Movie Review

Oscar Preview: George Clooney, Michelle Williams Films Early Favorites

Fox Searchlight/Weinstein Co.

 (Fox Searchlight/Weinstein Co.)

November has arrived and with it the official start of the Oscar race. From now to the end of the year we will see a flurry of movie releases vying for Oscar contention and your hard-earned dollars. 

To help you sift through the indies and the blockbusters, dramas and comedies, we’ve picked 10 films generating the most buzz so far.


This silent (yes, silent) romance has Oscar written all over it. The film will likely be a critical hit and the easily accessible story about a silent movie star’s rise and fall from grace as ‘talkies’ are born could become an audience favorite. Plus, it’ll be hard not to fall in love with the film’s two leads Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. (Release: Nov. 23)


“Lord of the Flies” meets “Modern Family.” Directed by Roman Polanski and based off the hit Broadway play “God of Carnage.” Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Walz and John C. Reilly cordially meet to discuss a brawl their children were involved in. Pleasantries are thrown to the wind as the parents become the savages in this adult comedy. (Release: Dec. 16)


Could George Clooney see gold this year? Alexander Payne (“Sideways”) directs this dramedy about a Hawaii land baron who tries to reconnect with his kids after he finds out his wife has cheated on him. She’s also on life support. Leave it to Payne to walk the thin line between comedy and drama. (Release: Nov. 16)


Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock star in this 9/11 drama directed by Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot”). Young wiz kids Oskar seaches New York City for a lock to a mysterious key his father left him after the fatal attacks on the World Trade Center. Based off the bestselling novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. (Release: Dec. 25)


Meryl Streep being eccentric again. Oscar loves that. Oscar loves British politics, too. This time Streep crosses the pond and becomes former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd who directed “Mamma Mia.” We’re not expecting “Mamma Mia” this time, though. (Release: Dec. 16)


We’re thinking Michelle Williams might see gold for playing Marilyn Monroe. We have a love story here from a small slice of Marilyn’s complicated life where she travels to England to film “The Prince and the Showgirl” alongside Sir Laurence Oliver (Kenneth Branagh). Also has a huge supporting cast featuring some of Britain’s finest. (Release: Nov. 23)


Gary Oldman gets a starring role! If that’s not reason enough to see this there’s also last year’s best actor winner Colin Firth as a co-star. Plus, the film is based of the John le Carré  novel that redefined the spy genre. Hope you read the book first cause we heard the film’s a bit tricky. (Release: Dec. 9)


Based off the hit stage play, this is Steven Spielberg’s first World War I epic. The film follows the courageous and emotional journey of a young man who heads through the trenches in France to save his horse who was sold to the cavalry. This could be another landmark film for Spielberg or an overly sappy failure. We’re hoping for the former. (Release: Dec. 25)


Director Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire”) is back with this dramedy with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. Damon packs up his family and moves to the country to renovate a zoo after his wife passes away. A heartwarming true story about starting over. And it has animals. Win-win. (Release: Dec. 23)


Director Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”) and writer Diablo Cody (“Juno”) are seemingly a perfect match for this romantic dramedy. Charlize Theron plays a divorced writer who returns to her childhood hometown to rediscover herself and rekindle a relationship with her ex-boyfriend. (Release: Dec. 9)