Now that “The Great Gatsby” is here, and it’s a hit, the question remains: is it too late or too early for the Academy Awards? “Gatsby” was supposed to be released last Christmas and in the running for this past February’s Oscars. When it was pushed to May, that changed the Oscar landscape.
Quick– which film actually did win Best Picture? Why, it was “Argo.” Would the “Gatsby” we see now have made the short list? Probably. In the end, 9 movies were nominated. “Gatsby” could have been the 10th. But Leonardo DiCaprio, if nominated, would never have been Daniel Day Lewis in “Lincoln.” The film that “Gatsby” might have hurt: “Les Miserables.”
Now “Gatsby” comes out seven months before the next Oscar season. Is it too early? In a word: yes. But the time the fall rolls around, “Gatsby” may be long forgotten. This year’s field of potential Best Picture nominees is already pretty crowded. We can already look forward to “The Butler,” “August: Osage County,” “Monuments Men,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Blue Jasmine,” one of two movies starring Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman in “Grace of Monaco,” and so on.
And those are some we know about. Believe me, something’s out there that no one is aware of yet. For “Gatsby” to come back with momentum in the fall it’s going to need a massive amount of goodwill from the press. I’m not convinced Warner Bros. really gets that yet. How “Gatsby” fares in Cannes will be one major indicator of what’s to happen next now that the film has a great first weekend in the U.S. A May- December romance needs a lot of courting, and a lot of care.