Two films that are likely to get some sort of attention this Oscar season are Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Biutiful and Peter Weir’s The Way Back and until now neither film has had any certainty that it would even be released this year. However, that worry can be put to rest with the recent announcement that both films have been picked up and have set tentative release dates.
The Spanish language film Biutiful from Oscar nominated director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu received the Best Actor Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival for its lead actor Javier Bardem and it left the festival with high anticipation. Roadside Attractions has picked up the film for distribution and they have announced that it will receive a limited release this December. Roadside has never released a film that has been nominated for Best Picture before, but with their 2010 films Winter’s Bone, Biutiful, and I Love You, Phillip Morris their chances seem to be steadily increasing.
Peter Weir’s The Way Back has had distribution from Exclusive Film Distribution announced for some time, but it was unclear whether they would be picked up by somebody else. Now it has been announced via producer Joni Levin’s Facebook page that the film will be released for one week this December, making it eligible for Oscars, with a wide release on January 21, 2011. The film features big name stars such as Colin Farrell and Ed Harris and it is being produced by Oscar magnet Scott Rudin. It’s director, Peter Weir, is also something of an Oscar magnet having received 5 Best Director nominations despite having directed only 13 feature films. Buzz around The Way Back has been curiously quiet, but I think it has all the right materials for some major Oscar success.