Intro for November 12, 2019

Lainey Posted by Lainey at November 12, 2019 13:45:02 November 12, 2019 13:45:02

Dear Gossips,

IndieWire reported late on Friday that Universal told the New York Film Critics that Cats wouldn’t be ready for review until mid-December. The NY Film Critics vote on their best films of the year on December 4 which means that, if this is indeed true, Cats will miss out on consideration – and perhaps not just by the film critics but also by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as in the Golden Globes, as the deadline for Globes screenings is also December 4. If there was ever a movie made for the Golden Globes, it would be Cats. The Globes have a separate musical category. The Globes love star power at their shows. Remember, two of the stars of Cats, Idris Elba and Taylor Swift, presented at the last Golden Globe Awards, and they were introduced as representatives of the film, setting up what was expected to be a return to the Globes the following year as, perhaps, nominees proper. 


But Cats, it would seem, is not ready yet. They’re doing a lot of tech to the film, what with the realistic human-cat hybrids, so I guess they’re still tweaking? The reaction back in July when the trailer was released probably didn’t help. People are still haunted by what the “cats” look like – the breasts, the tails, how the cat tails connect to the cat asses, the fact that some of the cats wear shoes, what on earth they did to Dame Judi Dench. 

Remember, Cats opens next month at the same time as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a movie that’s already been setting advance ticket records. It was always supposed to be counterprogramming, appealing to the people who have no interest in a galaxy far, far away. But in order to get people out to see Cats over Star Wars, at least some promotion is necessary. The stars have to go out there and push the film and there’s not a lot of real estate left in the year for that. I know you’re thinking it’s only mid-November but everything pretty much shuts down by mid-December for the holidays so if the critics aren’t seeing it until mid-December and the red carpet premieres don’t happen until the actual premiere dates, it shortens the window for buzz, audience buzz and Oscar buzz. The Golden Globes happen during the Oscar nomination voting period. The Globes don’t necessarily predict Oscar winners but it can affect nominations. If Cats isn’t contending at the Globes, it may not be able to build the momentum it needs to make it to the Dolby – in any category other than Best Original Song for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Taylor Swift. Which of course is what Taylor wants but the studio can’t be interested in just one category, not when they’ve invested so much money in this ambitious project by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper. And it’s not like this isn’t a competitive year. As we’ve discussed many times, there are tight races across the board – many contenders have already been out there hustling for weeks if not months.  

So I’m curious what they’re doing behind the scenes, if it’s a scramble and if not, if there really is no panic, and this is a deliberate game plan, whether or not this gamble will pay off. Will Cats pay off? 

Yours in gossip,


Paul Drinkwater/ Getty Images

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