Unreleased 'Captain Phillips' draws early Oscar buzz

March 15, 2013

Remember last SUMMER when Tom Hanks was in Virginia Beach filming scenes for his movie "Captain Phillips"?

If so, you might remember that, at the time, the movie about the real-life Capt. Richard Phillips' encounter with Somali pirates was slated for a March 2013 release.

Well, that ain't happening.

For various reasons, the movie's release date has been pushed back to Oct. 11.

That's the bad news.

The good news? There's early talk that "Captain Phillips" might be a contender for Oscar gold next spring - both for best picture and for Hanks' role as the title character.

The film, which Hanks has called his most physically challenging work since "Cast Away," tells the story of Phillips after his ship, the Maersk Alabama, was taken over by Somali pirates in 2009.

He eventually was rescued by Navy SEALs.

It's the kind of story that could mint Oscar gold - or that could result in a cheesy, flag-waving story of American heroism. But given Hanks' dedication to the role and the fact that "Captain Phillips" is being produced by the team that gave us "The Social Network," I'm thinking this movie will lean more toward critically acclaimed buzzwords than movie-of-the-week criticisms.

We're getting way ahead of things here, but if "Captain Phillips" does get some attention from the Academy, it would be the second year in a row that the Oscars would feature a movie that was, at least partially, filmed in Virginia. This year, "Lincoln" was one of the big nominees.

And if Hanks would win an Oscar for best actor, that would tie him with Daniel Day-Lewis with three best-actor statues, a record that Day-Lewis just set playing the title role in "Lincoln."

Maybe there's some Oscar charm in roles that fit into the Old Dominion?

By Robert Morast

Source : The Virginian-Pilot