FEINBERG FORECAST: 'Tintin' Triumphs in London, 'Descendants' Descends on New York, 'Rum' Hangover in Hamptons

THR's awards expert Scott Feinberg offers his latest take on the Oscar race.
Courtesy of Paramount

Among the things that factored into this week's projections (which appear further down on the page)...

  • The highly-anticipated 3D motion-capture/animated film The Adventures of Tintin, which was directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, was unveiled for the first time today in London, where it screened for the press in advance of its Paris premiere next week. The rollout couldn't have gone better, thus far -- to cite but just two raves, THR says that "Spielberg brings the slightly antique world of the famed European comic-book series to splendid, action-filled life as only he can," and Variety calls it "a rollicking return to action-adventure form... a whiz-bang thrill ride... [that] should do thundering typhoon biz globally." The film, which Paramount hopes to qualify for the best animated film (feature) Oscar category, to say nothing of the best picture category, will be released stateside on December 21.
  • The 49th annual New York Film Festival had an eventful closing week. First, on Monday, it hosted a highly buzzed-about "surprise screening" of an unfinished film -- their first since Beauty and the Beast (1991) 20 years ago -- which turned out to be native New Yorker Martin Scorsese's 3D-flick Hugo. Scorsese introduced the Paramount film before the lights went down, and stars Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz took their bows after they came up. (Full reviews are being held until the film is complete, but initial "reactions" to the film have been respectful, if unenthusiastic, and its awards prospects seem pretty slim.) Then, it was Wim Wenders's turn to showcase a 3-D movie that he directed -- the dance doc Pina, which premiered at Berlin and previously in Telluride and Toronto. And now, virtually the entire team behind the Telluride/Toronto sensation The Descendants -- co-writer/director Alexander Payne and stars George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Beau Bridges, and Matthew Lillard -- are in town for the fest's closing night screening later this evening. (Fox Searchlight has packed a lot of other promotional stops into their brief visit, as well, including Q&As for BAFTA, SAG, and the PGA -- one of which was moderated by yours truly last night.)
  • In the wake of the world premiere of Simon Curtis's My Week with Marilyn at the New York Film Festival last Sunday, The Weinstein Company decided to push back the film's release date from November 4 to November 23, and also to screen the film at the 19th annual Hamptons International Film Festival. Both films suggest that Harvey Weinstein's awards outlook for the film -- and particularly for Michelle Williams's prospects in the best actress category for her performance as Marilyn Monroe -- was emboldened by its reception in New York.
  • The aforementioned Hamptons International Film Festival may not be as high-profile or span as many days as the concurrently-operating New York Film Festival (five vs. 17), but the fest in the remote vacation spot for east coast Oscar voters played host to at least as many 2011 awards contenders as the fest on the Upper West Side, including Another Happy Day, The Artist, Butter, Coriolanus, The Descendants, Le Havre, The Kid with a Bike, Like Crazy, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Melancholia, My Week with Marilyn, Shame, Undefeated, and We Need to Talk About Kevin -- many of which were accompanied by major talent. (It's not a coincidence that many of those films trace back to studios and PR firms with big presences on the east coast, such as The Weinstein Company, Fox Searchlight, and Strategy PR. The fest is too much of a schlep for most of their bigger west coast counterparts.). The biggest hit of this year's fest: The Artist, which was announced as the winner of the audience award on Sunday night.
  • The Hamptons fest also further clarified the awards prospects -- or lack thereof -- of Bruce Robinson's Johnny Depp-vehicle The Rum Diary, which premiered at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Friday and then showed again in the Hamptons on Saturday and Sunday. The fact that the film has been given such a quiet rollout, as opposed to playing the festival circuit, was a clear sign of trouble. Now, Eric Kohn of IndieWire, who saw it in the Hamptons, confirms that it is "vividly average... a subpar comic adventure that’s nonetheless admirable for its restrained vision of [Hunter S.] Thompson in his early gestation period." It sounds like FilmDistrict will be best served by focusing its awards efforts around Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, which is a long-shot but does possess a passionate following, and perhaps Angelina Jolie's In the Land of Blood and Honey, which nobody has seen yet.
  • I'm hearing that Warner Brothers, sensing that the best picture race is still wide open, will begin giving Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 -- the last installment in the decade-spanning blockbuster franchise that has collectively earned over $7 billion, more than any other franchise ever, including Star Wars -- a major awards push in the coming weeks and months. Will the strategy employed by the Lord of the Rings franchise -- to encourage voters to reward the entire franchise by rewarding the final installment -- work for this franchise, too? That one was the vision of a single auteur (Peter Jackson), whereas this one has featured contributions from a wide variety of people (including top-notch folks like Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, and David Yates). Will that help or hurt it with the Academy? It will be interesting to see.
  • A new report claims that The Weinstein Company has been "quietly putting on test screenings" of John Hillcoat’s prohibition-era crime drama The Wettest County in the World, which stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce and Mia Wasikowska, among others -- this despite the fact that studio officials have insisted to me that it will not be snuck into the 2011 race as a last-minute surprise, a la Clint Eastwood's films Million Dollar Baby (2004) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), both of which wound up scoring best pic Oscar nods. (The former won). Is Weinstein, as this report suggests, "trying to ascertain if he needs to throw another film into the fray"? Between The Artist, The Iron Lady, My Week with Marilyn, Coriolanus, The Bully Project, and Undefeated, it seems to me that the little studio's plate is already quite full... but I suppose they could always make room for more.
  • The Academy has released its short lists of the films that will be eligible for nominations in the categories of best foreign language film (63 countries submitted entries) and best documentary short (eight have been named, from which three to five will be nominated).
  • This week marked the release of the first trailers for Fox Searchlight's Shame and Roadside Attractions's Albert Nobbs; a new clip of Phase 4 Films's Another Happy Day (which we exclusively debuted on The Race); and the DVD and Blu-Ray of Fox Searchlight's The Tree of Life.

The Artist (The Weinstein Company, 11/23, TBA, trailer)
War Horse (Disney, 12/25, TBA, teaser)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Warner Brothers, 12/25, TBA, trailer)
The Descendants (Fox Searchlight, 11/23, R, trailer)
Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/20, PG-13, trailer)
Moneyball (Columbia, 9/23, TBA, trailer)
J. Edgar (Warner Brothers, 11/11, R, trailer)
The Help (Disney, 8/12, PG-13, trailer)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Sony, 12/21, TBA, trailer)
The Iron Lady (The Weinstein Company, 12/21, TBA, teaser)
Major Threats
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Focus Features, 12/9, TBA, trailer)
The Ides of March (Sony, 10/14, TBA, trailer)
The Tree of Life (Fox Searchlight, 5/27, PG-13, trailer)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 (Warner Brothers, 7/15, PG-13, trailer)
Drive (FilmDistrict, 9/16, R, trailer)
My Week With Marilyn (The Weinstein Company, 11/23, TBA, TBA)
Carnage (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/16, R, trailer)
The Adventures of Tintin (Paramount, 12/21, TBA, trailer)
We Bought a Zoo (20th Century Fox, 12/23, TBA, trailer)
Like Crazy (Paramount Vantage, 10/28, PG-13, trailer)
Young Adult (Paramount, 12/9, TBA, TBA)
A Dangerous Method (Sony Pictures Classics, 11/23, TBA, trailer)
Super 8 (Paramount, 6/10, PG-13, trailer)
Hugo (Paramount, 11/23, TBA, trailer)
50/50 (Summit, 9/30, R, trailer)
The Way (Producers Distribution Agency, 10/7, TBA, trailer)
In the Land of Blood and Honey (FilmDistrict, 12/23, TBA, TBA)

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Steven Spielberg (War Horse)
Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Alexander Payne (The Descendants)

Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Major Threats
Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar)
Bennett Miller (Moneyball)
David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
George Clooney (The Ides of March)
Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)
Tate Taylor (The Help)
Roman Polanski (Carnage)
Phyllida Lloyd (The Iron Lady)
Tomas Alfredson (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Steven Spielberg (The Adventures of Tintin)
Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)
Cameron Crowe (We Bought a Zoo)
Jason Reitman (Young Adult)
David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method)
Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn)
Angelina Jolie (In the Land of Blood and Honey)

Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
George Clooney (The Descendants)
Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar)
Michael Fassbender (Shame)
Major Threats
Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March)
Ryan Gosling (Drive)
Anton Yelchin (Like Crazy)
Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
Daniel Craig (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Thomas Horn (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Jeremy Irvine (War Horse)
Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris)
Paul Giamatti (Win Win)
Matt Damon (We Bought a Zoo)
Christoph Waltz (Carnage)
John C. Reilly (Carnage)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50)
Demian Bichir (A Better Life)
Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method)
Martin Sheen (The Way)
Rhys Ifans (Anonymous)
Tom Hardy (Warrior)
Johnny Depp (The Rum Diary)

Viola Davis (The Help)
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)
Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Major Threats
Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Felicity Jones (Like Crazy)
Charlize Theron (Young Adult)
Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method)
Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Jodie Foster (Carnage)
Kate Winslet (Carnage)
Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre)
Ellen Barkin (Another Happy Day)
Michelle Yeoh (The Lady)
Rachel Weisz (The Whistleblower)
Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
Vera Farmiga (Higher Ground)
Adepero Oduye (Pariah)
Saoirse Ronan (Hanna)

Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn)
Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady)
Tom Hanks (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

Major Threats
Jonah Hill (Moneyball)
George Clooney (The Ides of March)
John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method)
Brad Pitt (The Tree of Life)
Jeffrey Wright (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Nick Nolte (Warrior)
Armie Hammer (J. Edgar)
Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Ides of March)
Patton Oswalt (Young Adult)
Thomas Haden Church (We Bought a Zoo)
Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris)

Berenice Bejo (The Artist)
Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus)
Shailene Woodley (The Descendants)
Jessica Chastain (The Help)
Major Threats
Sandra Bullock (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Carey Mulligan (Shame)
Emily Watson (War Horse)
Judy Greer (The Descendants)
Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life)
Evan Rachel Wood (The Ides of March)
Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help)
Judi Dench (J. Edgar)
Naomi Watts (J. Edgar)
Scarlett Johansson (We Bought a Zoo)
Anna Kendrick (50/50)

Richard Curtis, Lee Hall (War Horse)
Eric Roth (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (The Descendants)
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian (Moneyball)
Tate Taylor (The Help)
Major Threats
Steven Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
George Clooney, Grant Heslov (The Ides of March)
Roman Polanski (Carnage)
Hossein Amini (Drive)
Cameron Crowe, Aline Brosh McKenna (We Bought a Zoo)
Pedro Almodovar (The Skin I Live In)
James Ellroy, Oren Moverman (Rampart)
John Logan (Hugo)
Christopher Hampton (A Dangerous Method)
Emilio Estevez (The Way)
John Logan (Coriolanus)
John Banville, Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Dustin Lance Black (J. Edgar)
Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady)
Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)
Major Threats
Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy Mae Marlene)
Asghar Farhadi (A Separation)
Diablo Cody (Young Adult)
Drake Doremus, Ben York Jones (Like Crazy)
Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter)
Tom McCarthy, Joe Tiboni (Win Win)
Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
J.J. Abrams (Super 8)
Adrian Hodges (My Week with Marilyn)
Will Reiser (50/50)
Rebecca Frayne (The Lady)
Mike Mills (Beginners)
Dee Rees (Pariah)
Angelina Jolie (In the Land of Blood and Honey)

The Adventures of Tintin (Paramount, 12/21, TBA, trailer)
Rango (Paramount, 3/4, PG, trailer)
Happy Feet 2 (Warner Brothers, 11/18, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Cars 2 (Disney, 6/24, TBA, trailer)
Arthur Christmas (Sony, 11/23, TBA, trailer)

Major Threats
Puss in Boots (DreamWorks, 11/4, TBA, trailer)
Rio (20th Century Fox, 4/15, G, trailer)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked (20th Century Fox, 12/11, TBA, TBA)
Winnie the Pooh (Disney, 7/15, G, trailer)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks, 5/26, PG, trailer)
The Smurfs (Sony, 7/29, TBA, trailer)
The Lion of Judah (Animated Family Films, 6/3, TBA, trailer)

The Interrupters (The Cinema Guild, 7/29, TBA, trailer)
Project Nim (Roadside Attractions, 7/8, PG-13, trailer)
Buck (IFC Films, 6/17, PG, trailer)
Senna (Producers Distribution Agency, 8/12, PG-13, trailer)
If a Tree Falls (Oscilloscope, 6/22, TBA, trailer)
Major Threats
Hell and Back Again (Docurama Films, 10/5, TBA, trailer)
Into the Abyss (Sundance Selects, 11/11, TBA, TBA)
Koran by Heart (HBO Documentary Films, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Page One: Inside the New York Times (Magnolia, 6/24, TBA, trailer)
Tabloid (Sundance Selects, 7/15, R, trailer)
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (Submarine Deluxe, TBA, trailer)
Magic Trip (Magnolia, 8/5, TBA, trailer)
Bill Cunningham New York (Zeitgeist Films, 3/16, TBA, trailer)
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (Sundance Selects, 9/9, TBA, trailer)
Pearl Jam Twenty (Abramorama, 9/20, R, trailer)
Bobby Fischer Against the World (HBO Documentary Films, TBA, TBA, TBA)
The Whale (Paladin, TBA, TBA, TBA)
The Bully Project (The Weinstein Company, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Revenge of the Electric Car (Westmidwest Productions, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Sony Pictures Classics, 4/22, PG-13, trailer)
We Were Here (Red Flag Releasing, 9/?, TBA, trailer)
Still Seeking Domestic Distribution
Bombay Beach
The Carrier

A Separation (Iran)
Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
Le Havre (Finland)

Major Threats
Postcard (Japan)
Declaration of War (France)
Happy, Happy (Norway)
Omar Killed Me (Morocco)
Pina (Germany)
Sonny Boy (Netherlands)
Black Bread (Spain)
Montevideo: Taste of a Dream (Serbia)
The Flowers of War (China)
The Turin Horse (Hungary)
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Turkey)
Morgen (Romania)
As If I Am Not There (Ireland)