With today’s announcement that Martin Scorsese‘s impossibly anticipated Silence will indeed have a qualifying run in 2016, starting on December 23rd, the Oscar race has officially gotten quite serious. And now, The Playlist‘s news that 20th Century Women, the latest drama from the talented director Mike Mills, will see a similar limited release on December 25th, Christmas Day, to make the cut-off for the 2016 Oscars, has really thrown the race into a tizzy.
The movie is the centerpiece of the current New York Film Festival and will see its premiere in a few weeks, but early Oscar talk has already been suggested for its three female leads – Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, and Annette Bening. One might also expect nominations for Mills as a writer or a director, DP Sean Porter (Green Room), and Billy Crudup for Best Supporting Actor. Of course, this is all early talk and one need look no further at the quickness at which The Birth of a Nation went from being an early frontrunner to a deeply dubious proposition to see how quick these chances can disappear, even if that film’s marketing downfall was unique even by Hollywood’s standards.
Regardless, in a year where women’s rights and perspectives have been more central to pop culture than ever before, 20th Century Women looks like a film that Oscar would want to be its winner from the outset. Now, the movie just has to be halfway decent, which it’s inclusion in the NYFF slate all but guarantees at this point.
Here’s the official NYFF synopsis for 20th Century Women:
Mike Mills’s texturally and behaviorally rich new comedy seems to keep redefining itself as it goes along, creating a moving group portrait of particular people in a particular place (Santa Barbara) at a particular moment in the 20th century (1979), one lovingly attended detail at a time. The great Annette Bening, in one of her very best performances, is Dorothea, a single mother raising her teenage son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), in a sprawling bohemian house, which is shared by an itinerant carpenter (Billy Crudup) and a punk artist with a Bowie haircut (Greta Gerwig) and frequented by Jamie’s rebellious friend Julie (Elle Fanning). 20th Century Women is warm, funny, and a work of passionate artistry. An A24 release.