EXCLUSIVE: With today’s Best Picture Producers Guild nomination, 5 Golden Globe nominations, 6 Critics Choice Movie Award nods and two more from SAG, some Independent Spirit awards love plus a coveted spot on the AFI Top Ten Movies Of The Year list, Paramount’s ‘little-movie-that-could’ Nebraska has been slowly, but steadily gathering a lot of awards mojo going into the second phase of a campaign that started shortly after Cannes where star Bruce Dern won Best Actor. Dern has also taken awards from the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and along with co-star June Squibb is nominated for several others. Will Forte, who plays their son also won a National Board Of Review Supporting Actor prize and a nomination for the Indie Spirits. The studio’s strategy has been to consistently screen the film since July (even though it didn’t open until mid-November) and get as many Academy members in to see it as possible. One source connected with the campaign says they have actually kept names and numbers estimating that over 2,300 members have seen the film at screenings to date. That doesn’t even include those who passed in at local theaters or who may have watched it at home on DVD. Incidentally the strategy purposely included holding back sending DVD screeners out until very late in the game. The thinking went that the film’s unique style and pacing, plus the stunning widescreen black and white cinematography have a much greater impact in a theater than a TV monitor. I would agree. It plays great with an audience. And now Paramount is going to unleash a highly unusual new TV spot that does something I can’t recall ever having seen — it reveals the actual ages of its stars. Whoa. Going where no studio has ever gone before. Now that’s a first for Hollywood! But this story about an aging, sort of senile man who takes a road trip to collect a million dollar prize he is convinced he’s won from a publishing house is partially about the possibilities of following dreams at any point in life. And that goes for its cast (including Forte) who are finding new opportunities at an age and point in their careers they may not have expected. Certainly this unique campaign approach ought to resonate with many in the Academy, which you may have heard has a few older members itself. Check out the new debuting spot below.
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