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Oscar Watch: Will 'Monuments Men' earn Clooney his Best Director Oscar?

Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 at 4:58 PM Central
Last updated Monday, August 12, 2013 at 4:58 PM Central

by John Couture

We haven't checked in lately with our good friends over at The Awards Circuit, but I'm sure they will agree with us that this year is destined to be one of the most competitive years ever, at least when it comes to the top awards. It's still early of course, but there just doesn't feel like a clear front-runner for any of the top eight awards.

It doesn't help matters much that there seems to be an overabundance of Oscar worthy candidates for each award. The upside is that the nominations themselves should provide plenty of intrigue to rival the show itself. And given last week's announcement that ho-hum choice Ellen DeGeneres has been tapped to host the show again, the more excitement in the actual competition, the better.

Enter perennial nominee George Clooney and his myriad of potential nominations. As writer, director, producer and star of The Monuments Men, it's easy to see him garnering two, three or even the holy grail of four nominations for this one film. Actually, I'm surprised he didn't lend his talents to the soundtrack to boost his nominations total.

Hot off the Best Picture Oscar for last year's Argo, don't think that Clooney has forgotten about Ben Affleck's Best Director nomination snub. While I do think that he's got a better than fair chance to score nominations in the other categories, I truly believe that he will be openly campaigning for the Best Director statue come next March.

Below you will find the first trailer for the film and it has all of the earmarks of a blue-blood Oscars contender. The film falls somewhere between Saving Private Ryan, Ocean's Eleven and Inglourious Basterds with much of the same cast to boot.

The real wild card for me will be Bill Murray's performance. He seems to be rather demure in this trailer letting Clooney, Matt Damon and John Goodman take center stage, but I have a feeling that he's going to have some real zingers when it's all said and done.

Oh, did I mention that the film is based on a true story? I guess the question isn't if it will win an Oscar, but rather how many?

The Monuments Men will debut in theaters on December 18.