Between Venice and Telluride, the 2014 Academy Awards are over. Just like that. Staying in New York this Labor Day weekend, I’m getting a kick out of reading completely over the top reports from the festivals. Is everyone drinking too much coffee? As far as I can tell, Variety, THR, Deadline and The Wrap are falling over themselves to proclaim one movie “stunning” and another “a definite Oscar winner” — or some such nonsense.
Some of this comes from the writers not having been in Cannes, so they’re seeing some films like Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” and Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewyn Davis” for the first time. Yesterday’s mania came with “12 Years a Slave,” which is supposed to be pretty good. But to read Chris Willman in The Wrap, he needs a Valium. i could be just the altitude.
THR, of course, is already setting up Oscar predictions. And GoldDerby.com has put out its spread sheets. Kids, it’s September 1st. The Oscars aren’t until March 2, 2014. This is all a little premature. There are plenty more movies to see and performances to evaluate. It’s impossible to start drawing up lists now. Maybe around October 15th. But today? Keep Calm and Refrain from turning this into a circus.
I am a little amused that one article already predicted four of five Best Actor nominees. You know, a lot has to happen before we get to that point. Of movies released to the public so far, only three this season merit awards talk- “The Butler,” “Blue Jasmine,” and “Fruitvale Station.” Otherwise, really, get a grip. Both the Coens’ movie and the Payne movie looked like contenders in Cannes. Robert Redford was outstanding in “All I Lost.” Now word is that “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” are quite good. But few have seen these, they’re not released, and there’s a lot more to come.
The downside is that the general public doesn’t want to think about this for six solid months. And it’s going to spoil appreciating the good films. And there are plenty of those this season.