Columbia Already Pushing ‘All the King’s Men’ for an Oscar?

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Earlier today I received a press release announcing the May 5 release date for the upcoming horror/thriller An American Haunting from After Dark Films. That was understandable, the film isn’t being released by a major studio and does look like it may be pretty good so spreading word of mouth such as a release date in a means other than just traditional TV spots and theatrical trailers seemed about right.

Then, this afternoon, I received a press release from Columbia Pictures announcing the September 22 release date for All the King’s Men, the film Columbia pulled from their release schedule at the last minute in 2005 with what looked like a fear of the competition. This year doesn’t exactly look a lot better competition wise, actually it looks a lot worse for All the King’s Men considering the comp was pretty weak last year.

This year we have another Clint Eastwood picture in Flags of Our Fathers, The Departed from Scorsese, The Good Shepherd with De Niro at the helm, The Good German being directed by Steven Soderbergh, A Good Year with Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, The Prestige from Christopher Nolan, Zodiac from David Fincher, Breaking and Entering from Anthony Minghella and that is just the start of the names we are going to be looking forward to this year. So, if Columbia couldn’t pit All the King’s Men, which is directed by Steven Zaillian by the way, against last year’s talent how is it going to do against the names I just listed?

Granted the pic does star a fleet of big names in Sean Penn, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Patricia Clarkson, James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet and Mark Ruffalo, but the pics I mentioned above aren’t exactly short on talent.

One odd thing about the Columbia Pictures press release is the quote from Jeff Blake, Vice Chairman Sony Pictures Entertainment and Chairman, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group saying, “Steve Zaillian has delivered a wonderful and provocative motion picture with a timeless story and fantastic performances. We couldn’t be more proud of the way All the King’s Men turned out. Early fall will be a great time to release this film.”

I just wonder what makes early Fall 2006 so attractive compared to Christmas 2005, when it would have been up against, what I thought, was very weak competition. Brokeback Mountain and Crash, and pretty much all the other Best Picture candidates, had already been out for a while making it a perfect time to release a said “wonderful and provocative motion picture.”

Either way, I am interested in seeing this pic, but it seems the September 22 release date is a move to stay one step ahead of the competition after the summer of blockbusters and superhero movies have been absorbed.

I guess my biggest hope is that all the films I mentioned live up to my expectations after a disappointing 2005.

For more on All the King’s Men click here.

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Weekend: Nov. 22, 2018, Nov. 25, 2018

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