Oscar Watching: Going INTO THE WOODS
We already knew that Disney had big plans for Into the Woods – Rob Marshall’s big-budget adaptation of the classic Stephen Sondheim musical – but plans for the Oscar campaign now seem settled (though everything is always subject to change): Emily Blunt and James Corden – who play the Baker’s Wife and the Baker, respectively – will be the only actors pushing for leading nominations. Yes, you read that correctly – Meryl Streep will compete in the supporting category, where the flashy nature of her role gives her an even bigger advantage. Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, and Chris Pine will also vie for supporting bids.
But how will the film itself turn out? Disney failed to bank the awards attention it expected with John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks last year, but Woods already has some sight-unseen advantages over Banks: a more-established (and previously nominated) director in Marshall, a bigger cast that includes the aforementioned Oscar Queen, and the spectacle factor that should make it catnip in the crafts categories.
Speaking of the crafts categories, one place we won’t see Woods, oddly enough, is in the original song category. Sondheim specifically wrote a song for Streep’s Witch, but the folks behind the film removed it, saying that it simply didn’t flow. Think about it: taking away what might be the film’s best shot at an Oscar nomination if not the win for the sake of the overall product? It seems that Marshall may have another hit musical to his name.
Remember, I’m only predicting films set for U.S. distribution for nominations, but my overall lists still include films that might lack U.S. distribution at the moment. And in the name of shameless self-promo, you can check out more detailed Oscar musings over at my blog, Awards and Such. Keep in mind that my predictions there and on Screen Invasion might differ, given that I will update both at different times – I’ll update my Screen Invasion picks once a week; I’ll most likely update my blog picks at different intervals.