Movie awards season is in serious jeopardy now.
Lin Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” has been moved by Warner Bros. from June 2020 to June 2021. Warners didn’t move the film, which has been seen by long lead press and theater owners and received a very ecstatic response, to the fall or even the end of December. They just jumped ahead a year, like “Days of our Lives.”
Other big releases have been reshuffled into the fall and winter, like the James Bond movie, “No Time to Die.” Right now, the summer really means August, with “Wonder Woman 1984” on the 14th. Warner Bros. also has “Tenet” set for July 17th. But that could change, and probably will get pushed. Disney still has “Mulan” penciled in for July 24th.
Other than “Wonder Woman 1984,” August is pretty much of a desert. The only Oscar centric film for September is “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” the second directorial job of writer Aaron Sorkin, which could be great or stagey. We might not be able to handle the truth, even those of us who loved “Molly’s Game.”
October now brings just Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” which might have opened the Cannes Film Festival. The anticipation is very high for this one. If it isn’t great, there will be weeping in the streets. (It can’t be bad!)
November shapes up with Adrian Lyne’s return film, “Deep Water,” the equally liquid “Stillwater” from Tom McCarthy, plus Pete Docter’s “Soul.” We also get “Black Widow” at last.
For the end of the year, we’ll have Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” Paul Greengrass’s “News of the World,” and the new “Dune.” The big box office movie will be “Top Gun: Maverick.”
And for now, that’s it. The Oscar season will be a lot like Tony Awards season: a quick run up to voting. It’s not a lot to choose from, but there’s a lot of quality. I’m still looking forward to Focus’s “The High Note” on May 8th. I don’t know why. I’m just a cockeyed optimist.