Cate Blanchett got a tribute on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the New York Film Festival. That and Blue Jasmine director Woody Allen’s personal shout-out surely gave more credence to her already-strong best actress campaign.
Of course, Blanchett’s perceived rival for the Oscar, Sandra Bullock, got a boost of her own as Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity hit theaters and easily won the stateside box office with $55.5 million. Nearly universal raves – it’s one of the only mainstream films in recent years to score a 96/100 on review-aggregate site Metacritic – for the space-set, isolation-themed thriller also help Bullock’s case.
Meanwhile, Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said expanded to 437 locations and made the top 10 at the U.S. box office with $2.1 million. James Gandolfini has garnered some supporting actor talk already, but could co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus be a sleeper contender for a best actress nod, too?
Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty debuted to divisive notices at NYFF on Saturday, Oct. 5. It’s difficult to gauge how the fantasy will play throughout the season from its initial response, but for now at least, I’d take it out of my best picture predictions.
Matthew McConaughey will win the Hollywood Film Festival’s best actor prize for Dallas Buyers Club. The cast of August: Osage County will take the fest’s ensemble award. Again, these awards are more about publicity than anything else, but this can’t hurt McConaughey’s campaign or the case for the August ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips hits theaters across the U.S. this weekend. Expect the awards contender to find more support than Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, the only other wide release of the weekend.
Meanwhile, select locations get more variety. Controversial Sundance hit Escape from Tomorrow makes its limited debut. The Julian Fellowes-penned adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, led by Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth, also hits. However, its skipping of the festival circuit – to say nothing about the marketing – suggests some trouble.
Original song contenders might be found in Broadway Idiot, a doc about Green Day taking its Grammy Award-winning American Idiot to Broadway, and The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, which was produced by Alicia Keys and stars Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks. Both films also hit select locations this weekend.