Surveying the Best Picture field with the 2013-2014 Oscar season on the way
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"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
Release date: Dec.13
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee
Pros: A billion bucks is nothing to sneeze at, and last year's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" crossed that mark worldwide eventually. Point being, the studio is invested in the filmmaker and the franchise, and if that equates to pushing it significantly for awards, then so be it.
Cons: All of that having been said, the first installment of this franchise didn't register with the Academy much at all. It seems to have landed in the "been there, done that" waters we expected on the circuit, and certainly that will continue to be the case, unless one of the chapters registers in a hugely unique way.