Oscar Watch: Interstellar

A very large and important piece of the Oscar puzzle came into focus today as Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar had its review embargo lifted. It opens next Friday (November 7), but the critics are having their say, which obviously impacts its standing in the Academy Awards races.

The verdict? Somewhat mixed. While some reviewers have been over the moon on it (forgive the pun), others are having issues with its screenplay. It’s the same issue that hindered Gravity‘s chances of a win last year. Currently it stands at a respectable though unspectacular 69% on Rotten Tomatoes (though that number is bound to change as more notices roll in).

The acting has been pretty much praised up and down beginning with Matthew McConaughey’s lead role. However, it’s unlikely he’ll figure into the Best Actor race due to how crowded it is and the fact that he won just last year. Of all the performers, Jessica Chastain probably stands the best chance at a Supporting Actor nod, though that’s far from certain and even she is likely on the outside looking in.

It will certainly be a major factor in the technical categories, from Cinematography to Editing to the two Sound categories to Visual Effects. Hans Zimmer may also be recognized for his Original Score.

As for Screenplay, that remains a big question mark considering it seems to be what some critics are leveling their complaints about.

I still believe Nolan stands a good shot at a Directing nomination considering the lauded visual scope of the picture. And with the possibility of up to ten movies being nominated, Interstellar still should make the cut. Yet one nearly assured declarative statement can be made today that we didn’t know yesterday: Interstellar is extremely unlikely to win Best Picture.

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