Limited Releases: Last Chance for Oscar Glory

August Osage County poster

There are a quartet of films opening in limited release this weekend hoping, as this is the last weekend they could open and still have a shot at Oscar glory this year. Three of the four films have already earned at least one major nomination, while the fourth has a shot at Oscar nominations in a technical category or two. Overall, however, their reviews are merely good, but not great. With all of the competition, it might be too difficult for any of them to expand wide. August: Osage County has the best combination of reviews and buzz and should win the weekend.

August: Osage County - Reviews
This is a movie where the acting talent is better than the script. That's not to say the script it bad, but the reviews are not good enough to normally thrive in limited release. On the other hand, it has already picked up a number of major nominations for the acting in the movie, so perhaps it will find an audience in limited release while it awaits its wide expansion. August: Osage County opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles with a planned wide expansion on the 10th of January.

The Invisible Woman - Reviews
Felicity Jones stars as Nelly Ternan, who was a muse to Charles Dickens, played by Ralph Fiennes. It's a period piece and a biography for a writer. This screams Oscar bait. However, like every film on this week's list, its reviews are only good and not great. Perhaps it will pick up an Oscar nomination or two for set design, costumes, etc. Otherwise, it might be forgotten. The Invisible Woman opened on Christmas day in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles.

Labor Day - Reviews
Kate Winslet stars as a single mother whose agrees to give a lift to a stranger, only it turns out the stranger is a wanted fugitive. Kate Winslet picked up a Golden Globe nomination, but its reviews are barely at the overall positive level, so it likely won't be a big player at the Oscars. Labor Day opens on Friday with a wide release scheduled for the end of January.

Lone Survivor - Reviews
The least "Oscar Bait" of the four films on this week's list. It nonetheless earned a SAG nomination for best stunts. It has a planned wide release on January 10th and should do better wide than it will in limited release. Lone Survivor opened on Christmas Day in New York and Los Angeles.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2013-12-27