40 Potential 2014 Oscar Contenders: Part Two - 'The Fifth Estate' to 'Labor Day'

Yesterday kicked off my 2014 Oscar Preview with the first ten films in a look at 40 potential contenders to be on the lookout over the course of the next ten months, today we take a look at ten more and among them I have included the only animated contender I'm listing as well as the only blockbuster feature.

Today's installment includes the dramatization of the Wikileaks story in The Fifth Estate, Bennett Miller (Moneyball) returns with Foxcatcher starring Channing Tatumand Mark Ruffalo, Disney's animated feature Frozen, the Sundance standout Fruitvale starring Michael B. Jordan, Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, the long-awaited Alfonso Cuaron feature Gravity with Oscar winners George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, the question mark that is Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, another question mark in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, the black-and-white Coen brother feature Inside Llewyn Davis and Jason Reitman's Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

This may be the widest range of films this preview has to offer and will hopefully continue to further the conversation. Just as with the Part One, please add your thoughts on each film and any potential categories I may have overlooked in each, or miscategorized as I did yesterday with a few of the Screenplay contenders.

I have included a navigation for the entire feature directly below and as the additional installments are added I will update the links.

2014 Oscar Preview Navigation

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Complete List

Now let's get started...

The Fifth Estate
DIR. Bill Condon / November 15

Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl in The Fifth Estate
Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl in The Fifth Estate
Photo: Dreamworks Pictures

What a way for Bill Condon to quickly get away from the payday that was directing Twilight: Breaking Dawn than to tackle the Wikileaks story with Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange. The script was written by Josh Singer ("Fringe," "The West Wing") based on "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website" by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy" by David Leigh and Luke Harding and should definitely be a contender down the line.

POTENTIAL OSCAR CATEGORIES: Best Picture, Director, Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Supporting Actor (Daniel Bruhl), Adapted Screenplay (Josh Singer)

STUDIO: Dreamworks Pictures

CAST: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Peter Capaldi and Carice van Houten

SYNOPSIS: Following Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl), an early supporter and eventual colleague of Julian Assange (Cumberbatch), The Fifth Estate traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks. The website's overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects and transformed the flow of information to news media and the world at large.

DIR. Bennett Miller / TBA 2013

Bennett Miller has given us Capote and Moneyball and now he's got Steve Carell, one of the hottest names around in Channing Tatum and the always-reliable Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, a based on a true story feature from screenwriters Dan Futterman (Capote) and E. Max Frye. This one has a lot of potential in several categories.

POTENTIAL OSCAR CATEGORIES: Best Picture, Director, Best Actor (Steve Carell), Supporting Actor (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), Adapted Screenplay (Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye), Cinematography (Greig Fraser), Film Editing (Stuart Levy)

STUDIO: Columbia Pictures

CAST: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall and Vanessa Redgrave

SYNOPSIS: Based on the true story of John du Pont (Carell), the paranoid schizophrenic heir to the du Pont chemical fortune who built a wrestling training facility called Team Foxcatcher on his Pennsylvania estate. David Schultz (Ruffalo) was a longtime friend of du Pont who had repeatedly tried to help him before du Pont shot and killed him in 1996.

Police never established a motive for the crime, which was witnessed by Schultz's wife and du Pont's head of security. After the shooting, du Pont barricaded himself in his mansion for two days while he negotiated his surrender over the phone.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    I think The Great Gatsby will prove to be a major flop, at least critically.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

      probably yes, but it could still get technical nominations like costumes desgin, make-up and hairstyling, score, song and cinemtography.
      Foxcatcher looks really interesting to me, just like Labour day. and just as everyone i can't wait for Gravity to finally come out.

    • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

      Based on some comments from a friend of mine who worked at Warner, unless some significant (positive) changes have been made since last summer, your hunch is probably correct.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    Foxcatcher is my most anticipated of the year.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Chris/ Chris

    Foxcatcher is one of the most anticipated of the year for me. Bennett Miller is one of the most underrated directors working in hollywood. I loved Moneyball and Capote was pretty good as well. I'm really looking forward to Carell the most in this one.

  • adu

    Wow, Foxcatcher definitely sounds like one to watch out for.

    As for the ones that could go either way, I feel Desolation of Smaug will be the best Blockbuster to come out this year (along with Star Trek 2)...the first one crossed a billion recently, and I am sure the excitement for this will be high (apart from this site) come December.

  • http://cineenuruguay.blogspot.com/ Driver

    I'm reading "Gatsby" for the first time and I hope the movie works because Its an amazing novel, I'm loving it so far. Still, that delay scares me, but at least it wasn't released on January, that's something.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Thornsy/ Thornsy

    Moulin Rouge was released in June of 2001, not 2011.

  • Bertram J. Krogh

    Since Foxcatcher was rumored, I was extremely intrigued. Three charismatic actors in a film directed by a great director, with a strange plot that includes a psychologically unstable character. Mark Ruffalo also looks strangely interesting in the released picture. Though, I am really hoping for Steve Carell to deliver a great performance.

  • SP1234

    I'd say Mulligan will be Leading instead of Supporting. Daisy is a pretty big character and Mulligan beat out hundreds of actresses for the role.

  • Paul

    I have a really good feeling about both The Fifth Estate and Foxcatcher. Don't know why. Estate instantly reminds me of The Social Network, and Bennett Miller just keeps delivering greatness. Really looking forward to both.

  • ian

    From the widely available trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis, it's obvious that the film is NOT in black and white.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ducard/ Ducard

    Cuaron is one of the most interesting directors working & "Gravity"'s running time is any longer than 20 minutes then I think it's going to have to go into "2001"'s "Voyage Beyond Infinity" awesomeness --or wierdness, depending upon your point of view. I can't wait.
    "Foxcatcher" & "Labor Day" sound very interesting too given the directorial talents of these movie.

  • Andrés

    Brad, you said that the cinematography of inside llewyn davis is black-and-white, but the trailer is in color.

  • Dale

    From this group, I'm most excited about "The Fifth Estate," "Foxcatcher" and "Inside Llewyn Davis." I'm still nervous about what Baz Luhrmann might have done to "The Great Gatsby." The preview suggests that he's really captured the look of the 1920s, but will the sets bury the story? Also, I don't really buy Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby but maybe he'll surprise me. I definitely didn't buy him as Howard Hughes or J. Edgar Hoover.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lbvalen/ Lisa Valentine

      Leo was very convincing as Howard Hughes and I think he is perfect for Jay Gatsby. I am a little nervous as previously mentioned that it's release date was pushed but still looking forward to the movie.

  • Trent

    Brad, some corrections: Moulin Rogue was released June 2001, not 2011. And Inside Llewyn Davis has a release date: December 4

  • Prakshid Meshram

    As per a script of Foxcatcher, channing Tatum's as Mark Schultz is also a lead with Steve carell as John Du Pont. It is one of the most anticipated film for me.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/SirTrey/ Sir Trey

    I found it rather amusing that the synopsis for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was just copy+pasted from the first movie...because this second one doesn't really need to exist as-is. I'll still probably see it but still...

    I love Jason Reitman (Juno and Up in the Air were #1s from their given years for me) so Labor Day is at or near the top of my most-anticipated list.

    And as for blockbusters...while I still have my doubts, Man of Steel is, I suppose, somewhat plausible. Hell, the first Star Trek made the National Board of Review's Top Ten, maybe Into Darkness could make a run. Had World War Z been done correctly (it looks terrible) that could've been a huge contender, absolutely stellar book. And who knows, maybe Ender's Game turns out to be spectacular, the source material certainly gives it a chance. Obviously I wouldn't bet on any of these but if I had to put my money on one blockbuster squeaking out a Best Picture nod it'd be Ender's Game, sight unseen, just because of the potential.

  • http://timcook411@gmail.com timothy todd cok

    Team (Foxcatcher) Sbould win many awards just like Dave Schultz did in his short life as a Wrestler. Dave would have become not only a Great business Man and would have taken Wrestling to the 2020 Olympics .Smart business man and Great Champion.

  • http://timcook411@gmail.com timothy todd cok

    Team (Foxcatcher) Sbould win many awards just like Dave Schultz did in his short life as a Wrestler. Dave would have become not only a Great business Man and would have taken Wrestling to the 2020 Olympics .Smart business man and Great Champion.