Oscar screeners: Paramount sends ‘Fences,’ ‘Silence’ and ‘Allied’

Paramount just sent Oscar voters screeners of three of their strongest contenders: the domestic drama “Fences,” the epic period piece “Silence” and the WWII drama “Allied.” Timing is everything in Hollywood and getting these DVDs to academy members before the holidays means that are likely to be watched well be before Oscar voting commences on Jan. 5.

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Denzel Washington, a two-time Oscar winner for acting [“Glory” (supporting, 1989) and “Training Day” (lead, 2001)], directs and stars in “Fences,” which had a limited release on Dec. 16 and goes wide on Christmas Day. He won a Tony Award in 2010 for headlining the first Broadway revival of this August Wilson 1987 Pulitzer Prize champ. He reprises his role as an ex-baseball player struggling to provide for his family as does his Broadway co-star Viola Davis, who took home a Tony for her performance as a wife whose loyalty is tested. Washington is in second place in Best Actor (at 14/5 odds) behind Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) who remains out front with 2/1 odds. And one-time Best Actress frontrunner Davis, who had slipped to sixth in that race, is now in first for Best Supporting Actress, ahead of Affleck’s co-star Michelle Williams. Wilson, who died in 2005, is the leading contender for his adapted screenplay.

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Martin Scorsese‘s “Silence” is based on a novel of the same name by Shusaku Endo and stars Andrew Garfield as a Jesuit priest on a mission to rescue his mentor (Liam Neeson) in medieval Japan. The film, which opens on Dec. 23, costars Adam Driver (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) and Ciaran Hinds (“Game of Thrones”). The screenplay is by Scorsese and Jay Cocks, an Oscar-nominee for writing Scorsese’s previous films “The Age of Innocence” (1993) and “Gangs of New York” (2002). Behind the camera, cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto was an Oscar contender for lensing “Brokeback Mountain”; costume and production designer Dante Ferretti has won three Oscars (“The Aviator” in 2004, “Sweeney Todd” in 2007 and “Hugo” in 2011); and editor Thelma Schoonmaker also has three Oscars for cutting Scorsese pictures (“Raging Bull” in 1980, “The Aviator” in 2004 and “The Departed” in 2006).


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“Allied,” which opened on Nov. 23, brings together Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis with Oscar-winning stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in what is typically an Oscar friendly setting: World War II.  Pitt and Cotillard are assassins who meet while trying to kill a German official and then fall in love, but could she secretly be a German spy? This war-torn romance has earned Zemeckis comparisons to Steven Spielberg and James Cameron as an “old-time classicist.”

To date, 46 films have been delivered this season. Below, a list of these titles with the most recent first.

Dec. 20: “Allied”
Dec. 20: “Fences”
Dec. 20: “Silence”

Dec. 19: “La La Land”

Dec. 16: “Moonlight”

Dec. 14: “2oth Century Women”

Dec. 13: “Jackie”

Dec. 12: “Elle”
Dec. 12: “Julieta”
Dec. 12: “Toni Erdmann”

Dec.6: “Arrival”
Dec, 6: “Florene Foster Jenkins”

Dec. 5: “Miss Sloane”

Dec. 2: “Christine”
Dec. 2: “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”
Dec. 2: “Life, Animated”
Dec. 2: “The Music of Strangers”
Dec. 2: “Neruda”

Nov. 30: “The Dressmaker”
Nov. 30: “The Handmaiden”
Nov. 30: “Manchester by the Sea”
Nov. 30: “The Man Who Knew Infinity” (Actors branch)

Nov. 23: “Trolls”

Nov. 21: “Finding Dory”

Nov. 18: “Deepwater Horizon”
Nov. 18: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Nov. 17: “Sully”

Nov. 15: “The Secret Life of Pets”
Nov. 15: “Sausage Party”

Nov. 14: “Captain America: Civil War”
Nov. 14: “The Jungle Book”
Nov. 14: “Zootopia”

Nov. 11: “The Birth of a Nation”

Nov. 9: “Hell or High Water”

Nov. 7: “Captain Fantastic”
Nov. 7: “Denial”
Nov. 7: “Eye in the Sky”

Nov. 1: “Cafe Society”
Nov. 1: “Love and Friendship”
Nov. 1: “The Neon Demon”

Oct. 18: “Long Way North”

Oct. 12: “Hello, My Name is Doris”

Sept. 24: “I Saw the Light”
Sept. 24: “The Meddler”

Aug. 30: “Maggie’s Plan”
Aug. 30: “Miles Ahead”

Predict the Oscar nominations now; change them till January 24

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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