Magazine article Variety

Will Early-Bird Movies Stay Top of Mind?

Magazine article Variety

Will Early-Bird Movies Stay Top of Mind?

Article excerpt

AWARDS TALK TENDS TO FOCUS on movies that debuted at fall festivals, from Venice through New York. But that raises a question: What happens to the BFFs - Before Fest Frenzy Films?

In most years, they fall by the wayside: In 2013, for example, all nine best-pic contenders were fourth-quarter launches.

But this year, the prognosis looks good for a pair of early films: IFC's "Boyhood," and Fox Searchlight's "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

"Boyhood" is a critical fave, receiving more attention from media members than films with 20 times its gross (and 50 times its budget).

Can it go the distance in awards? Definitely. The IFC film has three key assets: It's from a respected but often underappreciated filmmaker (Richard Linklater); its backstory is unique (12 years in production); and, most crucial, it touches the heart and stays there. It looks like a contender in multiple categories.

"Budapest," which opened in March, also could have staying power. Six months ago, the film's fans worried it might be too fun for awards. Now, that seems like an advantage: In a year of ultra-serious films, it's the closest thing to a feel-good movie. …

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