Victoria & Abdul Oscar Bait Trailer

The first trialer for Victoria & Abdul was released this week.  It is based on the true story of an unexpected friendship during Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) rule. Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and they form an unlikely friendship. 

This trailer is the definition of Oscar bait. A slow predictable story with people in funny costumes. Just the kind of film that gets a Best Costume Design nomination and nothing else. 

The trailer has an incredible 1 million plus views. There is interest coming from somewhere. 


Future Not so Bright for Cannes Films 

Generally speaking, movies that play at the Cannes Film Festival in May don’t win Oscars. It’s a long year and it isn’t easy for a film to use the hype from Cannes to keep it going to have an impact much later in the year. A movie has to be really special to to get the attention of Oscar voters. 
The films in the last 10 years that have received a Best Picture Oscar nomination are:

No Country for Old Men – 2007
The Artist – 2011
The Tree of Life – 2011
Midnight in Paris – 2011
Amour – 2012
Nebraska – 2013
Mad Max: Fury Road – 2015

The Artist went on to win Best Picture. It was much easier for these films to get in when they allowed 10 Best Picture nominees. Tree of Life was booed at Cannes, but being underestimated can make an Oscar film. 

Often when a film does well at Cannes, it doesn’t finish out the year with a Best Picture nomination. It can help to spring up acting and writing contenders. Like Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol or Steve Carell in Foxcatcher. Last year at this time we were convinced that Ruth Negga and Loving were shoo-ins for a Best Actress and Best Picture win. 

A few films that played at Cannes this year have some buzz. Todd Hayne’s Wonderstruck, probably being the most talked about. Other possibilities include, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Good Time, You Were Never Really Here, The Meyerowitz Stories and The Square. A Smaller film like The Florida Project, is prime for a Spirit Award nomination. A few foreign language films could break through like, Loveless, Jupiter’s Moon, White God and Happy End. 

It’s all worth paying attention to, but certainly don’t draw any conclusions this early in the year. The real test comes in the Fall with Toronto, Telluride and Venice. 

2017 Cannes Film Festival Winners – Full List

The 70th annual Cannes Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday.  

Here is the full list of winners.: 

The Square (Ruben Östlund)

(BPM) Beats Per Minute (Robin Campillo)

Sofia Coppola (The Beguiled)

Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here)

Diane Kruger (In the Fade)

Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev)

The Killing Of Sacred Deer and You Were Never Really Here

Jeune Femme (Léonor Sérraille)

A Gentle Night (Qui Yang)

Katto (Teppo Airaksinen)

Nicole Kidman

Cannes Update – Wonderstruck


Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck premiered to mixed reviews this morning on the first day of the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival. Gold Derby claimed that it launched Todd Haynes into the the Oscar race.  Others are proclaiming Julianne Moore as a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hold on…It isn’t easy for a film to maintain the hype from Cannes all the way to Oscar night. It has to be really special to get the attention of Oscar voters. Based on the mixed reviews, Wonderstruck does not appear to be that film.

Twitter reviews:







Excerpts from additional Wonderstruck reviews:

Hollywood Reporter: The film may not follow a conventional approach to its story-telling, but then, last year, neither did Moonlight, and it was eventually crowned best picture, suggesting that as the Academy has nurtured a more diverse and international membership, its taste is becoming more adventurous.

ColliderWhile even his young co-stars can reach for a grounded emotional reaction to the events unfolding around them Fegley’s performance often feels forced and, markedly, flat. And when the film is reaching for an emotional climax to take the audience over the top, even in the presence of a game Moore and under Haynes’ direction he’s simply not up for it. It’s quite puzzling, but then you remember the eras Haynes has magically transported you into and that disappointment quickly fades away.

The Guardian: Carol director Todd Haynes latest, set in both 1920s and 1970s New York, has nice details but suffers from a glib tone and some preposterous plotting.

Wonderstruck will be released in the US on October 20th. Expect it play at all of the major fall film festivals.


First Look – Battle of the Sexes 

Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer for Battle of the Sexes with Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs. 
The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became the most watched televised sports event of all time. The match caught the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposites sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts and animated the discussions between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world.

Battle of the Sexes is set to be released in September.