Spotlight won Best Picture on Sunday at the Oscars. It was one of my top films coming out of TIFF. Yes for Spotlight. Last year Birdman was Best Picture. So that's two in a row for Michael Keaton. Will it be three?
Michael's next major role will be Ray Kroc, of McDonald's, in The Founder. It’s about how he gained control of the franchise. Don’t slap me for what I’m about to say next but people have already been anticipating that The Founder and Michael’s performance will contend for Oscar.
But The Weinstein Company announced yesterday that The Founder, originally scheduled for a November release, which is prime award season release time, will now be out in August because they want to give the November spot to Lion, a film starring Dev Patel about an Indian boy who loses his way on a train and is eventually adopted by an Australian family. Many years later he uses Google Earth to find out about his background. Lion is also considered to be an award season possibility. Here’s how Harvey Weinstein explained the scheduling decision:
“I am determined to show that adult fare and award-caliber movies should be able to open any time of year and be successful. Last season was saw a crowded fall where some terrific films struggled to find an audience. This year I want to spread out our slate and give them the best opportunity to succeed. The Founder is brilliant and one of the most controversial films I have had the pleasure to be associated. The story of Ray Kroc should ignite adult audiences this summer and send the incredible team of John Lee Hancock and Michael Keaton back to the Dolby Theater. The touching and beautiful family story of ‘Lion’ has tremendous performances by Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara and will work really well during the holiday season.“
Some people are now taking this to mean, since August is not traditionally a time for strong films, that The Founder might not be as good as people thought it would be. But f-ck me, is this where I have to defend Harvey Weinstein? He’s basically given the “diversity” film the more prestigious release slot. Lion stars a non-white actor and will include several non-white supporting actors. And given the discussion we’ve all been having about representation in film, and the importance of telling other stories, Weinstein is backing a film that seems to support those values. It doesn’t mean that The Founder sucks. Just that he thinks The Founder has a better chance at doing well in August. And… I’m kinda OK with that.
Here’s Michael reading the paper after the Oscars. He killed me at the Oscars. Spent a lot of time at the bar, hanging out, not giving a sh-t about camera time. And his “f-ck yeah” when Spotlight was announced was amazing.