For your consideration: Oslo, August 31st
Perceived reality has a habit of becoming actual reality when it comes to the Academy Awards. Once enough people started talking about how much Oscar momentum Silver Linings Playbook gained after winning the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival two months ago, for instance, their prognosticating had the effect of creating said momentum. In attempting to keep up with the echo chamber, a lot of pundits end up becoming part of it. Rather than play into that, we've decided to funnel whatever influence we may have into our new column We'd Like to Help the Academy, highlighting the outliers that should be nominated rather than wonder aloud about which frontrunners will.
And why not? The Oscars are, after all, a meritocracy whose goal (at least in theory) is to reward the most worthwhile films of the year. In practice, they're more often like the SAT -- they don't really measure anything other than how well a given movie conforms to their own established standards -- but they do come through every once in a while. We want to believe in you, old white men of the Academy; give us reason to.
As it's true enough that every film begins with words on a page, it seems pertinent to start the proceedings with a screenplay worthy of recognition: Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt's Oslo, August 31st. Adapted from a novel by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle and directed by Trier, the film follows a recovering drug addict named Anders on what may prove to be the last day of his life.More »