September 29, 2016

Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” exits the Oscar race – ANALYSIS


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Once the awards season gets underway (which annually happens right around this time), we spend a decent amount of our time separating the titles with Oscar potential from the titles with simple Oscar hopes. Usually, this requires a screening of the film, we can judge its awards potential on merit. But every once in a while, a studio makes the decision for us by removing a particular movie out of the Oscar heat, for various reasons.

That appears to be what has happened with Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” which officially moved its release date from the Oscar-friendly Dec. 25 to an undisclosed date in Summer 2013, according to a Warner Bros. release.

“Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more. It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible,” said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures.

In one sense, “Gatsby” is getting away from some very stiff competition. Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and Seth Rogen’s “The Guilt Trip” were set to open on that day. They also are arriving in theaters one week after Paramount’s “Jack Reacher” (with Tom Cruise), Judd Apatow’s “This is 40,” and Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Hunt for Osama Bin Laden thriller.

“Gatsby” also would be competing for Oscar eyeballs against “Les Miserables” (Dec. 14), Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” (Dec. 14), and Focus Features’ “Hyde Park on the Hudson” (in limited release on Dec. 7).

So “Gatsby” is out of this year’s Oscar race, where a colleague and I recently argued it would compete for technical nominations, at the very least, and the big prizes – Picture, Director, Actor and so on – if it connected on all levels.

And the race rolls on.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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