Oscar Watch: Everybody Wants Some!!

This past week, Richard Linklater’s latest pic Everybody Wants Some!! came out in limited release and critical reaction has been strong. This has become typical for its director, who previous effort Boyhood received much Oscar attention (eventually losing in 2014 to Birdman).

His new effort is described as a “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 acclaimed cult classic Dazed and Confused. The 1980s set comedy features a cast of unknowns, though that might not be for long. You’ll recall that the “unknowns” from the aforementioned Dazed included Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Joey Lauren Adams, Milla Jovovich, and Parker Posey. Everybody currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 90%.

So what does this all mean for its Oscar prospects? I would say this stands at outside shot at Best Picture and Director attention, though it’s probably unlikely. Where Some!! could shine is in the Original Screenplay category for Linklater. If so, it would mark his fourth nomination in the writing races (for Boyhood and Before Sunset and Before Midnight). That would appear to be its best chance at Academy attention several months down the road and it’d be foolish to count this celebrated director out.

This Day in Movie History: January 9

This Day in Movie History – January 9 – Tim Burton’s Big Fish opened wide domestically and placed second at the box office behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The film was looked at as a potential Oscar contender, but it didn’t pan out. Still, Burton’s father/son tale with numerous fantasy elements managed a respectable $66 million domestic gross. It starred Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman, Billy Crudup, and Burton regulars Helena Bonham-Carter and Danny DeVito. Originally planned as a vehicle for Steven Spielberg, the project was transferred to Burton who at one time considered Jack Nicholson as the lead to play the roles both McGregor and Finney portrayed. That would’ve been done with some CGI magic. Obviously that plan was scrapped and since its release a decade ago, Fish has enhanced its reputation as one of the filmmaker’s better efforts in recent years.

As for birthdays, J.K Simmons turns 59 today. Known just as much for his television work on “Law&Order”, “Oz”, and “The Closer”, Simmons has also had a stellar career in film. He appeared in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy as J. Jonah Jameson and had supporting roles in noteworthy pics such as The Cider House Rules, The Gift, Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Burn After Reading, I Love You Man, Up in the Air, and Jobs.

Joey Lauren Adams is 46 today. You may have first seen her in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused before she became a favorite of Kevin Smith, appearing in Mallrats and in the title role of his critically acclaimed Chasing Amy alongside Ben Affleck. Other roles include Big Daddy and The Break-Up.

As for Six Degrees of Separation between the two:

J.K. Simmons was in Juno with Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman was in The Break-Up with Joey Lauren Adams

And that’s today – January 9 – in Movie History!