Oscar History

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Hitchcock Arrives Early

Hitchcock, which was formerly known by the very expositional title Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho will now open Friday November 23rd says Fox Searchlight. The Oscar game board was already quite crowded but Searchlight isn't exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to their own chess pieces. With The Sessions opening in October, and Hitchcock ideally positioned a month later for Thanksgiving weekend, they're clearly feeling confident.


2012 was already so crowded (particularly in Best Actor!) but what the hell, right? It's not like anyone will have an easier time being invited to Oscar dinner again than Anthony Hopkins if he nails the mimicry. While it's absurd to suggest that an Oscar for someone playing Alfred Hitchcock is like an Oscar for Alfred Hitchcock, who AMPAS is consistently flogged for not honoring properly, but... well you know how people love a proxy.

And the man himself was always particular about timing. If Fox Searchlight, really wanted to go all out with this movie they'd get really fussy about the screenings, too, to further the Psycho for Psycho homaging.

Imagine everyone being forced to sit down before a movie starts in 2012! Although this might constitute cruel and unusual punishment rather than a savvy marketing ploy; in 1960 they didn't play 25 minutes of commercials before movies began. (In 1960 they still understood that 'no commercials' was a major pro for the movies, something TV could never offer you.) 

Sacha Gervasi, who previously directed the very winning documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! helms his first traditional feature but if he can bring the humor and pathos of that documentary to this biographical comic/drama than this might be a winner. The all star cast includes Helen Mirren as Hitchcock's wife and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. Toni Collette plays Hitchcock's longtime personal assistant Peggy Robertson. Might we have new Supporting Actress candidates to consider too? Even leads if the story thread about Hitchcock's marriage gets lots of screentime.

Time to update the charts again. I just did and this news and the new Oscar dates have already made them seem so out of date and long ago. And now we've even got a new "live singing!" Les Miz video to enjoy. This Oscar race? It's on.

P.S. My weirdly persistent flu -- which you've seen reflected here in erratic posting -- turns out to actually be pneumonia. Boo. So I am a mess and must stay in bed rather than attend my NYFF screenings.... [weeping]! But perhaps I'll be a blogging maniac as I mend. Laptops were invented for bed rest.

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Reader Comments (21)

Hope you get well soon, Nathaniel!

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConrado

That make-up looks just ridiculous enough to win the Oscar.

Get well!

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRax

I don't know about this, but the trailers for HBO's The Girl with Sienna Miller look amazing.

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Get well, Nat!

I am totally psyched for this movie. I forgot Toni Collette was in it. She makes everything at least a billion times better, always.

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJA

I'm just wondering about the movie's Oscar chances in the supporting acting categories, since Mirren should go leading (since there's only three big contenders in the Best Leading Actress race from my point of view: Lawrence, Wallis and Cotillard). So...
- Scarlett Johansson, who plays Janet Leigh
- Toni Colette, who plays Peggy Robertson
- Jessica Biel, who plays Vera Miles

Miss Johansson may benefit from her Lost In Translation and Match Point snubs and from the success of The Avengers, and well... she's playing an Oscar nominated Hollywood legend.
Colette is just always terrific (do you remember how small her screen-time was in The Hours and how magnetic and remarkable she was?), so maybe she will be a scene-stealer.
Jessica Biel... I just can't imagine a society with Miss Biel as(s) an Oscar nominee

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermarc

Pneumonia, my favorite song from Volta, not to make light of your condition love. Nathan Baby, I forgot to congratulate you in the glasses club, I've been a member since the seventh grade. Jesus, I hope you can get well soon, you need The Master I suspect you'll have the same grievances as its vocal detractors, but the beauty of Joaquin's chameleon eyes, remember them and you'll be dancing out of bed, awaiting a taxi to take you to the multiplex.

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

I think Jennifer Lawrence and Joaquin Phoenix will be hard to beat come Oscar night...

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterme

with a cast like that who wouldn't feel confident? :)

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Now that Rax has pointed it out, the makeup does look terrible.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConrado

Hopkins looks like Glenn Close ate a couch.

But seriously, I'm still not comfortable with Hopkins, Johannson, and Biel.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

I think I am the only person who preferred the "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" title. Especially compared to the dull "Hitchcock". The original title felt so specific and movie-centric. "Hitchcock"... gosh, that could be a biopic about his entire life.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Are you excited for Jessica as Vera!?!?!?

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

I loved the extended look at Les Miserables. It gave me hope that Hugh Jackman won't miss out on a nomination. Ditto for Anne Hathaway, though she is more of a sure bet.
Get well Nat!

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Maybe this year Best Actor race will be with "previous nomination only" (DD-L, Phoenix, Hopkins, Washington and PSH) and the winner will be the only one without an Oscar, Phoenix, á la Best Actor '02 ;)

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuiserghio

Luiserghio: I'm actually quite doubtful on Lincoln's Oscar chances outside of techs due to the exceptionally late trailer drop. If the trailer dropped in Late July, maybe, but a Spielberg film, even a prestige Spielberg film, dropping it's trailer so close to release sends warning bells, personally. It's like if the trailers for Munich and Amistad dropped in Late October 2005 and Mid October 1997 respectively. Honestly, I'm thinking Lincoln's late trailer drop and overly somber marketing campaign is part of what prompted this move. I can just imagine Fox Searchlight after seeing it and going, "Biopic voters...up for grabs. MOVE...UP...HITCHCOCK! NOW!!"

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

right now i think the 5 nominees will be:

Daniel Day-Lewis
Joaquin Phoenix
John Hawkes
Hugh Jackman (i'm more confident on him after watching the behind the scenes released yesterday)
Anthony Hopkins

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereduardo

I'm so surprised this was completed so soon. It seems like casting was announced just a couple of months ago. But I'll definitely see it.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Luishergio: With Harvey Weinstein behind, I seriously doubt Hoffman will compete for the leading category with Phoenix. I know, both are co-leads, but from every Kate Winslet and Keisha Castle-Hughes, we have Gyllenhaal, Blanchett, Affleck, Steinfeld, Bejo and others actors who made category fraud. Also, since 1980, there's a newbie in the lead actor category -And 1994 for the lead Actress category-. So Jackman or Cooper will take the newbie spot -Also both of them compete at comedy performance- with Trintignant as a long shot.

Volvagia made interesting points about "Lincoln". I think Day-Lewis could be nominated, but I don't think he'll be in contention for the win.

Another consideration... Maybe Helen Mirren will be considerated as a lead actress contender?... The last sypnosis from the film made an statement at Hopkins and Mirren as co-leads performers:

Hitchcock centers on the relationship between director Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville during the making of Psycho, spanning from Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, the real-life inspiration for the character of Norman Bates, to the release of the groundbreaking film in 1960.... While the film has been described as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of "Psycho," it's actually a love story between Hitchock and his wife who edited, supervised reshoots and worked on the screenplay.

Also, if Hunt, Johansson and Smith are competing in the supporting category, Fox Searchlight must send Mirren to the leading category... Maybe Mirren will be the British veteran of the year -Instead Smith or Dench-...

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

The red isn't textured enough, the knife as tie (while an interesting conceit) isn't executed well, the makeup isn't as startling as the first publicity shot, and the font is just awful. For a film I'm terribly excited about seeing, this poster does NOTHING for me.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

Oh Nathaniel, this film festival year hasn't been kind to you, has it?

First Tiff, now NYFF! Missing out on both must be terrible!

Get well soon!

Oh yeah, looking forward to Hitchcock. Great cast. Hopkins, Mirren et al just might be contenders for the oscars.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBlinking Cursor

I like that you are keeping Les Mis at the top of the list of contenders. It seems to me that in this year end stuffing of the ballot box, the "experts" are missing an obvious consideration about this motion picture. It is the only one, other than possibly The Hobbit, that is guaranteed to move people out of their houses and into a theater. This is a good year and there are some great movies, but they are all notable for having bits and pieces (actors, scripts, story) that appeal to segments of the audience while still totally turning off other possible ticket buyers. Les Mis ... 25 years in the waiting, phenomenal music, family friendly uplifting if sad story line, wonderful actors, excellent singing voices, studio backing, probably great box office, probable after run DVD sales ... you name it, this film has it all and deserves all the gold the academy can give it.

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
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