A chill in the movie air

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

Vis­i­tors to Variety’s web­site, on­line home of the (cliche alert) in­dus­try bi­ble, were, this week, greeted with an ad­ver­tise­ment declar­ing, “It’s that time again.”

Time to start think­ing about school­books? Time to buy au­tumn jumpers? No. The com­mer­cial, placed by the PR com­pany that flogged the so-so Crash to the Academy in 2004, an­nounces the for­mal be­gin­ning of the cam­paign for the 2009 Os­cars.

This is be­com­ing ab­surd. We are now ap­proach­ing the stage where awards sea­son pro­mo­tions will be­gin im­me­di­ately af­ter the film has been pitched. “Well, we have yet to se­cure a script, a cast, a di­rec­tor, a pro­ducer or a fi­nal ti­tle, but we have placed a great For Your Con­sid­er­a­tion ad in The Hol­ly­wood Re­porter,” Hi­ram Hype III will soon say.

Let’s play their game and have a speedy glance at the films gen­er­at­ing spec­u­la­tive buzz. Many psy­chics like the sound of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Sam Men­des’s Revo­lu­tion­ary Road, but the di­rec­tor’s last films (Road to Perdi­tion and Jar­head) failed to gather any ma­jor nom­i­na­tions. The ex­cel­lent trailer for Oliver Stone’s W, hith­erto viewed with sus­pi­cion, has reignited hopes for the Ge­orgeW Bush biopic. Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon, an­other crack at a right-wing pres­i­dent, might gar­ner nom­i­na­tions for Frank Lan­gella and Michael Sheen.

Also, look out for Sean Penn in Milk, the story of mur­dered mayor of San Fran­cisco Har­vey Milk, and the Kid­bot (Ni­cole model) in Baz Lurhman’s epic Aus­tralia. Among the few talked-about films that have been seen, Clint East­wood’s Changeling, which re­ceived both raves and shrugs in Cannes, ap­pears set for mul­ti­ple nods.

Oh, who knows? It might be best to put all your money on a long shot – The Love Guru sounds right – and hope for an out­break of in­san­ity.

A ti­tanic re­union: DiCaprio and Winslet in Revo­lu­tion­ary Road

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