September 30, 2016

Denzel Washington’s “Flight” closing this year’s New York Film Festival – ANALYSIS


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Months ago, when Paramount teased the first official trailer for Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight,” the director’s return to live-action for the first time since “Cast Away” struck us as a riveting exploration of a human pilots potential faults in the midst of crisis. The movie looked like it would boast eye-popping aerial effects, and Washington would deliver the anticipated level of gut-punching bravado we’ve come to expect from him over the years.

It didn’t necessarily look awards worthy, though Zemeckis certainly has found himself in Oscar’s cat-bird seat more than once (going so far as to win Best Director for “Forrest Gump” back in 1995).

Yet as is annually the case, decisions are made that help the overall Oscar picture grow a little more clear with each passing day. And today, the New York Film Festival announced that Zemeckis’ “Flight” will close this year’s festival with a world premiere on Oct. 14.

Now we’re sitting up and paying closer attention.

Lats year, NYFF closed with a major Oscar player: Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” which had trotted through Telluride and Toronto before landing in Manhattan with a cache of awards buzz. Perhaps this year, NYFF wanted a world premiere all of its own? And maybe Paramount knows that it has something special, and is choosing to make a very noticeable splash by closing NYFF … with all of the Oscar press watching?

Here’s the “Flight” trailer, which is impressive and nerve-wracking … and possibly awards worthy. You make the call.

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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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