Chances are the big winners are about to show their faces

Holiday Movies: Oscar Reveals Himself




Charlize Theron. Independent/Courtesy Jay Roach

There are only five more weeks to go, but the bet here is most of the Academy Award-winning films have yet to be seen by the public.

It all changes this weekend, when Hollywood starts rolling out the big guns, the films they hope will stand front and center when Academy members fill out their Oscar ballots.

That is not to say we haven’t seen some of the favorites. Hamptons International Film Festival attendees know how good “The Irishman” is — so does half the civilized world. Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece has screened at film festivals around the globe. Has it peaked? Put it this way: Luca Brasi just floated by.

More likely, given these wacky times, the Best Picture nod will be a film completely out of the box, like “Parasite,” this year’s most wildly unexpected breakout hit. It’s a South Korean black comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also wrote the film’s story.

“The ferocious, chilling ‘Parasite’ is an essential thrill ride about social inequality,” one critic said. The best news is that it’s screening in the Hamptons already. It’s a far cry from the assorted Marvel action flicks that dominate the box office.

Emma Watson. Independent/Columbia Regency

There are any number of great indies that deserve recognition, but in the end, big studio types, knowing they are on the brink of extinction, may marshal their forces and convince voters to go for the more traditional, conventional fare — and the steady work that comes with it.

With that in mind, consider Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. That folks, is Hollywood at its hippest. Talk about maudlin. You have to expect this pairing to bore its way to Oscar nominations. It will be out in time for Thanksgiving, too. You really want to know the title? “It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Really.

Here’s some local trivia. What former East Hampton resident who won a statue in 2002 is odds-on for a nomination this year? Hint: She had a place on Hedges Lane for a few years. Bigger hint: She was married to a country music star for an hour. Still nothing? How about, “She owned the Blue Parrot?” Renée Zellweger, in “Judy,” silly. Advance word is she is magnificent.

It’s like the flu, except there is no shot you can take to avoid it. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will be released, and rabid Trekkies — er, whatever they are — will stay awake all night to be the first on their moon to watch it. Spoiler Alert: Luke is Gandalf’s father or something like that.

It’s being billed as the end of the Skywalker Saga that started in 1977 with George Lucas’s original. That film earned a Best Picture nomination, and Lucasfilm is certainly hoping “Rise” does the same.

Want social relevance? #Metoo. And what better way to show how far women have come then to dress up two hotties in slinky outfits and let them parade around the TV studio while fat old pervs with cigars hit on them? That’s the plot for “Bombshell,” starring Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, who play Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson and portray their relationship with Fox honcho Roger Ailes.

Jennifer Hudson. Independent/Wikipedia

Theron is simply amazing, but the best bet for an Oscar nod might well be Bryan Cranston as Ailes.

The last time “Little Women” was a movie, Winona Ryder was shoplifting children’s clothing. But the remake gets the Greta Gerwig treatment, which means smart and sassy women get sabotaged because that confused look on their faces make them look shallow (in an educated kind of way.) The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, and Laura Dern. Timothée Chalamet plays a boy. And Meryl Streep sings ABBA — or not.

The last time “Cats” was relevant, we were enjoying Quaaludes and no one had ever heard of opiates. But filmmaker Tom Hooper knows how to please the academy. “The King’s Speech” earned 12 nominations and won accolades for Best Picture, Best Director, and more. Hooper followed it up with his first musical adaptation, “Les Misérables, (nominations) and then “The Danish Girl” (four nominations) and a Best Supporting Actress win for Alicia Vikander.

Finally, an animated film gets nominated for Best Movie every year since they expanded the field. We predict “Toy Story 17: I’m Not A Toy, I’m A Man” this time around.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com