Two big pieces of Oscar news dropped this week:
The first is not necessarily a surprise. I have been predicting that Martin Scorsese's The Irishman to be a huge Oscar contenders since they announced it. But now we know! The film premiered at the New York Film Festival this week to rave reviews. It is being hailed as a masterpiece, and perfect culmination of Scorsese's incredible career. Yes it is long, but apparently, it doesn't feel that way. Oscar prognosticators are already claiming it will do well across the board, from the top categories (the three main guys, all Oscar winners, are apparently at the top of their game), down to the craft categories, including, yes, Visual Effects for the de-aging.
The other piece of news is that Clint Eastwood is trying to once again upend Oscar season at the last minute. His latest Richard Jewell, is set in the aftermath of the 1996 Olympic Park bombings, and tells the story of the security guard won became a suspect. It is written by Billy Ray, who gave us Captain Phillips, and it has a great cast including Sam Rockwell and Kathy Bates. Last year's The Mule ended up not being an Oscar contender, but previous films like Million Dollar Baby and American Sniper went on to snag lots of Oscar nominations, despite the late push, and Baby went all the way to Best Picture. We don't know yet how this one will land, but it is one to keep an eye on.