In the spirit of reader participation, we'll leave it to you to determine the good and bad news among this year's crop of Viggo Mortensen films. For starters: Can the 2007 Oscar nominee climb his way back into Academy hearts with nary a nude, bloody bathhouse throwdown in three movies? Sure, suggests one observer, who points out that beyond roles in the Western Appaloosa and the Cormac McCarthy adaptation The Road, Viggo has a fail-safe ace in the hole to unveil this December. Sort of, anyway; assuming it can overcome its distributor's ongoing cash woes, Good is apparently just the kind of Holocaust film for which Oscar voters swoon. Still, disadvantages persist:
Mortensen adores Good, which ThinkFilm plans to release by year's end. But the film is directed by Brazilian director Vicente Amorim, who is not in the Academy directors' club. Mortensen's third fall pic, John Hillcoat's film version of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel The Road, wasn't ready for the film fests. The 2929 Entertainment pic is set for release November 26 by Dimension/MGM, which suggests that despite its literary pedigree (and the Oscar Best Picture win for No Country for Old Men, based on McCarthy's book), the film may not be on Harvey Weinstein's Oscar must-push list.Nevertheless, Hillcoat's follow-up to his bleak, brilliant Aussie Western The Proposition got a once-over in New York Magazine's fall preview issue, with Hillcoat indirectly slagging the likes of Cloverfield ("We wanted something more resonant than, you know, the Statue of Liberty cut in half") while keeping mum on Viggo's performance as a father dragging his son through the ashy aftermath of apocalypse. Until we can judge for ourselves, we have the stills above to turn us on/off. Correct us if we're wrong, but like another pivotal dramaturgical maxim of our era, no one we know ever won an Oscar after going "Full Shopping Cart."