Oscar Contenders

2012 Awards Season Guide: 13 Oscar Contenders to Look Out for in December

Get out your calendars

2012 Oscars December Contenders

Photo: AMPAS // RopeofSilicon.com

Just as I did with the month of November, I bring you a guide for the potential Oscar contenders releasing in December 2012 and the number of films previewed has nearly doubled from seven last month to 13 this month (sorry, it was 14, but We Bought a Zoo got the axe).

Just as I did with the seven titles last month, I'll give you a few thoughts on each film, a look at the Oscar categories (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, etc.) each film has a chance of being nominated in and the trailer and a link to more information on top of that.

Of course, if you want to keep closer tabs on the awards race just keep an eye on my Oscar Contenders section with frequently updated Oscar Predictions, Awards Schedule and my exclusive Oscar Overture section, which tracks a variety of the major precursor awards handed out leading up to the Oscars.

Everything said, if you go see these movies and keep tabs on those sections you should be very well prepared once the 2012 Oscars roll around on Sunday, February 26th.

For now, let's begin with Friday, December 2 and break down the entire month. Enjoy!

December 2

Shame

Shame
December begins with one of the better films I've seen this year in Steve McQueen's Shame, a film I began to get more and more out of the further away from it I got as it follows the life of a sex addict played by Michael Fassbender and his downward spiral after his wayward sister (Carey Mulligan) lands on his doorstep.

When it comes to Oscar the film appears to be facing a sink or swim scenario considering its NC-17 rating as it could very easily find itself competing in all of the major categories just as easily as it could be ignored in all of them. the main thing to take away from it all is that no matter what kind of award attention it enjoys it remains one of the better films of the year.

Potential Oscar Nominations for... Best Picture, Director (McQueen), Actor (Fassbender), Supporting Actor (Mulligan), Cinematography, Original Screenplay


Coriolanus

Coriolanus
I did not like this film one bit as evidenced in my review from Toronto. However, in that review some people took to task one comment I made which was: "There is absolutely no reason to try to sell this as a modern story, nothing about it is modern as any meaningful parallels to today are non-existent." Perhaps I should have italicized the word "meaningful" considering that was my point and yes, you can find parallels such as the events in Chechnya and I've seen some now comparing it to Occupy Wall Street as if that had anything to do with what director Ralph Fiennes and screenwriter John Logan intended when putting together the story based on William Shakespeare's lesser known play of the same name.

My thoughts on the film aside, it does stand a chance at awards consideration as most have pointed to Vanessa Redgrave's performance in particular. If you ask me, she's fine, as is pretty much everyone else considering this is a film that comes with the sole intention of reading Shakespeare's lines. So, the better the lines, the better the performance because Fiennes has certainly put together a strong cast and his final speech is quite impressive.

Potential Oscar Nominations for... Best Supporting Actress (Redgrave)


December 9

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
I've seen Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and I can tell you that while it is impeccably made it is so slow and ponderous I really found myself bouncing in and out of interest for most of the running time. It definitely isn't a spy thriller that will hold mass appeal, but it could still find its way into the hearts of Academy members, though my previous assumption that Gary Oldman would be a lock for his first ever Oscar nomination doesn't appear to be such a lock any longer.

Potential Oscar Nominations for... Best Picture, Actor (Oldman), Director (Tomas Alfredson), Art Direction, Cinematography, Score, Adapted Screenplay


We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk about Kevin
I have only a few films left to see this year and right now We Need to Talk about Kevin is a top ten pick for me. I intend to watch it again to see if I can endure it a second time, but man did it floor me when I saw it in Cannes earlier this year (read my review here)

This is an art house horror film through and through. It's visual and visceral and Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller knock it out of the park. Seek it out and give it a watch.

Potential Oscar Nominations for... Best Actress (Swinton), Cinematography


Young Adult

Young Adult
I just saw this last night and really liked it and the audience appeared to like it as well, laughing at all the right times and appearing to empathize at all the right moments as well. Diablo Cody (Juno) has penned a script that allows for a downbeat ending that won't turn off audiences thanks to the scene that comes right before it. It'll be interesting to see how this one settles in with audiences as Charlize Theron plays the high school bitch come back to her hometown of Mercury, Minnesota to win back her high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson) who is now married with a newborn child. As she puts it, "I'm cool with it, I mean, I've got baggage too."

Theron certainly stands a strong chance at a Best Actress nomination and look for Patton Oswalt to also be in the running for supporting actor. This is a very old school film that has been compared to Bob Rafelson's Five Easy Pieces, though I would say Cody has softened the edges on Young Adult ever so slightly, and it should work in the film's favor in getting more people to see it. It's definitely one of the best films of the year, but at the same time a Best Picture nod is going to be tough, but it's not down and out of that race entirely.

Potential Oscar Nominations for... Best Picture, Actress (Theron), Supporting Actor (Oswalt), Director (Jason Reitman), Original Screenplay (Cody), Film Editing


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  • gripmonster

    As of right now I have The Artist, The Descendents, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, War Horse, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.

    • gripmonster

      for best picture I should add

  • Dooby

    I wouldn't be surprised if 'Carnage' was lone play for supporting actor for Christoph Waltz.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      What's interesting about that is SPC is pushing for Best Actor (Comedy) and Actress (Comedy) for the cast at the Globes and Supporting Actor/Actress for the cast at the Oscars.

  • Marlin

    No Sandra Bullock as a potential supporting actress possibility for ELIC? Interesting. I read some good ink for her performance right after the first test screenings but not much since.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Stay tuned, more on that very topic in just one second...

  • Minas

    I think we must not rule out Midnight in Paris for BP. In a field with 5 films it would not had a chance but now it wouldn't surprise me. It's clearly a well liked film.

  • Gabriel

    The 21st cannot get here soon enough. Yeah I'm anxious to see Tintin but its TGWDT that has me pumped in part because there's still some mystique to it since only a few people have seen it and that the run time is still unknown (at least it is to me).

  • tombeet

    Mulligan for sup actress, not sup actor here. lol

  • Badge

    I saw TINTIN a couple of weeks ago, and it really has the feel of a Spielberg film even though it's animated - there's a sense of 'cinematography' to it. Fortunately that whole "mysterious supernatural force" vibe in the trailer turned out to be a meaningless marketing phrase - it's a treasure hunt, plain and simple.

  • Ian

    Shame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Carnage, Dragon Tattoo, and War Horse are all on my must-see list, and In the Land of Blood and Honey is moving up quickly. Tintin still depends on the reviews for me.

  • Mark

    Brad, the argument for a Davis win over Streep seems to be that The Help will be the only film of the five nominees to be nominated for Best Picture. This is apparently historically significant for a 2nd+ Oscar performance win. Possibly The Help will not earn a BP nod or Davis will be moved to supporting by AMPAS.

    What are your thoughts on this issue.

    Thanks.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      That's interesting, I haven't seen those stats, but it still seems like an arbitrary way to predict the winner. Then again, I am also starting to wonder if the emergence of Hugo may bump The Help from becoming a Best Picture nominee.