Oscar Watch: Wonder Wheel

As the New York Film Festival draws to its close, another piece of the Oscar puzzle has revealed itself with Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel. Early critical reaction is a bit mixed yet there seems to be general consensus that Kate Winslet’s lead performance is wonderful.

As has been discussed numerous times already on the blog, Best Actress looks packed with this year. There’s already acclaimed performances from Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Margot Robbie in I, Tonya, Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes, Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water, Judi Dench in Victoria and Abdul, and Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game, among others. That’s in addition to Meryl Streep’s unseen but likely contending work in The Post. Even with all that significant competition, Winslet could well be in line for her 8th nomination, having won once in 2008 for The Reader.

The cinematography for Wheel has also received praise and that’s certainly a race where a nod is doable. However, I am now thinking Woody’s latest is a long shot to nab a Best Picture nomination and Original Screenplay seems less assured now (that’s another crowded category). Juno Temple has received some decent ink today, but a Supporting Actress nomination could be a stretch. Male costars Justin Timberlake and Jim Belushi appear to be non-factors.

Bottom line: Winslet keeps her name in the mix, but other categories seem less likely now than they did yesterday.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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