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« TIFF: Isabelle Huppert is "Elle" | Main | Doc Corner: 'Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four' »
Tuesday
Sep132016

"Jackie" Sells to Fox Searchlight. December Gets Yet More Crowded

The Oscar Race just got a lot more crowded.

Natalie Portman as "Jackie". Photo by William GrayWhile Natalie Portman may be enjoying the lion's share of buzz for playing the title character in Jackie (her best performance yet) if Fox Searchlight plays their FYC hand correctly the film could be a major player across the Oscar board (Portman and Sarsgard are the only acting possibillities. Greta Gerwig, Max Casella, John Carroll Lynch, John Hurt, and Beth Grant support them well but in extremely limited doses) including especially Costume Design, Director, Screenplay, and Production Design. The Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Original Score are also marvellous but the film is a little out of the box challenging so not everyone is going to respond to it; in its own caged bird way it's as angry as Pablo Larraín's Chilean pictures.

As expected given the festival raves and the film's connections to Darren Aronofsky, Fox Searchlight had first dibs. The deal took longer than expected but they will distribute on December 9th. That puts the film at the end of a flurry of major Oscar contenders opening between October and early December (Fences is the only possibly major player -- that is not a sci-fi/fantasy --  opening after Jackie. It opens Christmas day). 

Pablo Larraín and Natalie Portman in Venice for the premiereThe schedule right now of golden hopefuls:
Oct 7th -Birth of a Nation, The Girl on the Train
Oct 14th -Certain Women, Miss Hokusai (animated feature)
Oct 21st -Moonlight, The Handmaiden (if there were justice in the world but alas, South Korea didn't select it as their Oscar bid)
Oct 28th -Eagle Huntress (documentary)

Nov 4th -Loving, Doctor Strange, Bleed For This 
Nov 11th -Arrival, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Elle
Nov 18th -Manchester by the Sea, Nocturnal Animals, Fantastic Beasts
Nov 23rd (Wed) Allied, Moana (animated feature), Rules Don't Apply
Nov 25th - Lion

Dec 2nd - La La Land
Dec 9th - Jackie, Miss Sloane, The Salesman (Asgar Farhadi) 
Dec 16th - Rogue One, Collateral Beauty, The Founder, and Neruda (also by Pablo Larraín) 
Dec 21st (Wed) - Assassin's Creed, Passengers, Sing! (animated feature)
Dec 23rd - A Monster Calls
Dec 25th (Sun) - Fences, Toni Erdmann (foreign film submission)

Qualifying Releases: Hidden Figures, The Red Turtle, and ???

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Reader Comments (31)

I think it's safe to say Live by Night will go for a qualifying release in late December. Patriot's Day is another late December play, don't you think?

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commentertonytr

One teensy correction. The movie opening Dec 16 is Collateral Beauty. I, personally, am most stoked for Manchester by the Sea (I'll be camping out for this one), La La Land (and I even HATED Whiplash!), Nocturnal Animals, Moana, Toni Erdmann and The Salesman.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterken s

Are you hoping Strange Weather is delayed for next year? Holly Hunter making a return to Best Actress this soon feels totally unexpected. Especially in light of conversation you had where speculation was the day will come when she has her own 45 Years. Also, for Hunter her entire Oscar legacy is for odd number years '87, '93, '03, possibly '17? And when I asked you about who would you want to win a 2nd Oscar and you're like all spread the wealth kind of guy you said Holly Hunter first. Before revisions were made for Kidman and Tomei.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Nat: Um...The Founder? That's still opening on December 16th.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Gold with McConaughey is coming out christmas as well.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

ken s: I hated half of Whiplash and loved the other half. J.K. Simmons yelling at Teller for, subtextually, being a mediocre-bad actor? Amazing. (Teller's performance there was 90% casting. A genuinely great actor (which Teller...isn't) in that role would have ruined those scenes.) Actually having to sit through Miles Teller acting on his own? Not so much. (If I were producing that, I'd have told Chazelle to change his plans and make J.K. Simmons THE lead character as opposed to just a co-lead. It's an anti-hero asshole movie either way, so why not make it as compelling as possible the whole way through?) (Note: Teller seems to be suffering under the delusion that he's a convincing tough guy. A boxer? A soldier? A forest fireman crewmate? I probably won't buy him as ANY of those, so unless Miles Teller is building up to playing Vanilla Ice in a movie and these are just for subtext points, he's making a lot of obvious bad calls recently.)

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I see Best Actress like this

Stone
Portman
Bening
Davis
Negga

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

I loe Sarsgard in all of his roles... hope this can be a successful part for him... he is so

underrated...

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrick

You seem really skeptical of Hidden Figures. I know it looks broad, but I've seen a couple of prognosticators put it on their prediction lists. And it's gotten more attention in my social media feeds than every other "Oscar movie" combined (though I realize that only speaks to its b.o. potential).

I agree with rick - I hope Sarsgaard can make the cut.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Suzanne-I agree, I think it's a threat somewhere, though I can't quite tell where.

I plead the fifth on the social media question-I already followed three of the stars, so this was bound to be a hit on my Twitter feed. Spencer, Henson, Powell-I'm very pumped for this.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Suzanne -- it feels more like a family box office play but i'm not really skeptical of that it might be good. It's just the article is about release dates and current it's only getting a one week just to qualify which is, as ever in my lifetime, gross.

Josh - i was trying to list just Oscar related things and I frankly don't see it there.

volvagia - good catch. i was pulling release dates from a calendar that mysteriously left that film out.

September 13, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

/3rtful -- i can't imagine Strange Weather coming out this year. It doesn't have a distributor yet that I'm aware of and movies picked up this late usually only open immediately if the buzz is deafening (like Jackie). Otherwise they take their time.

September 13, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Notably still no release dates for

Silence
20th Century Woman
United Kingdom

I wonder when/whether these will squeeze into the schedule.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

--- Emma Stone, Amy Adams, and Natalie Portman ---

are such TOTAL locks for Actress that it'll be a legitimate massacre for the remaining two slots!

*gets his £1 caramel flavored nibbles from Tesco*

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

This is such a case of deja-vu. A film from Natalie Portman debuts to raves and Oscar talk at Venice and continues its dominance at Toronto. It's being released around the exact same time Black Swan was released in 2010 (and Aronofsky is producing this one too). Plus, she's pregnant again. Lol

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

@Yavor

Amy Adams is a non-factor.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

@Yavor - I agree that Portman and Stone are definitely looking like sure things. I'm not quite certain on Adams yet though. I *could* see her just missing out to a combination of Viola/Bening/Negga/Blunt/Streep/Huppert. It'll be interesting! And yes, if Riva was nominated a couple years ago, I could definitely see a scenario where Huppert sneaks in over some more "mainstream" choices.

Remember Sci-Fi film performances generally get passed over no matter how great (see Ex Machine from last year). It is so stupid but has to be taken into account. If Adams is worthy, I hope she gets in.

If critics primarily pick only one to three of these names during their awards, then figuring out which five performances get in at the end of the day may be interesting/surprising!

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterwhyme

@3rtful - I wouldn't go so far to say that. The academy does like her afterall and she has what looks to be two acclaimed performances this year; one of which was the Grand Jury Prize winner which is a positive sign for it's overall oscar chances. So a definite possibility albeit WITH plenty of risk/hurdles to overcome.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterwhyme

Just realized that Passengers hasn't been seen yet & how much I'd hate the world if Jennifer Lawrence gets another nomination because her movie made a lot of money.

I mean, Lawrence occupying the 4th slot and leaving all those other actresses who've never won before to claw their way to 5th would be the Oscars at their most cruel. Sandra Bullock The Blind Side cruel with interest.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Portman has juggernaut reviews. Stone has momentum from her Birdman nomination. Amy Adams has an inflated Oscar record with two lackluster vehicles. Bening and Davis need not concern themselves with an overdue narrative for Adams because it makes zero sense.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I am NOT buying the argument that Portman's chances of a win are low due to her already winning.

Look at Daniel Day Lewis - He won an oscar in 2008 for a juggernaut performance (There Will Be Blood) and then won again in 2013 (five years later) for a critically acclaimed performance of a famous historical figure/politician.

Portman - She won in 2011 for a juggernaut performance (Black Swan) and then five years later is giving a critically acclaimed performance of a famous historical figure/politician.

DON'T underestimate the power of an excellent performance in a well made/reviewed biopic of a famous historical figure/politician. If you want to win consensus amongst oscar voters, packaging your awards worthy performance in a biopic of a famous historical figure is the way to go. Your vehicle does matter. Is it enough to win? I'm not sure but it very well may be especially when you consider her biggest competition at this point (Stone) is driving in a more divisive vehicle (i.e. a musical). At least she isn't driving around in a Sci-Fi film, then her odds would really plummet.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Having seen both Adams performances she seems unlikely to me IF Viola Davis stays in lead and delivers. The three in the lead currently are definitely Stone, Portman, and Negga... free for all after that.

BJT -- that's a great question. SILENCE & 20TH CENTURY WOMEN especially should be getting closer to firing their first shots by now.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I wouldn't say Arrival is lacklustre at all.It may be a difficult film to get for a traditional male dominated Academy. That's mainly why I don't think Adams is getting in. Both of Adams are getting good reviews, Arrival probably the strongest. Still not enough to overcome genre bias. My feeling however is that it will be good for her to miss out as it will increase her merit as overdue later down the road. What is sure is that if she gets nominated, she won't win. I have the nagging feeling that Adams camp doesn't want that as it would be counterproductive. She may not want to be seen as the next Glen Close. She wants to be Julianne More. The next nomination needs to be the winning one.

I am worried for Fences release date. Is it too late? I definitely want another nomination for Viola and hope the film delivers, but coming out at Christmas Day seems to work only for highly buzzy films and bankable stars (a la Jennifer Lawrence in Joy.) I worry it will have the fate of A Most Violent Year and Jessica Chastain.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJones

ps. Every time I read Stone, my mind can't help but think it's about Sharon Stone. I adore Emma Stone but I'm still not used to referring to her using her last name only. I guess I'm old now?

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJones

LOL, @Jones. I thought the same thing at first -- hello, 1995! -- and typically refer to Emma Stone by her full name (which is shorter than McConaughey and many others' last name anyway). Hope she snags Oscar this year!

September 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Portman, Stone, and Davis are locks. The last two slots are an utter bloodbath : Streep, Adams (for Arrival), Negga, Bening, and Huppert. I know it is crazy to call someone a lock (Davis) for a film no one has seen but it feels predestined in some way. I also have a feeling Rachel Weisz could make some noise for Denial. Thoughts?

September 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

Ha, I see Davis and think Bette Davis, so who's old now?! :-)

September 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

@ Dave in H.

I see Adams, and think Don, Edie, Nick or Brooke...or Jane...

September 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Someone pls give Amy Adams an Oscar, so we can be done with her ala Renee Zelweger

September 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMontage

Is Fences not slated for a film festival premiere? It doesn't seem to be premiering at NYFF, AFI or London.

September 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

It certainly could premiere at AFI in LA ala Selma and American Sniper.

September 15, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

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