40 Potential 2014 Oscar Contenders: Part Four - 'Prisoners' to 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

We have reached the final ten films in my 2014 Oscar Preview, which has been made up of 40 potential 2014 Oscar contenders and, as we all know, I'm sure to have missed more than a handful. However, I think today's batch has more than a few gems to keep an eye on, many of which made my list of most anticipated films of 2013.

This list also includes the one movie of the entire 40 that has the best chance of being pushed to next year, but it would be foolish to leave it off until we know for sure. You probably know what film I'm talking about, but if you don't I'm sure the next paragraph will give it away.

This final list of ten films begins with Prisoners from Incendies helmer Denis Villeneuve and starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal alongside Melissa Leo and Viola Davis, next is Brad Furman's Runner, Runner with Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, Ron Howard's Rush is a film I am dying to see, Tom Hanks becomes Walt Disney to Emma Thompson's P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reteam for Susanne Bier's Serena, Sundance standouts The Spectacular Now and The Way, Way Back make the list, David O. Russell's Untitled Abscam Project is a question mark but must not be overlooked, Akiva Goldsman steps behind the camera for the first time with Winter's Tale and Martin Scorsese is back with Leonardo DiCaprio and a fleet of talent for The Wolf of Wall Street.

All those films and all those stars make today's list of ten and behind the top-billed talent there are some crew members working these flicks you're going to want to keep an eye out for.

As with all the other installments, just below is a navigation so you can check out previews parts you may have missed and tomorrow I will be posting all 40 once again in one massive recap.

2014 Oscar Preview Navigation

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

Otherwise, if you're ready to go, take your time and click on through and see if you can finally start putting together some early predictions, mine are coming next week...

DIR. Denis Villeneuve / September 20

With the September release date I think you can pretty much guarantee Prisoners will be showing up in Toronto. Directed by Denis Villeneuve who made a splash with Incendies in 2011, this thriller has taken some time to get off the ground as Bryan Singer was attached for a longtime, but it's finally on its way and with a strong cast. I think we can also prepare for Roger Deakins to get his 11th Oscar nomination, will this finally be the one?

POTENTIAL OSCAR CATEGORIES: Best Picture, Director, Actor (Hugh Jackman), Supporting Actor (Jake Gyllenhaal), Supporting Actress (Maria Bello and Viola Davis), Cinematography (Roger Deakins), Original Screenplay (Aaron Guzikowski)

STUDIO: Warner Bros.

CAST: Hugh Jackman, Melissa Leo, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, Maria Bello and Terrence Howard

SYNOPSIS: Prisoners revolves around a small-town carpenter named Keller (Hugh Jackman) whose young daughter and her best friend are kidnapped. After the cops fail to find them, Keller takes the law into his own hands, but in the process runs up against Detective Loki, a hot shot cop with confidence to burn, assigned to the case.

Runner, Runner
DIR. Brad Furman / September 27

Unfortunately not a ton is known about Runner, Runner outside of the original script by Rounders co-writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien and that it's directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) with a cast that includes Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton and Anthony Mackie. Oscar-winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore (Avatar) is behind the camera and as for the rest, your guess is as good as mine, but that's enough for me to add it to the radar.

POTENTIAL OSCAR CATEGORIES: Best Picture, Director, Actor (Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake), Supporting Actor (Anthony Mackie), Supporting Actress (Gemma Arterton), Cinematography (Mauro Fiore), Original Screenplay (Brian Koppelman and David Levien)

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox

CAST: Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie and Ben Schwartz

SYNOPSIS: The film is set in in a $30 billion world of illegal online gambling.

  • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

    Awesome coverage and previews, Brad! Nice work. Have enjoyed reading these each day this week.

  • adu

    Winter's Tale and Serena sound seriously good.

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

    I'm looking forward to most of these, especially Wolf of Wall Street, Prisoners, Rush, and Winter's Tale.

    I think Leo DiCaprio is an early frontrunner for Best Actor along with Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. Banks

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

    Wolf of wall street hopefully get's leo his oscar, it also looks like Scorsese going back to what he does best, so i'm really excited about this, my #2 most anticipated of this year.
    Prisoners also sounds really good.
    The David O. Russel film starts shooting this spring, and he is known of very short shooting they did The Fighter and Silver Linings within a month i believe, so it could come out this year if columbia does not have something else, maybe anyone else know what movies they have coming up?

    • http://www.fairytalepictures.wordpress.com Satu

      I didn't know he's known for short shootings. Good to know. I couldn't be waiting more of any film than the Abscam project. I was very doubtful of it coming out this year but maybe. I think O. Russell is with Alexander Payne the best director with actors. And in that cast there's all my favourite actors anc actresses. I just can't wait.

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

    Is it just me, or does Prisoners seem very similar to Mystic River?

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

      I now want to see Hugh Jackman shout "IS DAT MAH DAUGHTAH IN DER?!?!" as much as I joke, it was a great performance and if Prisoners is anything similar, we are looking at something decent

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

        Hahaha, I just laughed out loud. But yeah I wasn't saying that as a knock against it, I loved Mystic River.

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

          Oh no. I was saying mine was not a knock. It is a great film

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

    columbia has a lot this year. Captain Phillips, Foxcatcher, Monuments men. so don't count on David O. Russel's movie to come out this year.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HelloKitty/ Hello Kitty

    I wouldn't be surprised if Jennifer Lawrence is nominated for best actress yet again. The part sounds so juicy that she might even win her second Oscar back to back.

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

      How crazy would it be if she nominated for best supporting in O. Russell's Abscam film as well? I know everyone says Chastain is the next Streep, but I think Lawrence could be.

    • Alena

      She won't be nominated for Russell's movie, I've read the script and she has 4 scenes, nothing juicy. It's a cameo like THR said. David wants to test her chemistry with Bale for his next movie, The ends of the earth, which he hopes both could star. Serena is really good, Jennifer part is definetely Oscar worthy if the director got it right. Her character is pure evil.

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

        I'd be really excited to read the script or even a preview for David's Abscam project?! From what I read online the Abscam project will be shoot during the break Lawrence has between Catching Fire and Days of Future Past.

        Does anyone know if Serena will get domestic distribution because, some international opening dates are already available?

        • http://www.fairytalepictures.wordpress.com Satu

          According to IMDb, the release date is September 27th.

  • Torryz

    Most of these movies can't come soon enough for me!

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

    "where they begin to build a timber empire in 1929"
    Seriously? Who greenlighted this?

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

      Considering it is based on what is supposed to be a very good book, I don't think it is the stupid idea you seem to be viewing it as

  • Bertram J. Krogh

    I posted my early predictions before you posted your previews, but it has come to my notice that I have swapped many of the leads with supporting credits, and vise versa. So here is my new, official, early predictions (and bear in mind that they aren’t exactly predictions, but more likes hopes).

    Best Actor:
    Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street (Winner)
    Dennis Quaid for At Any Price
    Steve Carell for Foxcatcher
    Ryan Gosling for Only God Forgives
    Tom Hanks for Saving Mr. Banks

    Best Actress:
    Nicole Kidman for Grace of Monaco (Winner)
    Meryl Streep for August: Osage County
    Shailene Woodley for The Spectacular Now
    Charlotte Gainsbourg for Nymphomaniac
    Jennifer Lawrence for Serena

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Michael Fassbender for Twelve Years a Slave (Winner)
    Bradley Cooper for The Place Beyond the Pines
    Will Forte for Nebraska
    Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher
    Brad Pitt for The Counselor

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Catherine Keener for Captain Philips (Winner)
    Cameron Diaz for The Counselor
    Reese Witherspoon for Mud
    Jacki Weaver for Parkland
    Oprah Winfrey for The Butler

    So those are my early predictions. Very eager to see yours (and by yours, I mean ALL OF YOU! YES, YOU!).

  • Prakshid Meshram

    1. Monuments Men
    2. 12 Years a Slave
    3. August: Osage county
    4. Saving Mr. Banks
    5. Foxcatcher
    6. Labor Day
    7. The Counselor
    8. The Wolf of Wall Street
    9. Gravity
    10. David O. Russell Untitled Abscam Project/American Bullshit

    1. George Clooney- Monuments Men
    2. Steve McQueen- 12 Years a Slave
    3. Bennet Miller- Foxcatcher
    4. Martin Scorsese- The Wolf of Wall Street
    5. Alfonso Cuaron- Gravity
    Alt. Ridley Scott- The Counselor

    1. Tom Hanks- Saving Mr. Banks
    2. Steve Carell- Foxcatcher
    3. Chiwetel Ejifor- 12 Years a Slave
    4. Leonardo Di Caprio- The Wolf of Wall Street
    5. Matthew McConegheny- Dallas Buyer's Club
    Alt. Bruce Dern- Nebraska

    1. Naomi Watts- Diana
    2. Meryl Streep- August: Osage County
    3. Emma Thompson- Saving Mr. Banks
    4. Kate Winslet- Labor Day
    5. Sandra Bullock- Gravity
    Alt. Jennifer Lawrence- Serena

    1. Josh Brolin- Labor Day
    2. Michael Fassbender- 12 Years a Slave
    3. Mark Ruffalo- Foxcatcher
    4. Jonah Hill- The Wolf Of Wall Street
    5. Will Forte- Nebraska
    Alt. Javier Bardem- The Counselor

    1. Amy Adams- David O. Russell Untitled Abscam Project/American Bullshit
    2. Julia Roberts- August: Osage County
    3. Cameron Diaz- The Counselor
    4. Cate Blanchett- Monuments Men
    5. Margo Martindale- August: Osage County
    Alt. Carey Mulligan- Inside Llewyn Davis

    1. The Counselor
    2. Saving Mr. Banks
    3. Gravity
    4. Nebraska
    5. Foxcatcher
    Alt. Inside Llewyn Davis

    1. Monuments Men
    2. Labor Day
    3. 12 Years a Slave
    4. August: Osage County
    5. The Wolf of Wall Street
    Alt. Before Midnight

  • nightwolf

    I saw The Spectacular Now at Sundance. Miles Teller is definitely the lead, and he is very good in that movie.

  • david

    Hey bertram I've got 2 predictions for you. you ready dead man down best picture and noomi rapace for best actress read a couple reviews and all the reviews are raving about this movie and rapace performance

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

      It seems that you really like Dead Man Down.

      And you know you can reply to comments directly, right?

    • Anna

      Sorry man but dead man down is not going to be nominated... I'm 100% percent sure on that one

    • Bertram J. Krogh

      Yeeeeah I am sorry to break it down for you bro, but you don’t really get to decide for us :/ And I really don’t think Dead Man Down is going to impress anybody.

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

    Loved the coverage Brad. I have prepared my short list, and shall finish my predictions tomorrow. It is quite difficult this year as compared to other years, I think

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

    In case anyone cares, I made my own predictions.

    You can view them here: http://letterboxd.com/xarnis/list/2014-oscar-predictions/

  • Leonardo

    I think that "To _The Wonder" and "Trance" are missing from the list but they doesnpt exactly sound awards worthy.

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

      To the Wonder might be able to get Best Cinematography. All of Terrence Malick's other films (excluding Badlands) have scored a nom for their Cinematography.

      As for Trance, it could be good but I doubt the Academy will give it Amy recognition.

      • Bertram J. Krogh

        I think Trance is more like a blockbuster than an award-winner, so I agree. Hopefully Danny Boyle will go on and make some great drama afterwards (not implying that Trance is going to be bad). I thought Slumdog Millionaire was one of the best films of the last decade.

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

    The Way, Way Back does sound like a great dramedy. I'm also excited about The Wolf of Wallstreet, only thing is the book reviews are not that great. However Winter is a heck of an adapter, so he may tweek it just right to make it work on screen.

  • Dale

    Of this last group, the three that interest me most are "Winter's Tale," the David O. Russell ABSCAM film, and especially "Serena". When was the last time an actress 22 years old took on (or was offered) roles with real depth and brought to them maturity and skill far beyond her years? Jennifer Lawrence certainly did it in "Winter's Bone" and "Silver Linings Playbook" and I expect she'll blow us away again in "Serena." It's hard to believe the characters she plays are so unlike her natural pesona, which is totally charming and funny.

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

    Aside from Wolf of Wall Street, the other film I really look forward to seeing is Prisoner, I was such a big fan of incendies that I can't wait to see what this director has to offer.

    Thank you for putting together such a great list

    • Art

      Yea thanks for the list Brad

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

    Brad, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty could be a possible underdog. True, it's a remake, but there are some really good ones out there (True Grit, for example).

  • Chris138

    I've been wanting to read Winter's Tale as of late. I've heard good things about the book so hopefully the movie is good as well.

  • Newbourne

    Frost/Nixon was fantastic. I feel that you must have missed something, although I hardly understand how you could dislike the movie in any way.

    I think you definitely should revisit that film this weekend. It was fantastic and I think you might agree upon a second viewing.

  • MajorFilmFan

    Brad, what are the odds the Abscam drama could pull two Best Actor nominations, for Bale and Cooper?