The great chess game/board that is Oscar just got a little bit more complicated and a little bit more interesting with the Weinstein Co.’s sudden announcement that Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” is now opening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
This renders Dave Karger’s “Top Ten Film To See at TIFF” list, er, a bit outdated. Because now this move makes PTA’s “The Master,” his first film since “There Will Be Blood,” now THE movie to try to get in and see REAL fast at Toronto! And *groan” I’m sure it’s going to be one of the 8:45am press screenings!
Yes, they do have them. And they keep scheduling them. This was the exact same slot that “The King’s Speech” was in two years ago. And I bet it’ll be right at the beginning on FRIDAY morning, and then they will have the press day, press conference and junket, if there is to be one, right after that.
This is how Harvey does things, and by holding back “The Master”s news til now, after the first round of TIFF films was announced, “The Master” now gets maximum and SERIOUS Oscar publicity. Whether it lives up to the hype or not, we shall see.
The venerable Steve Pond at “The Wrap” seems to be the one that broke this story first, but he certainly got the juiciest quote of TWC. This of course is the fact that the film is supposedly an expose of Scientology. Or a religion very similar to it. And the break-up of the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes marriage is on everyone’s mind. Did this influence the change in release strategy by TWC?
To which someone there, who Steve Pond is quoting says, “It sure as hell can’t hurt.” It’s quotes like that that sell tickets.
You can read all about it at http://www.thewrap.com It’s a very good, solid website. I like it.
This also changes TWC’s emphasis in Toronto. It now shifts the focus from “Silver Linings Playbook” the David O. Russell Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence starrer to, well, “The Master”.
The fact that it’s also now being shown in Venice indicates to me an Oscar strategy being put into motion. This ia a game that Harvey has played before, and played it this way, and won.
But is a movie about Scientology, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquim Phoenix, any match for the later- in-the- year films, films like “Lincoln” and “Les Miserables,” certainly crowd pleasers? At least on paper.
Time will tell, but it does seem like TWC has now kicked “Silvers Linings Playbook” ever so slightly to the Oscar curb, and planted “The Master” s Oscar flag RIGHT in the middle of everything.
Another slight tip, though. It’s a Special Presentation at Toronto, not a Gala. If TIFF thought that much of it, they’d have made it a Gala. Interesting….And Phillip Seymour Hoffman is always great. THIS we know.
If this wins the Audience Award at TIFF, look out “Lincoln” and “Les Miz”! It’s a Harvey Weinstein World and we’re all just living in it!
This move, coupled with the Venice Film Festival bow, as well, immediately preceding TIFF, makes “The Master” a film we all now HAVE to take seriously Oscar-wise.