Oscar Watch: Rules Don’t Apply

The AFI Film Festival is happening in Los Angeles and that gives us an opportunity to hear about more 2016 Oscar hopefuls. This includes the fest’s premiere and it’s an eagerly awaited one – Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply.

This is the Hollywood legend’s first directorial effort in 18 years (since 1998’s well-regarded Bulworth) and first appearance on screen at all in 15 years (since 2001’s less regarded Town & Country). Anything involving Beatty is going to quickly raise questions as to its awards possibilities and this long gestating project where he portrays Howard Hughes is no exception.

It was thought for months that Mr. Beatty would compete in the Supporting Actor race until recently where a switch to Actor was announced. Reviews for Rules have been a bit mixed and even the most positive haven’t been raves. It’s at 75% on Rotten Tomatoes and chances of a Picture or Director nod seem highly unlikely. Same goes for anyone in the supporting cast that includes Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Annette Bening (she’ll get recognized anyway this year for 20th Century Women), Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, and others.

As for Beatty in the Best Actor category, it’s certainly no guarantee he will get nominated, but that particular race is a bit weak this year (once you get past Denzel Washington for Fences and Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea). I would anticipate Beatty will be in the mix over the next several weeks, but whether he makes my final cut for the final five is a question mark.

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