Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.
As September commences and the festivals begin to roll out with reactions, the narratives will begin to form and even though it is far too early it’s still fun to begin speculation, especially with the two lead acting races.
The Best Actor race could go anywhere but Will Smith seems to be a pretty strong bet to win for his performance in King Richard as the father of Venus and Serena Williams.
Smith is one of the largest Hollywood stars and him winning an Oscar would help the narrative that the Academy is relevant which has been a problem recently. It would also show that Hollywood stars can have acting chops, which is another common prediction thread at the Oscars
Another box that Smith’s performance checks is that he is playing a real person in a biopic which obviously the Oscars love, now this didn’t help him win for Ali or Pursuit of Happyness where he was nominated for portraying real people. He lost his Oscar to Denzel Washington in Training Day who played a fictional character and his Pursuit of Happyness Oscar was lost to Forest Whitaker who did play a real historical figure in The Last King of Scotland. Therefore this narrative has gone either way for Smith.
The trailer centers around Smith’s character and his emotions that feel quite convincing. Furthermore, the film is directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green who knows how to draw great performances and effective emotion.
This will be the performance voters will love as they can see its Will Smith but he looks and sounds different in a movie that will highlight social justice in a natural and digestible fashion.
Meanwhile, the best actress race could also go anywhere but Kristen Stewart is at the front of the pack at this point for playing Princess Diana in the new film Spencer.
The anticipation for this performance is almost impossible to live up to but this also leads to an excitement that so many people are feeling including the voters.
The film is directed by Pablo Larrain who directed Natalie Portman to an Oscar nomination in Jackie. However, due to its unconventional direction the film is considered quite divisive, which can sometimes affect the performance.
Kristin Stewart is someone who hasn’t gotten the respect she deserves as an actress. While she has delivered many great performances since Twilight and yet all people see is Twilight, this could work in her favor to form the narrative as an underdog or it could do a disservice as voters wonder if she has the potential. (She does)
The other problem is, from the first trailer, little is shown in Stewart’s performance including if she actually can pull off a British accent. Her one line reading at the end of the trailer sounds good but we will have to see the movie for more.
Princess Diana is very popular right now. Emma Corrin is about to probably win an Emmy for her portrayal of the Princess in The Crown and there is also a musical about the famous figure. Could Spencer ride the wave of that popularity or will audiences be sick of the multiple renditions.
It’s still three and a half months and many new releases until nominations are announced but these two actors are developing the most chatter and while they seem to be in the lead their attention will give them at the very least a nomination.