Since the Oscar field for next year has gotten so crowded over the past few weeks, what with tear-jerking trailers being released, November and December launch dates announced and festival line-ups published, a few of the early contenders had to leave the race.
One of these was biopic “Diana”, which seemed like a tough sell following an underwhelming teaser trailer and the backing of a minuscule distributor, Canada-based Entertainment One. Plus, there aren’t really any big names attached to the drama aside from star Naomi Watts.
And yet you probably shouldn’t count the film out of contention just yet. Not with a limited US premiere slated for November 1. “Diana” will subsequently expand in America and open in UK and a few other European countries earlier (i.e. between September 19 and 26), so all in all there should be plenty of attention given to the controversial biography of the defunct Princess of Wales.
The November 1 scheduling is not only wise in that it puts the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed movie on the Academy’s radar, but it also ensures critics won’t be able to ignore it in its opening weekend. Why? Because the nationwide releases then include only “Ender’s Game” and “Last Vegas”, which have duds written all over them, plus “Free Birds”, a seemingly very light animation from Relativity.
Now all Naomi Watts, EOne, Hirschbiegel & co. need is for the movie to actually be decent. Easier said than done, eh?