A Bengal tiger will be among the pack chasing Oscar
The next seven weeks promise to keep cinephiles and avid awards-show addicts plenty busy at the theaters. Here's a peek at some of the likeliest candidates to show up on Oscar and Golden Globes nomination mornings; catch them early to get in the awards-season groove.
Premise: Intimate portrait of iconic president in epic production.
Promise: Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" follow-up figures to get out of the gate faster and enjoy a stronger finish. Nominations likely across the board, with stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and writer Tony Kushner enjoying the highest profile.
Premise: Tolstoy classic boiled down to love triangle between title character, aristocrat husband and the cavalry officer who comes between them. In theaters Nov. 16.
Promise: Joe Wright's stylized adaptation split audiences at Toronto. Star Keira Knightley remains in play.
'SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK'
Premise: Man moves in with parents after leaving mental hospital, strikes up unusual friendship with young widow. In theaters Nov. 21.
Promise: Toronto audience winner likely to score nods for picture, director David O. Russell, lead Jennifer Lawrence and the great support turn by Robert De Niro. Bradley Cooper a revelation as well.
'LIFE OF PI'
Premise: After a shipwreck, young man struggles to survive on board a lifeboat alongside a hungry Bengal tiger. In theaters Nov. 21.
Promise: Ang Lee's CGI-heavy film won some ardent fans after N.Y. Film Fest premiere. Possible powerhouse if it catches on commercially.
Premise: Anthony Hopkins portrays the Master (of Suspense), depicted while making "Psycho." In theaters Nov. 23.
Promise: Hopkins, certainly. With its inside Hollywood story line, the film could resonate strongly with academy members.
'RUST AND BONE'
Premise: Orca whale trainer hooks up with lunkhead street fighter after losing her leg in an accident. In theaters Nov. 23.
Promise: Marion Cotillard again in running for lead actress.
'HYDE PARK ON HUDSON'
Premise: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) meets King George VI on the eve of World War II. In theaters Dec. 7.
Promise: Picture is not winning raves, but Murray's FDR still a prime attraction.
Premise: Elderly man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) cares for his wife (Emmanuelle Riva) as her life comes to an end. In theaters Dec. 19.
Promise: Michael Haneke's intimate drama is a foreign-language shoo-in. Nominations for picture, director and its leads strong possibilities.
'ZERO DARK THIRTY'
Premise: "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow chronicles the hunt for Osama bin Laden. In theaters Dec. 19.
Promise: Immediacy of this historical tale could separate it from other epics in the pack.
Premise: Real-life story of family swept apart by tsunami struggles to reunite. In theaters Dec. 21.
Promise: Naomi Watts' wrenching turn as mother won raves at Toronto.
Premise: Freed slave partners with bounty hunter to get medieval on the (behinds) of assorted evildoers, including the plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) holding Django's wife. In theaters Dec. 25.
Promise: Quentin Tarantino's last gonzo period story, "Inglourious Basterds," scored a best pic nom, so who's to say academy voters won't go for this spaghetti western? DiCaprio looks goofy-great in trailer.
Premise: Revolution! Redemption! The popular musical finally comes to the screen! In theaters Dec. 25.
Promise: If Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper delivers, it could easily score multiple nominations, including nods for leads Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe.
Premise: Retired opera singers reunite in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut. In theaters Dec. 28.
Promise: Maggie Smith might be singing lead.
Premise: Corporate salespeople try to persuade small-town residents to sign over drilling rights in issue-oriented drama from Gus Van Sant. In theaters Dec. 28.
Promise: When Van Sant ("Milk," "Good Will Hunting") plays it down the middle, voters have responded.
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