Bennett Miller's 'Foxcatcher' moves out of the Oscar race to 2014

Posted by · 8:47 pm · September 26th, 2013

If you want a press release to land somewhat quietly, drop it at 10:00pm ET. And not that the news of “Foxcatcher” didn’t cause plenty of commotion a few hours ago, but it was obviously a willful decision from Sony Classics to let the news out when they did. I’ve been in screenings all day and just now got back to my desk to assess all of this, but the news is this: Bennett Miller’s latest is officially a 2014 release.

If you’ll recall, a number of months back we said that this could happen. That was back before it was dated, when the worst kept secret was that it was a Sony Classics film and not a Sony film, before the AFI Fest premiere was announced, etc. And now, somewhat uniquely, it all goes away. AFI has a pair of centerpiece screenings it will be announcing shortly (one of them a world premiere), but nevertheless, they can’t be too happy.

We’re left wondering why. Is Miller really still editing, as the press release says? I don’t know. They’ve had a couple of test screenings in Boston and New Jersey, the latter just a couple of weeks ago with a running time of 140 minutes. So it seems like it’s getting there. And the trailer that leaked earlier today sure did present a handsome piece of work that could be an awards play, so I don’t believe any chatter that it’s not an Oscar movie.

Did Big Sony want this one out of the way so that “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips” and “The Monuments Men” could have a better shot in an already crowded year? Perhaps. I can’t really say. But another one bites the dust after “Grace of Monaco” was pushed by The Weinstein Company. And if “The Wolf of Wall Street” doesn’t make the Christmas date it’s currently aiming for, it could move to next year, too (but you already knew that).

I’m bummed. I can’t wait to see this movie. It looks absolutely fantastic and could have been a major figure in this race. At the same time, again, it’s crowded. Maybe next year will be an easier play.

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