Friday, January 12, 2007

Release dates and the Oscars

by Jackrabbit Slim
Brian, I saw your response to Jeff Wells' item about Mark Harris' column,,20008261,00.html, that says that the Oscar dates being moved up have screwed late releases. I can't agree with you more, that's bullshit. For years we heard complaints that movies released early in the year were forgotten, now the Oscars shift four weeks earlier and it's the splashy Christmas releases we're supposed to boo-hoo over? Please.

The Oscars can happen anytime they want to, it's their ball. If the studios want to play the craven game of marketing for awards, they'll have to adjust.

As for the examples of Day-Lewis, Brody, and Harden, I think in each case they won the Oscar because they were the only alternative. Voters didn't want to annoint Tom Cruise at such a young age, so they went with DDL. Brody won because (ironically enough) they didn't want to give DDL another Oscar for Gangs of New York, nor could they bring themselves to give Nicholson a fourth. And Kate Hudson was the front-runner the year Harden won, and the voters came to their senses and realized Hudson's role was mostly fluff. I'll bet a lot of people who voted for Harden didn't even see Pollack.


Blogger Brian said...

Well, it was just a dumb point, besides being factually questionable. If Oscar noms come out sooner, just start campaigning earlier ... duh.

That said, I'd quibble with your assessment of Kate Hudson's role in Almost Famous. I thought it was a lot more than fluff. That kind of thing is tough to pull off. Just ask Kirsten Dunst.

1/12/2007 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

While we're on the topic, I also have to laugh at the coverage of Peter O'Toole doing the talk-show rounds. Some of the pundits seem to think it's necessary for him to campaign to win, I say that's hogwash. Did Katharine Hepburn ever campaign for an Oscar? Jack Nicholson? O'Toole has achieved legend status, and I think Academy voters won't want to disappoint a frail old man. He will get votes from people who haven't seen the movie. Despite Forest Whitaker taking almost every critics' prize, I think O'Toole is a safe bet for winning the Oscar, much like Pacino was for Scent of a Woman (another case of a guy becoming famous for losing).

1/12/2007 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

The thing with O'Toole though is that he already has one, even if it was an honorary one. Main reason he's in the running for this is his "always a bridesmaid"-declaration when he got the last Oscar.

Of course, I haven't seen Venus or Last King of Scotland, so maybe he's remarkably excellent and all the critics groups failed to realize it, and banking on the geezer contingent is never a bad move when it comes to predicting Oscars.

1/13/2007 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Kind of surprised by Whitaker winning a Globe, as the HFPA are notorious star-fuckers, and Whitaker was probably the least famous nominee in that category. I may have to reassess, but I think it's safe to say now that Will Smith ain't winning. One thing that's important to remember--nothing that happened at the Globes influences Oscar nominations, because the ballots are already in. So Sasha Baron's Cohen speech about "wrinkled Golden Globes" doesn't help.

1/16/2007 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Sherry said...

Brian: I'm with you on Hudson and Almost Famous. I still haven't seen Pollack but I loved Almost Famous and Kirstin Dunst (or Scarlet Johansson, or insert starlet here) couldn't have pulled off Penny Lane.

That whole last two weeks of limited release gets the flicks into Oscar Contention? I've always hated it. If a flick has been shown in three theaters in New York and LA each and it qualifies as a 2006 release?

Please. Just release the flick in at least 500 - 700 screens or I'm not taking it seriously as a 2006 release.

1/19/2007 07:31:00 PM  

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