Indie Close-Up: Awards Contenders 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Amour,' 'The Impossible' Get Limited Releases

The holiday weekend is certainly going to be very crowded at the box office. Joining wide release films like Jack Reacher, This Is 40, Les Miserables and Django Unchained will be a handful of awards contenders. Let's see what's opening in theaters over the long holiday weekend…

Zero Dark Thirty

The Kathryn Bigelow directed thriller centered on the hunt for Osama bin Laden has generated plenty of early awards buzz. After winning several "Best Film" honors from critics' groups including the NY Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review, the film has picked up 4 Golden Globe nominations, including best picture, director, actress and script. Folks in L.A. and New York will finally get to see what the hype is all about as the film opens on five screens in super-limited release. The rest of the country will have to wait until January 11 when the movie expands nationally.

 

Amour

Amour is the odds-on favorite to win the best foreign picture Oscar after capturing the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Lead actress, Emmanuelle Riva is also generating awards buzz, having notched a Golden Globe nomination. The film centers on Georges and Anne, both piano teachers in their eighties who have since retired. One day, while in the midst of a breakfast conversation, Anne has mental mishap that gradually leads to a gruelingly unsentimental demise. The focus turns to Georges and how one man deals with losing the woman he has loved his whole life, every day, little by little.

 

The Impossible

Anchored by solid performances by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, The Impossible tells the tale of a family caught in the midst  of a massive tsunami that strikes Thailand during Christmas. The story is based on events that occurred when a Spanish family visited the country in 2004. Watts has picked up a Golden Globe nomination for her performance and she remains a strong possibility to join the Oscar list of actress nominees.

 

On The Road

It seems like we've been talking about On the Road forever, primarily because Kristen Stewart stars in it. The film premiered at Cannes and has ridden a wave of relevance by screening at Munich, Toronto and a number of other festivals. The film is an adaptation of Jack Kerouac's novel about a young writer (Sam Riley) whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of the free-spirited Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) and his girl, Marylou (Kristen Stewart). The film was a runner-up for the Palme d'Or at Cannes and notched Amy Adams a supporting actress win from the Hollywood Film Festival. The National Board of Review also listed it as one of their top ten independent films of 2012.

 

Will you be seeing any of these films over the holiday weekend? Do you think any of these movies has a shot at winning some major awards (SAG, Golden Globes, Oscars) over the next couple months?

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