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    November 12, 2014


    This year’s lead up to the award season has been lacking with some movies that can be summed up as credible and clear front-runners. With the exception of Boyhood and Birdman, which were released in limited spectrums and have been receiving quite consistent buzzes all along, there are no big releases that fit into the bill. Most of the potential runners have opened in film festivals, but will be remain unseen for at least the next few weeks. As a comparison, by the time we hit the month of November in the last few years; Gravity, Captain Phillips, Argo, and The Social Network has all become the full throttle front-runners after their initial wide release in their respective seasons. The scenario may be quite different this year, but there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Given the specs of new releases in the next couple of months, the race for this February’s Oscar will be as exciting as any year.

    Green Tea Movie will give updates of the predictions for the upcoming 87th Academy Awards, beginning with this post. In this first article, Green Tea Movie looks at the early contenders of the Best Picture category by comparing them in terms of critical and audience appraisal, as well as the box office receipt each particular movie garnered at the time being.

    On the list at the moment, Green Tea Movie has arranged 25 possible contenders according to four categories as shown in the figures below. Green Tea Movie also reserved another list of movies with undetermined status as these movies have not received early reactions from both the critics and audiences. For examples, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper have not been shown or receiving any ratings from IMDB, Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes yet. It is assumed that with time, these two may just move into any of the four categories designated. The four categories are:
    1. “Almost There” - Recognized as the front-runners that are certain to secure the Best Picture nomination spot
    2. “Strong Possibilities” - Having a better chance to secure the Best Picture nomination spot given the current buzzes
    3. “Legit chance” – Having a good chance to secure the Best Picture nomination spot given the current buzzes or if any of the entries in “Strong Possibilities” does not perform well
    4. “Small Possibilities” – Having an outside chance or becoming a dark horse to secure the Best Picture nomination spot given the current buzzes

    It fairly concludes that at the moment, only Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman can be considered safe to assume that their nominations are secured (things may change later). Both have high appraisals and good box office receipt for movies opening in limited platform, while also making lots of buzz among the media circle. Down on the “Strong Possibilities”, given time I am also sure that Whiplash and The Imitation Game (and probably Gone Girl too) will move into the higher category if it can sustain the current buzz. Other titles like Foxcatcher, Mr. Turner and A Most Violent Year are also looking strong at the moment. The odd one in the list (weakest in the category) is James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything as it has the lowest scores among the list.

    I personally doubt titles like Snowpiercer, The Grand Budapest and Nightcrawler can get nominated for the big prize, but I am certain that these two may get noticed elsewhere. The fact that they have high 90s on Rotten Tomatoes may suggest it will be getting its fair amount of chance to be included. Nightcrawler may give Jake Gyllenhaal a Best Actor nod while Wes Anderson’s colourful affair may get technical respects. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has found itself in a difficult position with quite polarizing reviews – and should find itself in technical nominations too. Kill the Messenger, The Drop and A Most Wanted Man are currently not looking that well in the race.

    Give us your thoughts on the current race. What do you think?
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