Holidays bring possible Oscars nominations

With the holiday season upon us, we can be sure that every director in Hollywood is preparing to release their biggest hit. It is once again time to distinguish the Oscar hopefuls and pick out the upcoming must-sees.

There are several films coming out this Christmas that are expected to leave audiences breathless. With so many films being released in such a short time — be sure to choose wisely.

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The screen adaptation of the novel and famous Broadway musical Les Misérables loud Oscar buzz surrounding Anne Hathaway for her performance of Fantine. The movie will hit theaters on Christmas Day, and there have already been several predictions that Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman, and possibly Helena Bonham Carter, may also go home with Oscars.

The “A list”-packed movie has the rumor-mill spinning about the Oscar hopefuls, and it looks like Anne Hathaway is a frontrunner for several reasons. Aside from going all-out with her buzz cut, Hathaway also lost about 15 pounds in 14 days to look the starved, poverty-stricken part. But her singing voice is the real reason she is said to deserve an Oscar more than any other actor giving themselves serious makeovers for the movies.

Upon performing the first take of “I Dreamed A Dream” song was when the rest of the cast began to feel certain she would receive an award. The movie features the actors singing live on set rather than in a recording studio, an effect which could be a major feather in director Tom Hopper’s cap if it goes over well.

The new film Zero Dark Thirty, a military drama made by an Oscar-winning team, is a major rival for Les Misérables. Director Kathryn Bigelow’s account of the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden is delivered through the eyes of an analyst specializing in terrorist attacks. Jessica Chastain plays the analyst, Maya, and is rumored to have carried the entire movie, has already had Oscar buzz for Best Actress Award, and the movie is said to be innovative and original in its filming.

Of course, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is in the running for several awards. Major Oscar buzz has surrounded the movie for Cate Blanchett’s performance as well as Andy Serkis’ Gollum, and a whole host of Supporting Actor/Actress, Director, Screenplay, and Picture Awards. Not surprisingly, the movie has been predicted a nominee for pretty much every technical award possible, following in the wake of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which received 11 Oscars in total. A return of some of the most popular actors from the LOTR movies guarantees this film will be a success.

One movie that many expected would have Oscar buzz, but has not been well-reviewed by critics who previewed the movie, is Anna Karenina. The director, Joe Wright, who admired Keira Knightley before taking on the project, took a big risk and chose to film the movie as if it were being acted out on a stage.

The radical artistic decision divided critics, and many think it will most likely divide audiences as well. Despite a pointed lack of Oscar buzz, those who reviewed the movie positively say that it should be nominated for costume and production design and cinematography.

If you enjoyed the adaptations of Tolstoy’s novel that featured Sophie Marceau or Vivien Leigh, you may want to give the film a shot, since neither of those were Oscar-winners either.

If you’re looking for a few more good movie options this Christmas, Argo and Lincoln — directed by Ben Affleck and Steven Spielberg respectively- — have both received rave reviews and are widely considered to be serious Oscar contenders for a variety of categories. 

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