Young Adult, War Horse, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the Top Ten Oscar films still to come

By Nathan Swank

I firmly believe we have already seen a few of the Oscar contenders this year in TREE OF LIFE, MONEYBALL and THE HELP.  However, there are at least ten Oscar picture potentials still to be released. And no matter how much I’m excited for MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL or even SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS, I doubt they’re vying for a Best Picture spot so I’m gonna break down my list of the films that I anticipate have the best shot.

Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly in We Need To Talk About Kevin

Click the title of the movie to see the trailer

10. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN – What if your teenager ended up being a mass murderer?  This film explores two estranged parents, played by Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly, as they try to figure out what went wrong with person they love most in the world.  Release Date:  Dec. 9

9. YOUNG ADULTCharlize Theron tries to win back her married high school sweetheart.  That topic kind of disgusts me but the trailer was kind of funny with Theron acting like an adolescent.  But Jason Reitman who directed UP IN THE AIR, JUNO and THANK YOU FOR SMOKING is reteaming with JUNO screenwriter Diablo Cody and I trust that track record.  Release Date:  Dec. 9

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

8. TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPYGary Oldman is a recently retired veteran spy who is attempting to expose a mole within the organization.  Who doesn’t love an intelligent espionage film?  Release Date: Dec. 9

7. CARNAGEAcademy Award Director Roman Polanski puts four of our greatest actors into a room and let them hash it out.  Academy Award winners Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and Academy Award nominee John C. Reilly are parents discussing their sons schoolyard fight.  I’m excited to see what this talented team can do.  Release Date: Dec. 9

6. EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSEA young boy who’s father (Tom Hanks) died in the 9/11 terrorist attack is on a journey to figure out why he was left a mysterious key.  This sounds like it has a family tearjerker quality with a positive message.  Release Date: Dec. 25

Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in We Bought a Zoo

5. WE BOUGHT A ZOOAfter losing his wife, Matt Damon plays a broken man who moves his family into his recently purchased rundown zoo.  Cameron Crowe, who hasn’t directed a feature film since 2005’s forgettable ELIZABETHTOWN, returns behind the camera.  I will see anything from the man who brought us ALMOST FAMOUS, JERRY MAGUIRE and SAY ANYTHING.  Release Date: Dec. 23

4. THE ARTIST – This is a black-and-white silent film similar to the one’s of old Hollywood.  I might question the idea of going backwards in technology when we have progressed so far in filmmaking but it has been getting rave reviews with a charming cast and love story. Color me intrigued.  Release Date: Nov. 25.

War Horse

3. WAR HORSEI know Steven Spielberg has caught grief recently but the fact remains that this man has directed not just some, but many of the greatest films ever made.  He blends quality with good popcorn entertainment.  And a horse sent into battle during World War I is sure to be a people pleaser.  Release Date: Dec. 25

2. THE DESCENDANTSAlexander Payne has written and directed ELECTION, ABOUT SCHMIDT and SIDEWAYS.  He brings another character driven film about a man (George Clooney) who must not only deal with the fact that his wife recently went into an unrecoverable coma but also the new knowledge that she had been cheating on him.  Release Date: Nov. 16 (yes, I know this has already come out, but it’s still hard to see in some markets)

Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

1.  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOOBased on the popular best selling book series by Stieg Larsson, the film stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as an unlikely team solving the mystery of a missing girl from forty years ago.  The Swedish version was really good but it definitely could have been better and I will put my faith into anything that director David Fincher touches.  Release Date: Dec. 21


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