Thursday, August 25, 2016

Oscar Watch: A United Kingdom (2016)

  As of right now, Loving is looking to be a major contender in the Oscar race. But it is possible it may have another real-life interracial marriage drama to contend with this season: A United Kingdom starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike and directed by Amma Asante.

  Unlike Loving, which appears to be more of a low-key drama, this one looks to have more of a sense of grandeur with its use of big speech scenes and slightly on-the-nose dialogue with people reminding the main characters of the consequences of them getting married due to their skin color. But with 2014's Belle, Amma Asante proved that she can provide a blend of exposition and letting the camera do the storytelling.

   The performances by both David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike look quite spectacular. Oyelowo I think could be very strong for Best Actor considering how the category is looking like such a wasteland, his Selma snub could bring him a lot of goodwill, and his performance looks pretty demonstrative and unreserved. It's usually the kind of performance voters love. Rosamund Pike could be a contender for Best Actress as well for what is a more likable turn than her previously nominated performance in Gone Girl.

   The film currently doesn't have a U.S. distributor but if it gets picked up, it could contend not only for major categories (Picture, Actor, Actress, Screenplay, etc.) but below-the-line categories as well like Costumes or Production Design because it's a period drama. If the film delivers, I do hope that Amma Asante can be a strong contender for Best Director. It was unfortunate that Ava DuVernay couldn't make history with Selma as the first black woman to be nominated for Best Director. So we shall see if Asante could achieve that milestone.

What do you guys think? Do you think it looks like a legitimate Oscar contender and do you think it looks like a great film in general? Please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!