Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 24-26, 2019

We had two films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Aladdin

With the spate of live action reimaginings that Disney has put out slowly running dry, the last few of these will be competing at the Oscars for a handful of slots. As with the prior outings in this series of films, the film stands a solid chance of earning nominations in the creative categories but nowhere else.

Based on the 1992 animated hit, Aladdin takes Prince Ali, the Genie, Princess Jasmine, and Jafar and gives them a modern production design and more demure clothing styles and hopes to earn high praise when it comes to production values. Although 2019’s first of three live action adaptations, Dumbo, probably has a stronger claim to those nominations, the more colorful designs of this film would pique the interests of designers a little more easily.

The original film was, of course, limited to the music and sound categories where it earned five nominations including two for Original Song, Original Score, Sound, and Sound Effects Editing. It won for one of the songs and Original Score. This time around, it could compete in two of those categories, now Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, but its likeliest chances will be in Production Design and Costume Design and even those will be quite iffy.

Booksmart

Actress Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut initially looked like every other good-girl-gone-wild comedy that’s ever been made and seemed to share a lot in common with a lot of other R-rated comedies that have to date been released. As such, could anyone really consider it to be an Oscar contender?

Then it released and critics went gaga. With a 98% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes and an 85 rating from MetaCritic, Booksmart is officially one of the best reviewed films of the year, which gives it a great deal of gravitas when it comes to Oscar consideration.

The film is about two high schoolers who have played it safe their entire academic careers in order to get into good schools. Now that they’ve accomplished their goals, they’ve decided that they will let loose and get involved in countless antics that leave the audience in stitches. While the film isn’t about to become a Best Picture Oscar contender, the film’s four writers (Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman) could at least compete for a Best Original Screenplay nomination if nothing else. It will still be a bit of a long shot, but it’s becoming more plausible by the day.

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