Lawsuits aside, can Lovelace become the latest high profile theatrical/VOD release to also get Oscar attention? I was thinking about that after attending the splashy Monday night Hollywood premiere of the Radius/TWC – Millennium film at the Egyptian. The movie has a name ensemble cast all delivering terrific performances, but two are true standouts. Amanda Seyfried as notorious Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace and a de-glammed supporting turn by Sharon Stone as her mother could have strong appeal to the Academy’s actors branch. The film is not the type to gain traction in the Best Picture race but the actors might go for it if they see it. Radius (the VOD arm of The Weinstein Company) co-President Tom Quinn tells me the company quietly opened the film in Encino for a week in order to make sure it qualifies before the big simultaneous theatrical/VOD run starts Friday. However Academy rules, as I read them, seem to indicate the film would be eligible anyway so long as the VOD premiere does not precede the opening day of the theatrical run.
In any event with the Video On Demand component for increasingly high profile movies such as Lovelace or the Ryan Gosling starrer, Only God Forgives which Radius opened day and date with VOD in July after playing in competition in Cannes, awards talk would seem to be a natural. The Academy’s rules only seem to punish a film that first plays VOD or other non-theatrical formats and arrives in theaters later. Nevertheless most distributors still play it safe and qualify these movies in traditional ways. With the Academy, you don’t want to take a chance. Quinn says they also did a week-long qualifying run for Only God Forgives in Encino and grossed $7000 without anyone really even knowing it was playing there. (more…)