By Josh Tarpley
Though the debate around Netflix and theatrical experience ebbs and flows online each week, Amazon Studios has quietly built up their brand as one of the best production houses today. 2016 saw the release of “Paterson,” “The Handmaiden,” and Oscar nominees “I Am Not Your Negro” and “Manchester By The Sea.” Not only have Amazon Studios put out “The Big Sick” this year, but they have the three biggest screenings at this year’s New York Film Festival (NYFF).
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As previously reported, Amazon will be debuting Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” at NYFF. The movie stars Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne helping their fellow Vietnam veteran Steve Carell as he goes on a cross country trip to bury his son. The film will make its world premiere opening night of NYFF, and many are expecting it to be a big awards player across the board.
After debuting at Cannes, Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck” will be the Centerpiece of the October gathering. The movie is an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s (“Hugo Cabret”) book and tells the story of two separate young people moving to different parts of the country. As seen in the trailer, the hook is that these two stories take place 50 years apart and it looks like some whimsy might see them intersect.
Just announced this week, Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” will close out the fest. Though plot details are scarce, “Wonder Wheel” features Kate Winslet, Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake and James Belushi, and is said to be a drama set in 1950’s New York. Right now the awards buzz is around Winslet’s performance, but Allen not only directed but wrote “Wonder Wheel” and it has a December 1st release date, keep your eyes on this one.
Last year’s NYFF opened with Ava Duvernay’s “13th” and saw screenings of “Manchester By The Sea” and “Moonlight,” Amazon is definitely looking to see their movies build awards buzz throughout the festival. Between the three, “Last Flag Flying” seems like the safest bet, but “Wonderstruck” could just as easily hit that “Hugo” sweet spot and soar to nominations as well.
The 2017 New York Film Festival will run September 28 – October 15. What do you all think? Do any of these Amazon projects scream “Oscar nominations” to you? Let us know in the comments below!
You can follow Josh and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film/Television on Twitter at @JoshTarpley7