So strong is the year’s list of originals that several films that might otherwise be firing up considerable award buzz will have to fight just to get some oxygen.
The wild card in the category is Fox’s “Borat.” Though it bears no resemblance to the earnest dramas that the Academy loves to honor, pic’s fans are legion and vocal.
Among other studio releases, Universal’s “The Good Shepherd,” penned by Oscar winner Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump”), arrived late in the year and is just beginning its campaign.
“Inside Man” by freshman Russell Gewirtz, isn’t getting much of a campaign from U but was a smart effort that surprised many.
Indie titles include ThinkFilm’s “Half Nelson,” by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, which garnered strong reviews for its star, Ryan Gosling, as well as praise for its screenplay. Story paints a complex picture of a teacher whose good intentions are in conflict with his drug addiction.
“Pan’s Labyrinth,” from Picturehouse, is a passion project by writer-director Guillermo del Toro. Story of a young girl living a fairy tale in the midst of a guerrilla war against Franco’s fascists in 1940s Spain is an unusual mix of fantasy and brutal realism.
Focus Features’ “Catch a Fire,” from helmer Phillip Noyce and writer Shawn Slovo, is the kind of pic the Acad usually likes, but it hasn’t caught fire with critics’ orgs to date.