Bring on the Oscar movies! And the Oscar fatigue!
The season of grossout comedies and screechy animated romps is spewing to an end as we brace ourselves for the period when actual quality films might come out of the darkness. And these films know they’re quality.
In fact, the releases from now till December 31 have been aggressively devised to win Oscars and will be prestigiously rammed down our throats until someone votes for them!
The top choices:
* Ages ago, George Clooney went from TV star to Oscar bait, and his new one will hardly stop his pedigree parade from marching on. It’s The Ides of March, directed by Clooney (who costars with Ryan Gosling), and seeing as it examines dirty politics from the inside, it couldn’t be any more tawdrily topical. Opens October 7
* Leonardo DiCaprio gets a star role—and hopefully some nice gowns—as FBI head J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. It doesn’t take an investigator to smell Oscar potential here. October 21
* Another American legend, Marilyn Monroe, is dissected in My Week With Marilyn, with two-time nominee Michelle Williams as the troublesome screen siren. “Sexy psychodrama” crossed with semi-biopic often spells Oscar contender, boo-poo-bee-doo. November 4.
* Four screaming adults get to chew the scenery in Roman Polanski’s Carnage, based on the Broadway hit God of Carnage. Yes, they’ve taken out the God, but they’ve added Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly, and some scenery. November 18.
* It’s not Oscar season without a modern take on Shakespeare, so Ralph Fiennes steps in by directing and starring in Coriolanus, along with Gerald Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jessica Chastain, who’s apparently in every single film this year. Is it too soon for a lifetime achievement award? December 2.
* Nasty people are rejoicing that Madonna’s gotten behind the camera for a change. And with Harvey Weinstein behind her, Madge’s W.E.—about King Edward’s affair with Wallis Simpson, paralleled with a contempo coupling of a Russian woman and security guard–could actually get honors. December 9.
* Meryl Streep dons prosthetic teeth and a thick British accent as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. This is the biggest “duh” since Gandhi (though Meryl probably won’t win, thanks to the Academy’s perennial ageist bent). December 16
* In David Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara play a reporter and a hacker who uncover a sinister past together and come up with a remake that sounds like Oscar bait. December 21.
* And finally, a boy and his horse are separated in Steven Spielberg’s sweeping period piece War Horse, but the film is clearly about a grownup trying to get another Oscar. December 28.
Fatigued yet? Too much prestige to handle? Don’t worry—December will also bring Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.