MCN Columnists
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

26 Weeks To Oscar: Resetting The Field For The Very First Time

Since the last column of “Setting,” 5 of the films mentioned have officially exited the playing field with firmed 2016 dates (The Coen Bros’ Hail Caesar!, Jodie Foster’s Money Monster, John Hillcoat ‘s Triple Nine, Richard Linkater’s Everybody Wants Some, and Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special) and three have joined… Ryan Coogler’s Creed and Nicholas Hytner’s The Lady In the Van, and Michael Moore’s Where To Invade Next.  (Please remember… this is a Best Picture list. There are other categories that other films not mentioned will certainly compete for and perhaps even win.)

One more note… no movie is going to get nominated for or win an Oscar based on what festival they opened at… or chose to open without a festival run. The choice is a strategy. It adds to the pot, it changes the flavor, it supplants other choices… it is a living, breathing moment in the history of all of these films. But with the increased awards aggression of Telluride and New York Film Festival in recent years, it has quickly become clear that the old thinking about festival season is now meaningless. Like opening movies, selling your awards hopeful is a long, long process and so long as your film opens in 2015 and shows in L.A. and N.Y. by December 5, you are as likely or unlikely as any other film with any other strategy to get into the race.  It’s all about the movie… and the sell.

THE FESTIVAL RUN

TORONTO Premieres

Demolition – Jean-Marc Vallee – released by Fox Searchlight – They are claiming that this Opening Night film will be released mid-2016.  If the film gets great reviews in Toronto (and if Everest is regarded as a commercial, non-awards entry), that will change, almost instantly. Doing TIFF without this goal would be nothing less than foolhardy.

The Danish Girl – Tom Hooper – distributed by Focus

The Lady In The Van – Nicholas Hytner – distributed by Sony (could be Tri-Star, could be Sony Classics)

Legend – Brian Helgeland – distributed by Universal

The Martian – Ridley Scott – distributed by Fox

The Program – Stephen Frears – no U.S. distributor yet

Trumbo – Jay Roach – distributed by Bleecker Street

Where To Invade Next – Michael Moore – no distributor yet

TELLURIDE TBAs (likely) that are going on to TORONTO

Black Mass – Scott Cooper – distributed by Warner Bros

Spotlight – Thomas McCarthy – distributed by Open Road

NYFF Premieres

Steve Jobs – Danny Boyle – distributed by Universal

The Walk – Robert Zemeckis – distributed by Tom Rothman’s TriStar

Already Premiered, Going To Festivals

Brooklyn – John Crowley – distributed by Fox Searchlight

Carol – Todd Haynes – distributed by The Weinstein Company

Sicario – Denis Villeneuve – distributed by Lionsgate/Summit

Youth – Paolo Sorrentino – distributed by Fox Searchlight

Already Theatrically Released Before Fall Festivals

Ex Machina – Alex Garland – distributed by A24

Inside Out – Pete Docter – distributed by Disney

Love and Mercy – Bill Pohlad – distributed by Roadside Attractions

Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller – distributed by Warner Bros

Mississippi Grind – Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck – distributed by A24

Ricki and the Flash – Jonathan Demme – distributed by TriStar

Southpaw – Antoine Fuqua – distributed by The Weinstein Co.


September/October/November Releases With No Apparent Domestic Festival Plan At This Time

Bridge of Spies – Steven Spielberg – distributed by Disney

Creed – Ryan Coogler – distributed by Warner Bros

Everest – Baltasar Kormákur – distributed by Universal

Our Brand Is Crisis – David Gordon Green – distributed by Warner Bros

Suffragette – Sarah Gavron – distributed by Focus Features


Late Year Releases (Some Which May Still Push To 2016), Which Won’t Likely Premiere Before AFI, November 5

Silence – Martin Scorsese – distributed by Paramount

In the Heart of the Sea – Ron Howard – distributed by WB

The Revenant – Alejandro G. Iñárritu – distributed by Fox

Snowden – Oliver Stone – distributed by Open Road

Joy – David O. Russell – distributed by Fox

The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino – distributed by The Weinstein Company

By The Sea – Angelina Jolie – distributed by Universal

Concussion – Peter Landesman – distributed by Columbia

I Saw The Light – Marc Abraham – distributed by Sony Classics


Longshots

A Bigger Splash – Luca Guadagnino – distributed by Fox Searchlight

45 Years – Andrew Haigh – distributed by Sundance Selects

Criminal – Ariel Vromen – distributed by Summit/Lionsgate

The Last Face – Sean Penn – no U.S. distributor

Regression – Alejandro Amenábar – distributed by The Weinstein Company

3 Responses to “26 Weeks To Oscar: Resetting The Field For The Very First Time”

  1. Joe Gillis says:

    Seems pretty foolish to make this list without including Star Wars. If you’re considering Mad Max then you should assume Star Wars will be in that same class.

  2. Chris L. says:

    Wondering what has happened to The Light Between Oceans. Are they simply leery of Fassbender/Vikander vote-splitting, or is the film not up to par? Hopefully TIFF adds it even if it’s a 2016 release.

  3. Zach says:

    No love for Fassbender’s Macbeth? It seems like it has some dark horse quality to it, if not for Best Picture, Actor and Director, then at least for nominations in categories such as Supporting Actress (for Marion Cotillard), Cinematography (for Adam Arkapaw) and potentially costumes.

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima