The race mid-NYFF

The NYFF is asserting itself as an Oscars stop once again. Lincoln down, Flight in 5 days, Life of Pi in the rearview. It goes to show that oftentimes we intuitively know how good they’ll end up being beforehand. Life of Pi wowed the critics, but remains a question as to the awards momentum it will attract (I’d say major categories, minus acting, plus technicals, winning in the latter). I’m certain Flight will be just as surely the crowd pleasing, populist delight it promises. Should this be the case, Acting and Screenplay could become decent possibilities. Yet, what do we know now about one of the biggest question marks still out there being revealed?

My impression of the comments from bloggers, critics and all around is that the film is a disciplined, nicely crafted and respectful take on an interesting and profound moment in our history. I don’t see it reaching that critical mass of fervor to bring home the top award or Directing (though nominations most likely). Yet, an area Spielberg has often struggled with, acting nominees, will come through most strong. Daniel Day-Lewis as the tent pole position is undoubtedly a strong presence, but (1) He has won recently (2) The reactions are nothing like There Will Be Blood thus far. I think Phoenix will have no problem getting Best Actor. Yet, in the supporting categories things get shaken up a bit. Excellent word on the performances by Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. This is where the main shake-up takes place.

Sally Field is now running in a tight race with Anne Hathaway and Helen Hunt. Tommy Lee Jones is going to be in a battle with Philip Seymour Hoffman. In my mind, Tommy Lee Jones becomes the movie’s sole frontrunner nominee. With Phoenix a likely Best Actor win, Hoffman may just have to be satisfied with another hard won nomination.

Stays the same: Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor (nominated)
New: Sally Field (nominated) Tommy Lee Jones (frontrunner)

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