THB #248: 19 Weeks To Oscar - Reopening Best Picture
The assumption has been, since Toronto, that The Fabelmans was the prohibitive frontrunner for Best Picture. The trades, which seem to like to “start the award season” over and over and over again, have started selling categories beyond acting, as should be happening. Team Steven, led by Terry Press as always, has done the right thing and held the steam in the cup for almost 2 months, not letting the movie get in the way of The Big Moment they had.
And now, I’ve seen the movie.
This is not meant to be a review in any way (though there is no embargo). That will come after I see the film again because that is how I choose to work. Allow me to just mention, however, that the surprise to come out of this movie looks to me to be Chloe East, who fills a very similar role to the one Amy Adams played in Catch Me If You Can. Like Amy, Chloe’s been in some stuff before. But this could well be the breakout of a really interesting career. Janusz Kaminski did magic for this young woman. Potential movie star stuff.
If you look on her imdb page, she still has her demo reel up, which includes a dance performance from 9 years ago dancing to John Williams’ Schindler’s List score that will surely go viral on Tik Tok as soon as the movie opens. (What you can’t see in the video of it I found on YouTube is her facial expressions close up, which is what make her so interesting in the film, not her flexibility.)
But I digress…
I avoided reading about the film out of Toronto too much because I didn’t want to spoil it for myself. Now, I have looked at a few. And I see in many of those reviews what is now clear to me after seeing the film… it’s a very good movie with a number of compelling moments, but it’s no juggernaut.
That is not to say that it’s not going to end up winning Best Picture. It very well may. And in all seriousness, being knocked down a peg may be the best thing for the movie. It is still, no question, a nominee… and most likely the most nominated nominee. Unless the hysterical reactions to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s premiere (ahem) turn out not to be overstated - which would have the film pile up tech noms and acting noms to push up from the 7 noms of the first film to more than 11 - Fabelmans will get the most nominations. It is, regardless of my reservations, a Top 5 movie.
My Best Picture list from a couple of weeks ago hasn’t changed…