2011 was the year of late releases. The most anticipated movies of the year were released way late into the Oscar season. This could be for a number of reasons. The thinking could be that Academy voters tend to vote for films that are freshest in their minds, so why not release it as late as possible. Maybe if the anticipation lasts all year, more people will run out to see when it is finally released. But releasing movies late can be very problematic. First of all you risk not being recognized in any critic awards. This is instrumental in keeping the momentum going. The late comers also get lost in the shuffle at the end. With the competition so tough this year, the late comers are being left out. It turns out movies like WE BOUGHT A ZOO, THE IRON LADY, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO have all had mediocre reviews after being anticipated for most of 2011. Could it be that if any of these movies were released earlier in the year the critics may have reviewed them better? The expectations are low for the first half of the year, so when a better film is seen during this time it becomes a bigger surprise hence a better review. For Instance THE HELP, THE TREE OF LIFE and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS have hung on since their release in the Summer. Unfortunately the opposite can happen. WIN WIN is one of my favorites of the year and Paul Giamatti could easily have received a Best Actor nomination if it had been released in the Fall. Same goes for CEDAR RAPIDS. Yes, a real good movie is good regardless of when it comes out, but when it comes to winning an Academy Award timing is everything.


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