Starting on Monday, I'm going to preview 40 potential 2014 Oscar contenders with ten new previews each day and then the following week I'm going to open my 2014 Oscar predictions earlier than I ever have before. Inevitably there will be comments that read "The Oscars just ended, can't we take a break?" and "How can you predict movies will win Oscars when you haven't even seen any of them yet?" or some variation of those two sentiments.
Well, as you've noticed over the past week or so, studios are staking out their territory as several release dates have been set and shuffled around the board and today we have the biggest update of the lot, at least as far as this year's awards race is concerned, as The Weinstein Co. has slated their four major awards features beginning with their Sundance acquisition Fruitvale.
Directed by Ryan Coogler with a much-talked about star turn by Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale will hit theaters on October 18. I wouldn't be surprised to see it play the Cannes Film Festival, but with a date like that I'm definitely expecting a Toronto appearance.
Next is John Wells's August: Osage County based on and adapted by Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. The film, which stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts among others will hit theaters on November 8.
NOTE: Click on any of the dates to see what other films are releasing around the same time.
Next is Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom starring Idris Elba in the title role and directed by Justin Chadwick. Naomie Harris co-stars in the drama based on Nelson Mandela's autobiography, which will hit theaters on November 29.
I will have plenty more on all four of these films next week, but you can click on their titles for additional plot and casting information as well as pictures in the case of Fruitvale and Grace of Monaco. Stay tuned for much more.