September Oscar Watch
First hunch: When the Academy Award nominations are announced next February, the makers of Forrest Gump may discover that life really is like a box of chocolates. Second hunch: At this point, it’s probably unwise to bet on the first hunch. Oscar mavens know that no matter what’s been released so far, the real contest is only now beginning. Last year, 15 of the 20 acting nominations and four of the five Best Picture nods went to films released after Labor Day. That’s why the film industry is looking to Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford (left), to inaugurate the guessing-game season; word is particularly good on the performances of 1993 nominee Ralph Fiennes as contestant Charles Van Doren and 72-year-old Paul Scofield (a 1966 winner for A Man for All Seasons) as his father. Also in contention: first-time director Frank Darabont’s Stephen King adaptation, The Shawshank Redemption, and Academy darling Meryl Streep, rowing in the suspense thriller The River Wild for her 10th nomination overall and eighth in the so-far-underpopulated category of Best Actress.