Oscar Voters: Don’t Overlook Some Pre-Fest Gems

Oscar Voters: Don’t Overlook Some Pre-Fest Gems


The Oscar buzz is so focused on Venice-Telluride-Toronto movies, you’d think 2022 started on Aug. 31. But there are treasures before then, including A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” DVV Entertainment’s Indian epic “RRR” and Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick.” Here are reminders of other films that opened before the fall-fest trio: 

Crimes of the Future (NEON)

Why has David Cronenberg never been nominated for an Oscar? It’s probably because he often creates genre films that make some people uncomfortable. The audacious and witty “Crimes” centers on humans trying to take control over their bodies. There are some squishy moments but as Viggo Mortensen’s character says, “Art triumphs once again.”


In this film written and directed by Max Walker-Silverman, Dale Dickey plays a widow and Wes Studi is a former beau who’s visiting; they get reacquainted in 82 minutes of terrific, subtle acting.


On paper, the opening sounds mundane: Mark Rylance, in 1956 Chicago, is cutting material to make a suit. But William Goldenberg’s editing and Alexandre Desplat’s score are so expert that viewers are immediately drawn in. “Outfit,” the directing debut of Graham Moore, is a feat of magic, taking place in one location (the tailor shop) and with a small cast. Oscar voters should heed all behind-the-camera work; the script by Moore and Johnathan McClain; and the performances by Rylance and supporting actor Simon Russell Beale. 

The Phantom of the Open (BLEECKER STREET)

It’s Rylance again, in a comedy directed by Craig Roberts and written by Simon Farnaby (from the book by Scott Murray). It relates the true tale of Maurice Flitcroft, who entered the prestigious British Open despite never having played golf. It’s outrageously funny and one of the most entertaining films of the year.

Thirteen Lives (MGM)

You might think you know all about the rescue of the young Thai soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave. But you don’t. Director Ron Howard and his team offer what Hollywood does best: a big-scale look at an event that always keeps focus on the individuals. All contributions are first-rate. And like the other films here, it’s definitely worth watching.

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