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.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I remember very much the iconography and the images and the statues in church were very emotional for me. Just the power of that, and even still — just seeing prayer card, what that image can evoke. I have a lot of friends that are involved in the esoteric, and I know some girls in New York that are also into the supernatural. I don’t feel that I have that gift. But I am leaning towards mysticism… Maybe men are more practical, maybe they don’t give into that as much… And then also, they don’t convene in the same way that women do. But I don’t know, I am not a man, I don’t want to speak for men. For me, I tend to gravitate towards people who are open to those kinds of things. And the idea for my film, White Echo, I guess stemmed from that — I find that the girls in New York are more credible. What is it about the way that they communicate their ideas with the supernatural that I find more credible? And that is where it began. All the characters are also based on friends of mine. I worked with Refinery29 on that film, and found that they really invest in you which is so rare in this industry.”
Chloë Sevigny

“The word I have fallen in love with lately is ‘Hellenic.’ Greek in its mythology. So while everyone is skewing towards the YouTube generation, here we are making two-and-a-half-hour movies and trying to buck the system. It’s become clear to me that we are never going to be a perfect fit with Hollywood; we will always be the renegade Texans running around trying to stir the pot. Really it’s not provocation for the sake of being provocative, but trying to make something that people fall in love with and has staying power. I think people are going to remember Dragged Across Concrete and these other movies decades from now. I do not believe that they will remember some of the stuff that big Hollywood has put out in the last couple of years. You’ve got to look at the independent space to find the movies that have been really special recently. Even though I don’t share the same world-view as some of my colleagues, I certainly respect the hell out of their movies which are way more fascinating than the stuff coming out of the studio system.”
~ Dallas Sonnier