Past Lives is one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year and if you haven’t seen it, now is the perfect time because this is a deeply moving and moody film, and we are now in Sad Girl Autumn.
Past Lives is an A24 film and by now I think we’re all familiar with the A24 track record. They are the first studio in the history of the Oscars to win the six major Oscar categories – Best Picture, Best Director, and all four acting awards between Everything Everywhere All At Once and The Whale. That was last year. This year, while Past Lives likely won’t match the sweep of its predecessors, it’s still a solid entry for A24 and it’s picking up another surge of momentum with the Gotham Awards nominations today. Past Lives is among the leaders with three nominations, including Best Feature, Breakthrough Director for Celine Song for her debut, and Lead Performance for Greta Lee. Allow me a homer moment here because Celine Song is Canadian! Which, by the way, seems obvious if you’ve seen Past Lives because of all the Toronto references.
This is a very competitive award season with heavyweights like Martin Scorsese and Bradley Cooper and Greta Gerwig and Christopher Nolan up in the mix. So it might be a challenge for Celine to get in there in the director category, but for her lead, Greta Lee, there’s a good chance, helped by today’s Gotham nom which puts her back into the conversation. Past Lives also has a waiver from SAG-AFTRA which means Greta can campaign so while other nominees may not attend the Gothams when the awards are handed out in a few weeks, depending on strike status at the time, she’ll be able to go, and she can continue to participate in any other press opportunities on the circuit that A24 lines up. Again, A24 has experience running successful Oscar campaigns. I can’t imagine they won’t be making sure Greta and also Celine make the rounds.
The other bonus is The Morning Show. You might not be watching it but as I have said repeatedly, people who work in the business watch it because it’s like watching themselves. That means the industry is getting two hits of Greta – in film and television. And that also means she might get some power player support from her TMS co-stars, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. You remember how they all, went full squad mode last year for Andrea Riseborough, resulting in that controversial Best Actress nomination that seemed, to some, to come out of nowhere?
Bring that same f-cking energy for Greta! Except this time it would be above board, because Past Lives has been in the race from the beginning of the year after Sundance and it is getting nominated for precursors to the Oscars. One of the things people took issue with over the Andrea Riseborough situation (and it was not her fault, personally, the criticism was over the system) is that it was a lot of white actors boosting another white actor who they felt were deserving.
Well, if they want to prove that they weren’t just whites are gonna white-ing, how about some love for Greta Lee whose work Reese and Jen have seen up close? They’re both producers on The Morning Show. They cast Greta, they know her talent, and now she has a real shot at a nomination. So if anyone’s hosting a For Your Consideration screening for Greta during award season, I’m looking at them first.
In the meantime, Greta’s profile is growing off-screen too. She was front row at Loewe during Paris Fashion Week last month, seated next to Anna Wintour and Lily Gladstone. That could be the first photo of two of this year’s five Best Actress nominees at the Oscars.