Guessing Game

There’s an upcoming awards season film repping the efforts of past Oscar winners that’s being described as a “total fiasco” by someone who would know. It’s not Robert Lorenz and Clint Eastwood‘s Trouble With The Curve (which I hear is very commercial), it’s not Terrence Malick‘s To The Wonder, it’s not The Life of Pi and it’s not Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master (which of course has been seen and analyzed by quite a few people at this stage and gotten passing grades all around). But it’s something. It could be Lincoln or Anna Karenina or…I haven’t a clue.

  • Jesse Crall

    I can’t imagine Lincoln being anything worse than dull. Anna Karenina seems more likely…

  • Ghost of Kazan

    Was this learned in a parking garage?

  • Jeffrey Wells

    In a sense, yes.

  • Hollis Mulwray


  • Kate88

    Les Miserables would be my guess …

  • Tristan Eldritch2

    Was thinking Gatsby too, but that’s not awards season anymore, right?

  • cyanic

    I thought Weinstein backing would earn Paul his first Oscar (if not director at least o’screenplay). I worry you’ll prefer Magic Mike to The Master.

  • Matt S

    Django Unchained?

  • Los Bostonian

    Gotta be Karenina or Les Miz. Lincoln wont be awful, that’s impossible. I ditto the above commenter who said it’ll be dull at worst though they are definitely being careful about letting anything leak. I could see it being gatsby if that qualifies.

    No way on Django either, the screenplay is out there and everyone attached is at worst passable.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    It’s a fall movie, I think. Not a year-end one.

  • mybrainismelting

    It’s Gatsby, Jeff, but it’s not coming out this fall. It’s been pushed back 6 months.

    It’s a disaster. And an expensive one at that. The word “unwatchable” has been thrown around. “Laughable,” too.

    $150 million in and Baz wants to reshoot. But the studio’s saying no way. It’s going to be dumped.

    Fiasco doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  • Nam trung

    It was Gatsby, there is a movie in the fall, which took place last year

  • Jesse Crall

    If it’s Gatsby then we would have seen this post weeks ago, right? Disaster or not it’s not an awards contender any more.

  • mpneeb

    I was going to say HOBBIT, but then Jeff said it was a fall picture.
    (though I’m still… concerned)

  • Sridhar Prasad

    Zero dark thirty? Really hard to see that being true – but given what nam said…sad if so

  • Jeff

    Silver Lining Notebook is not a disaster but very mediocre. By far David O’Russel’s worse picture. It’s fine but not memorable. Someone who has seen Guilt Trip said it was unwatchable but i don’t think it is Oscar bait.

  • Carl Kolchak

    Cloud Atlas

  • myownhausfrau

    Ha! How about Cloud Atlas AND Gatsby?

  • Cadavra

    I’d guess either FLIGHT (Zemeckis has been away from live-action for too long) or ON THE ROAD (K-Stew; ’nuff said).

  • Chase Meridian

    It’s totally Cloud Atlas. There was a screening back in May in Pasadena where the sharpies said it’s so far gone it makes The Fountain look like My Dinner With Andre in terms of comprehension.

  • Anthony Thorne

    “$150 million in and Baz wants to reshoot. But the studio’s saying no way. It’s going to be dumped.”

    He filmed AUSTRALIA in its entirety twice so it’s nice to hear that Baz hasn’t changed his ways. After the AUSTRALIA shoot burned through some similar figure to the above (via shooting the entire film, then shooting it again), Luhrmann reportedly wanted to have a third go at it before Murdoch pulled the pin. When will these people learn?

  • Alexander

    What I’ve learned here is that there are a bunch of ostensible oncoming disasters.

  • Still Ray

    My money is on Gatsby too. Shame I had hopes.

    HOWEVER- who here wants to bet that Zero Dark Thirty is going to be a disaster in the wake of the SEAL book coming out?

    Like, who are we going to believe- a Hollywood director who “knows people” or A GUY WHO WAS FREAKIN’ THERE?

    Better hope they’re all on the same page or OOPS.

  • Philip_of_Dark_Discussions_Podcast

    Oh, God, not another year of films that are either main stream, high brow “message films”, or bloated showcases for film makers.

    This blows! REALLY BLOWS! Fortunately I do not care about the Oscars anymore (I mean Dances over Goodfellas, where’s pulp fiction, Brokeback loses, Julia Roberts over Ellen Burnstyn from Requiem) … BUT, it would be nice to see such a prestigous award (and I use that term loosely) start picking films like Take Shelter and We Need to Talk About Kevin as the films to be nominated.

  • Krillian

    I’d guess Cloud Atlas.

    Sure hope it’s not Argo.

  • Rev. Slappy

    I was at the Pasadena screening of Cloud Atlas back in May and while I think it has its flaws it’s mostly very good. The movie should be applauded just for being as massively ambitious as it is. Jim Broadbent is fucking magnificent in it, I’m surprised nobody is talking him up for awards season.

  • tyjagi

    Let’s go through the list of the awards calendar, Jeff mentions it’s a fall release, but for the sake let’s include everything he hasn’t mentioned and films already screened such as Killing them softly, etc.
    Won’t Back Down
    Seven Psychopaths
    Cloud Atlas
    Anna Karenina
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Life of Pi
    Hyde Park on Hudson
    Les Miserables
    This is 40
    Zero Dark Thirty
    The Impossible
    Guilt Trip
    Promised Land

    Life of Pi or Cloud Atlas would be my guess.

  • Raising_Kaned

    Yeah, Cloud Atlas seems like one of those flicks where even if it doesn’t completely work — it’s far too ambitious to just be taking potshots at. In other words, I don’t think it’s “Oscar-baity” enough to garner this specific sort of response (assuming, of course, Jeff’s source is an actual film lover). Put another way — does anyone really hate The Fountain?

    Personally, my guess is Anna Karenina. I think Joe Wright’s a bit of a sham — coasting on “classic,” pre-existing material to sell his films. I’ve never really been in on that guy at all (although Stoppard is generally never terrible, either, so Hmm…).

  • Raising_Kaned

    My real guess would be Les Miserables, for many of the same reasons listed above (and I think Hooper is even worse than Wright), but that’s a December 14th release, so….not sure if that’s still considered a “fall release.”

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    No votes for Hyde Park On Hudson?

  • mileshigh

    My guest is Cloud Atlas because it got dumped the last weekend in October. This was the same time In Time opened last year. Or it could be Lincoln which I suspect might be J. Edgar 2012.

  • mileshigh

    My guest is Cloud Atlas because it got dumped the last weekend in October. This was the same time In Time opened last year. Or it could be Lincoln which I suspect might be J. Edgar 2012.

  • The Dude

    It’s not Argo, Silver Linings or Flight. I’ve seen all of those and they are all quite good (it would be difficult to call them fiascos, even if you didn’t like them). Anna Karenina isn’t very good, but I wouldn’t call it a fiasco.

    My guess is Lincoln. If it’s a fall release and a film that is “repping the efforts of past Oscar winner”, there really isn’t any other choice.

  • roquentin

    Yea, agree, saw Silver Linings awhile back and it works. Definitely much more lightweight than The Fighter, and the story’s a bit all over the place, but it’s winning and carried by Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Tonally, it’s somewhere between The Fighter and Flirting With Disaster. Total waste of Chris Tucker though.

    My guess would be Cloud Atlas, but if that’s it, there’s an unnecessary secretiveness to this post. A crazily long and ambitious multi-generational film from three directors who long ago crossed over into some baroque underworld of too muchness?? Who would’ve guessed that wouldn’t work?

  • movie4848


    It has to be This Must Be The PLace. Weinstein Co. is relasing it Nov. 2nd. Have you seen the trailer. You Tube it. It Looks horrible, clearly coasting on Award Winners Sean Penn and Francis McDormand.

  • movie4848
  • Raising_Kaned

    “Total waste of Chris Tucker though.”

    Don’t have any evidence to back it up, but this is perhaps the first instance of this sentence ever being written on the Interwebz.

  • Raising_Kaned

    For those of you that answered Cloud Atlast above, I’m genuinely curious — exactly how many Oscar nominations were you “expecting” from it in the first place?

  • Raising_Kaned

    Although, hmmm…looking at the cast, it does have 4 performance Oscars behind it, so if that’s what this person means by “repping efforts of past Oscar winners,” then maaaayyyybeeee.

  • tyjagi

    This Must be the Place has already screened and whatnot at Sundance and I believe Cannes last year, mostly resulting in mediocre reviews.

    I’d still say Life of Pi, unless it’s a festival movie that hasn’t been picked up yet, but is looking for a fall release. But I’d still say Life of Pi, then 7 Psychopaths, or Anna Karenina. Lincoln may be disappointing, but like Cloud Atlas, people won’t detest it so to speak.

  • tyjagi

    Even though Jeff stated it’s not Life of Pi, that’s what I’d say. I’ve heard Flight is fantastic and Denzel gives a great performance. I also recall reading a script review, before Denzel was cast, that said whoever plays this main character will be gunning for an Oscar nomination.

  • H..

    Can’t believe no one has mentioned Not Fade Away, David Chase’s disaster to come. I saw it at a test screening. Absolute trainwreck waiting to leave lots of The Sopranos fans disappointed. I understand that Chase wanted to make a small little personal film that was close to his heart (when I say small, I mean down-and-dirty-indie small), but it just doesn’t work. Chase’s alter-ego played by John Magaro gives the most uncharismatic performance I have ever seen.

  • Bob Violence

    As far as I can tell, there’s only a single Oscar winner among the cast and crew of Not Fade Away (Mark Johnson). You’re not the first person to say it sucks, but it can’t be what Jeff is referring to here.

  • The Playlist

    Gatsby or Cloud Atlas. Though I’ve heard that Anna K will be very polarizing.

  • austin111

    Gatsby, not! How many oscar winners in that one? Hmmm….not Luhrman, not DiCaprio, not Mulligan, not Maguire. I’m trying to think here. None that I can come up with. Though it might be bad. Never say never. Nope, some other unlucky film.

  • Cadavra

    Why is everyone still guessing GATSBY? Didn’t they move it back to next summer?

  • Grady Tripp

    I’m very curious to find out what film this is.
    Les Miserables is my pick.
    Maybe Lincoln, but that would be really sad.
    I say no to Cloud Atlas, because it’s gotten enough good buzz that proves it won’t be hated by everyone.

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  • moviewatcher

    When you say “fall movie”, do you mean Labor day to thanksgiving fall movie? Then there are 4 possibilities:
    – Cloud Atlas
    – Anna Karenina
    – Lincoln
    – Silver Linings Playbook

    But I think Cloud Atlas might be the safest of the four because it is not “highly anticipated”. Lincoln and Anna Karenina have much more buzz. It’s going to be one of them.