I was more than a little surprised to read this week that the Weinstein Company had chosen a summer release date for their Sundance pick-up Fruitvale whilst Fox Searchlight went with the Weinstein-like December 27th for Steve McQueen's Twelve Years A Slave. While summer is by no means a bad move for Fruitvale (movies without stars, instant hooks, or famous directors need time to build) and Fox Searchlight can sell a movie to Oscar with any date, it's weird to see the Weinstein Company go this route; Harvey Weinstein is more than a little responsible for the modern "DECEMBER OR BUST!" fanaticism that awards campaigns live by. For a moment I worried that they might have no faith in Fruitvale at all.
It's never been true, of course, that you have to release a movie in December to be an Oscar player but the important thing in regards to release dates is that it feels true to the studios which is why we get movie gluts every year 'round Christmas. ANYWAY... that's just the two most recent release date announcements. Here's what's coming our way -- a monthly calendar after the jump -- that might conceivably have Oscar dreams of some sort or another. (Feel free to add to the list in the comments so I can finally get around to the first Oscar predictions of the year!)