This year’s Oscars were a bust for Latinos. Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”), Emmanuel Lubezki (cinematographer of “Tree of Life”), and Demian Bichir (“A Better Life”) all lost. Lubezki is particularly a crime, as his “Tree of Life” is one of the most beautifully shot films we’ve seen in a long time. Next year doesn’t look much better. There are a lot of good movies coming out this year: “Lincoln”, “The Hobbit”, “The Life of Pi”, “Les Miserables”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, and “The Great Gatsby” among others. Biopics and films based on literature are what the Oscars live for. Unfortunately, these films are light on Latinos. Still, there are a few hopeful films. We’ll have to wait and see, but here are 5 possible Latino Oscar nominees for 2013.
Benicio stars in this year’s “Savages”, which is directed by Oliver Stone. The film is about two pot dealers who have their shared girlfriend kidnapped by the leader of a drug cartel played by Benicio. He won an Oscar for “Traffic”, so that ups his chances of being nominated again. It’s like that old story about how if you get struck by lightning, chances are you’ll be struck again. The film also stars Salma Hayek, who could also get an Oscar nod. It’s all going to depend on Stone, who is his own worst enemy. Oliver Stone tends to either make really good films or self-indulgent pieces of cinematic masturbation. We’ll hope for the best.
Penelope returns in “Nero Fiddled”, directed by Woody Allen. The last time she teamed up with Woody, she won an Oscar for “Vicki Cristina Barcelona”. It’s possible that they will recapture that magic in this modern day retelling of “The Decameron”. The film will be told in four vignettes that tell separate but interconnected stories. Allen’s output has been uneven in the last few years, so it is hard to know if it will be another “Midnight in Paris” or a turd like “Scoop”.
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is back with “The Intruders”, a supernatural thriller starring Clive Owen. Juan’s “28 Weeks Later” was a hit with the critics, a rarity for a horror film. Though the Oscars tend to stick to dramas, it’s not unheard of for a really good horror film to be nominated, (“The Exorcist”, “Jaws”). In this film, a faceless man appears to two children in different countries trying to take possession of them. Just typing that scared me, so maybe he’ll get a nod.
The great auteur’s latest film “Gravity” is about two astronauts, played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, trying to get back to Earth after their Space Station is destroyed. It’s a sci-fi movie, which is a hard sell for best picture, but it’s possible that it could be nominated for technical awards. Lubezki is the cinematographer, which means that the film will be exquisite to look at. Hopefully the visuals and the star power might be enough to get it a nomination.
OK, this one is a real dark horse, but with 10 films being allowed on the ballot these days anything is possible. The comedy, about a rancher and his businessman brother’s struggle over love and home, is one of the most anticipated comedies of the year. In the last few years, comedies have been getting more love from the Oscars than ever before. However, chances are if anyone gets a nomination for this film it won’t be Gael Garcia Bernal or Diego Luna, but white guy superstar Will Ferrell. Does that count?