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It’s early, but the time has come to lay the groundwork for the 2020 Oscars, which hit the calendar earlier than usual. Nominations are January 13, and the Oscar show is February 9.
This year’s returning Oscar contenders include Meryl Streep (“Sophie’s Choice,” “Iron Lady”), Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”), Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”), Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”), and Charlize Theron (“Monster”).
Jiang - Yongbo - Aoi - Mizuhara - Chen
Jiang Yongbo, Aoi Mizuhara, Chen Han, Tzi Ma, Awkwafina, Li Xiang, Lu Hong, Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell”
Newcomers include Sundance breakout Awkwafina, star of Lulu Wang’s true-story family dramedy “The Farewell” (July 12) which A24 acquired for $6 million for the world (outside China). Shot in English and Mandarin and showcasing the acting chops of the “Crazy Rich Asians” star, “The Farewell” (Metascore: 87) will test the ceiling in North American for a foreign-language indie (American movies are not eligible for the foreign-language Oscar). Visibility will be key to this movie’s Oscar chances.
Neon - Sundance - Breakout - Chinonye - Chukwu
Neon acquired another Sundance breakout, writer-director Chinonye Chukwu’s prison drama “Clemency” (August, Metascore: 75) starring Woodard as a prison warden under duress. Hard-hitting social-action dramas have a long history with the Academy: think Oscar-winner “Dead Man Walking,” which earned a Best Actor nomination for Sean Penn and a Best Actress win for Susan Sarandon. Woodard hasn’t been nominated since her breakout role in “Cross Creek” in 1983. The movie won the U.S. Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize before opening New Directors/New Films at MoMA.
Amazon Studios picked up New York comedy “Late Night” (June 7) from writer-star Mindy Kaling, who delivers a hilarious performance as a diversity hire on a struggling New York talk show. She tangles with the powerful but vulnerable host, played by Oscar-winner Emma Thompson (“Howards End”), who is the more likely Oscar acting nominee, with Kaling likely contending for Original Screenplay.
Oscar - Nominee - Julianne - Moore - Raves
Five-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore scored raves...
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