Emmy season ended just last night, and now the six-month-long Oscar season begins in earnest this week with the Fall festival trifecta of Venice, Telluride and then next week, Toronto. And tonight the motion picture Academy’s Board Of Governors will be voting on recipients of this year’s Governors Awards Honorary Oscars which will be handed out on November 8th. And the Emmy body may still be warm but Oscar campaigners seem to be jumping into the fray even earlier than usual with the first official awards screener going out to all members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Oscar voters should be receiving their special copy of Radius/TWC’s Snowpiercer in their mailboxes by tomorrow.
Director Bong Joon Ho’s futuristic post-apocalyptic thriller about the last of humanity aboard a special class-conscious train that travels the globe is the first to be sent this season. Last year Roadside Attractions took that honor with Mud on September 21st but it didn’t result in any nominations. Radius clearly wanted to get out in front on this film which opened the Los Angeles Film Festival in June and has performed well in theaters, and especially VOD. It also has been blessed by critics with a sterling 95% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. That’s just under critical darling and early Oscar contender, Boyhood. Radius is suggesting numerous categories in which they believe the film can compete including several below the line contests as well as Director, Screenplay and Supporting Actress for Tilda Swinton’s wild turn. Although on the surface the film doesn’t look like obvious Oscar fodder, strong support in critics awards contests could propel it forward.
Radius took an Oscar earlier this year for its musical documentary, Twenty Feet From Stardom. They plan to be a player in that arena also with a new musical documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On about the relationship between jazz great Clark Terry and a young blind musician he’s mentoring. I actually caught it at producer Quincy Jones’ Bel Air home last week and it’s easily the kind of moving and gripping doc that voters seem to be gravitating toward in recent races (ie Searching For Sugar Man, Twenty Feet From Stardom). Radius is likely to have at least one other docu contending as well. For now they are jumping right into the fray with Snowpiercer and hoping being first gains them some traction in what promises to be a very crowded race.