Bennett Miller has directed Moneyball and Capote, both of which got acting Oscars and other nods (including Best Picture, where he’s 2-for-2 on non-documentary films; he’s also dating Ashley Olsen). He’s next up with Foxcatcher, which was actually supposed to come out this past year and be an Oscar contender up against 12 Years A Slave, Dallas Buyers’ Club and all that. It got pushed back, and now it’s generating a lot of buzz for next year’s Oscars (go ahead, type “Foxcatcher” into Twitter or Google News and watch it populate). It’s about John Du Pont, who is played by Steve Carrell (a semi-turn away from comedy here), and the teaser trailers have been stunning. It also has Channing Tatum (for the ladies) and Mark Ruffalo (for an undetermined audience). There are obviously other contenders — A Most Violent Year, with Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, looks pretty sweet and you have David Fincher doing his ultimate thing with Gone Girl and Ben Affleck, which seems like a major Oscar stew recipe — but Foxcatcher has gotten a lot of buzz and the Academy seems to love people playing against type. (There were similarities to McConaughey and his Dallas Buyers Club character, for sure, but he wasn’t busting out with “Alright, alright, alright…” here and there, no.) If we’re just talking about Carrell’s chances, though, you do have Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice this year too; that’s some P.T. Anderson stuff and he tends to get great performances out of leading male characters and hit Oscar gold a lot too. (So weird that he’s married to Maya Rudolph, because genre-wise that makes no sense — and they have four kids!)
Anyway, it’s all a crapshoot, but I wouldn’t bet against seeing Carrell up there next February/March grabbing that little gold man.