Friday, August 21, 2009

Paramount removes "Shutter Island" from Oscar contention

I must admit to a mild case of shock at the news that Paramount Pictures has decided to bump the opening of Martin Scorcese's Shutter Island from October to next February, thus removing it from Oscar consideration this year and probably Oscar consideration period. The reasons Paramount is giving for the delay are (1) it doesn't have the funds right now to promote the movie in the manner in which an Oscar-caliber movie needs to be promoted and (2) star Leonardo DiCaprio's current schedule would not allow him to promote the film.

It all sounds like a bit of hogwash to me and a rude way to treat Scorsese's first dramatic release since his Oscar-winning The Departed. The positive side to this dreary news is that Shutter Island will open the same week in February 2010 that The Silence of the Lambs opened in 1991 and now that there are 10 Best Picture slots instead of five, it still gives Scorsese's picture a shot for next year.

The winner of all this to me is a movie that I think is going to be a genuine sleeper success story this year, A Serious Man, which is scheduled to open Oct. 2, the same day Shutter Island was originally set to premier. Now Man not only has that date all to itself, but it may have secured its place among the best picture nominees.

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