Hollywood has never shied away from delving into presidential politics. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, in which nearly America and the Soviet Union played a nuclear game of chicken, provides the kind of edge-of-your-seat suspense in “Thirteen Days” that could muster serious attention with Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voters.
Taking a peek at life inside the Oval Office makes for great behind-the-scenes drama (see rival Oscar contender “The Contender”), and “Days'” serious fact-based story serves as a complement to 1964’s satirical take on nuclear scare
“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”
The good “Dr.” garnered four nominations, including picture, director (Stanley Kubrick) and actor (Peter Sellers).
And when it comes to President Kennedy’s life — and death — Oliver Stone’s “JFK” (1991) received eight nominations and came away with a cinematography statue for Robert Richardson.
In “Thirteen Days,” Kevin Costner portrays Kennedy confidante Kenny O’Donnell and though his performance here may be overshadowed by Bruce Greenwood, who plays the president, and Steven Culp, who plays Robert Kennedy, Costner does have an Oscar pedigree. Though his last few pics have been far from what he achieved critically and at the box office with “Dances With Wolves,” “Dances” did win 1990 best picture and Costner was awarded best director.
The adapted screenplay from David Self and production designer J. Dennis Washington’s re-creation of both the White House and Oval office could land both of them first-time noms.