 9, some “sure things” need to be overcome. Meanwhile, some underdogs, including Vicky Cripps, demand our attention. an oppressive real-life empress in Dec. 30’s “Corsage”; Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge as lovers facing unfortunate futures in “Spoiler Alert” (Dec. 2); and Naomie Akki as tragic singer Whitney Houston in “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Dec. 23).

Anything can happen, after all, when it comes to Hollywood and the holiday awards season.

But before we spotlight the newbies hitting the block, let’s reconsider some early-bird standouts that have already made their case but may have slipped your attention.

After a blip of release, Amazon Prime is relaunching its heartwarming Mars rover odyssey “Good Night Oppy” on November 23. It’s ideal for holiday viewing, and it’s a beautiful movie about science.

Meanwhile, “The Banshees of Inishrein,” a bloody feud between Irish frenemies, is going to be a strong candidate and is still playing in theaters; Like Todd Field’s boldly creative statement “Tar,” with a fiery performance from Cate Blanchett, who is the frontrunner for best actress. And don’t miss Robert Eggers’ gruff, violent Viking epic, “The Northman” (available to stream now). It could be a sleeper. Also in the mix are “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (especially Angela Bassett’s fierce portrayal of Queen Ramonda) and Daniel Kwan and Daniel Schinert’s wildly creative “Everything Everywhere All At Akens,” one of the best movies of the year.

But now is the time to look forward.

To get into the spirit of the season, we’ve whipped up 12 awards season movies — those released through the end of the year — that Oscars watchers should keep an eye on.

Well, we cheated just a smidgen by betting on a movie hitting the Bay Area in January. Don’t be a scrooge about it, it happens every year.

Here’s our roundup.

“The Fabelmans”

If there’s a shoo-in for a best picture nomination, this is it—Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical dive into nostalgia that centers on a kid who falls in love with movies and then decides to make something of his own. Sound familiar? Early buzz is that Spielberg and his co-writing partner Tony Kushner have created another fun gem with a highly regarded veteran cast including Michelle Williams and Paul Dano as the bickering parents of neophyte filmmaker Sammy (Mateo Jorion Francis-Deford and Gabriel LaBelle). are included. Since this is a Spielberg production, expect tears to flow and flow.

Details: In theaters.

‘bones and all’

I question the sanity of anyone who thought it was a good idea to release a movie about cannibals around Thanksgiving time, maybe with the presence of actors Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet, along with the weirdness of the storytelling from “Call Me By Your Name” filmmaker Luca Guadagnino. Nudge it into some award categories.

Details: In theaters

‘Avatar: Waterway’

Derided by some, adored by others, James Cameron’s 2009 special effects spectacle “Avatar” received nine Oscar nominations and took home three. Cameron may be a divisive filmmaker but he’s always been the reliable Hollywood showman, a technical wizard who knows how to deliver visuals. Still, expect a split verdict on this one, and its 3-hour-plus running time already has us on the edge of our seats.

Details: In theaters December 16.

‘woman speaking’

Indie director/writer Sarah Polley offers another one of her bold, exciting and revealing conversation starters. It is a literal speaker, adapted from the same novel by Miriam Toews, about faith and healing from sexual abuse and trauma within the Mennonite community. Its cast (Jesse Buckley, Claire Foy, Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, Judith Ivey, Ben Whis, others) makes it an iconic film with a strong pedigree and an equally strong sense of voice and purpose. It will be a prize magnet.

Details: In theaters December 2.


Will Smith’s “slap” on Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars still feels raw, where most of us don’t want to see either of these two at another ceremony. But what is impossible to ignore is Smith’s presence in this, his latest epic drama that is buzzing with interest. Director Antoine Fuqua has a spotty record (“Infinity” with Mark Wahlberg was a mind-numbing disaster), but the impressive trailer suggests it could catapult him into the awards class. It is based on a true story about a slave who is killed and later joins the Union Army. Smith both stars and co-produces.

Details: December 2 in select theaters on Apple TV+ December 9.

“Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio”

Earlier this year, Disney+ released a live-action adaptation of Robert Zemeckis’ 1940 animated classic. Now Carlo Collodi’s complex story about a puppet who wants to be real gets a reprieve from one of the few filmmakers who can give a story depth, texture and dimension. Visually, at least, this Netflix release looks unique and attractive.

Details: Available on Netflix from December 11, after a short run in select theaters.

‘The Whale’

Brendan Fraser’s rip-your-heart-out tour de force performance here may be the best to beat Comecom awards season, in part because it’s billed as the comeback of the year for a beloved actor who’s seen his ups and downs. All that aside, Fraser deserves recognition for this performance on its own terms. Samuel D. Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of Hunter’s 2012 stage piece is a difficult, heartbreaking odyssey as it closes in on the hours and days spent with 600-pound shut-in Charlie, who has become even more deeply mired in his own grief. You won’t forget the performance, or the movie itself.

Details: In theaters on December 9

‘Glass Onion: Out of the Knife’

i know Director/writer Rian Johnson’s oh-so-clever star-studded mystery is set on a Greek island where murder is on someone’s mind. The Oscars rarely bestow their biggest honors on comedies. But when it comes to entertaining Dickens outside of us, few 2022 releases can match it. Because of this, this sequel is even better than the original. It finds godly detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) ferreting out rats and secrets between new suspects (Kate Hudson is a screamer). It could give Johnson screenplay honors.

Details: in theaters; on Netflix on December 23rd.


If the film’s Damien Chazelle’s high-glitz Lollapalooza delivers even one-tenth of the Red Bull-like adrenaline rush experienced in its wild trailer, we’re in for something grand and over-the-top; In the best way. The creator of “La La Land” returns to his Hollywood base as Big Dreamers crash into the harsh reality of 1920s Tinseltown. Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Tobey Maguire are just some of the stars promoting it. We’re in, but worry that it might be too self-indulgent.

Details: Opens in theaters on December 23rd.


Lucas Dhont’s intelligent and beautiful tearjerker may not be on your radar, but it should be and deserves a shower of awards. A close friendship between two 13-year-old boys in the Belgian countryside unfolds after a blissful summer ends and they return to school. It is a film full of pain, understanding and compassion. This is glorious filmmaking with two incredible young performances from Eden Dumbrin and Gustave de Vallée.

Details: Expected in theaters sometime in December.

‘white noise’

Anyone who has the guts to attempt to condense one of writer Don DeLillo’s mind-bending works into a movie deserves respect. Noah Baumbach takes on that difficult assignment here as both director and screenwriter for this Netflix production based on DeLillo’s genre-changing 1985 award-winning novel. Ostensibly, “Noise” is a portrait of a family suffering from a toxic waste disaster, but as true as DeLillo is it covers much more than that. In this adaptation, we’re there to trace back the layers and discuss what they all mean. Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle and Jodie Turner-Smith star.

Details: Dec. 2 in select theaters; Netflix on December 30.


This refashioning of Akira Kurosawa’s existential tearjerker “Ikiru” doesn’t arrive in the Bay Area until January 6, but it’s worth the wait. Kazuo Ishiguro’s clever screenplay and Bill Nighy’s brilliant performance in Oliver Hermanus’ 50s-era-set drama about a hardened British civil servant facing mortality reminds us of the need to color and experience life outside the lines. Its full.

Details: In theaters January 6.

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