Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Artist - Oscar Contender?

Jean Dujardin says "What why would you not consider me an Oscar contender?"

After Cannes film festival I wrote a short blurb regarding the film The Artist's and more specificly Dujardin's prospects of an Oscar nomination for best actor. Sure the past two years have brought foreign stars to the Academy Awards line-up (Javier Bardem, Biutiful and Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds). But those two are the exception. Before the Bardem/Waltz back-to-back year, it seems by my calculations the next Oscar nominee going back was Gérard Depardieu in Cyrano de Bergerac.

But this post is not just talking French-comedic actor Dujardin here, and the correlation between Cannes actor winners and Oscar nominations.

The Artist is a passion project by Michel Hazanavicius, a French director traditionally known for his spy movie parodies (staring Duhardin). This film though is a silent black-and-white film which takes place in Hollywood from 1927 to 1931 dealing with Hollywood themes of the silent era's transition to the talkies.

If The Artist (or it's performers get nominated) it is not because of Cannes, unless it's Cannes run helped lead to The Weinstein Company purchasing distribution rights for the United States, UK, and Australia.

The Weinstein brother's (Bob and Harvey) left Miramax and formed their own company in 2005, and there choice of films, distribution style, reputation, and Oscar campaigning often leads to successful independent releases and Oscar success (The Weinstein Company was the distributor behind last year's Oscar behemoth The King's Speech).

So when The Weinstein Company announced it's release schedule for the holiday's including prime real estate for The Artist it warrants consideration The Artist will be released in the United States on November 23rd. Other Weinstein property for the holiday's include The Iron Lady (December 16, 2011), Coriolanus (December 2, 2011), and My Week with Marilyn (November 4, 2011).

So, will The Weinstein Company decide that The Artist is worth their promotion attention? If so, we might see this French silent film part of this next year's Oscar line-up, including the potential Jean Dujardin as well.

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