Should “Selma” have delayed its release to 2015 instead?

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  • traxton
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    #174072

    Selma was one of the best films of 2014 imo and the reason why it bombed
    so spectacularly in the Oscar nominations pool is due to it being
    released too late. A strong film like Selma should not have banked on
    the limited release in Dec and relied on buzz to clinch nominations.
    That strategy works for potentially polarizing films helmed by reptuable directors with formidable casts which would thus require a very late
    release to avoid the onslaught of critics who would have seen through
    its flaws and attacked these films for months till nominations (notable
    examples in the recent years were American Sniper, American Hustle, Wolf
    of Wall Street). 

    Selma was a strong enough film to have built
    upon critic and public acclaim had it been released earlier, by going
    through the festival route (Cannes, Telluride, TIFF, NYFF) then a Oct/Nov wide
    release (ala Argo or 12 Years A Slave). The late Dec 25 limited
    release coupled with the screener distribution issues resulted in not enough people in
    important precusor bodies having seen the film, equating to lack of
    precursor support, equating to lack of momentum.

    Look at the wonders a delayed release
    did for Foxcatcher. Granted Foxcatcher
    didn’t get a Picture nod, but it hit several important major awards
    like Actor, Supp Actor, Director and Screenplay.

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    Beyonce
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    #174074

    yes, but I disagree Foxcatcher did so well because of the early release. it did so well because it’s the best movie of the year (haters can stay pressed)

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    Ryan Lapierre
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    #174075

    Yes I think it should have been delayed. Oyelowo would get in. The only reason why he didn’t get in this year was because it was too packed. And Selma would’ve gotten more nominations. But it depends what we get this year.

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    DominicCobb
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    #174076

    Best Actor is packed every year. Foxcatcher was pushed back because last year was especially competitive. This was a good year for Selma but the Academy just didn’t like it, for whatever reason.

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    Laactingnyc
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    #174077

    Maybe the voters just didn’t love the film as much as others. What a ludacris idea……. (sarcasm). 

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    Jason Travis
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    #174078

    Look over your past predictions- you may be surprised and realize you too only had Selma getting in 2 or 3 categories.
    I predicted Selma for just Best Picture and Song. I dropped Oyelowo last minute for Cooper, but kept Jake Gyllenhaal in- missing Steve Carell (who I put in Supporting). I didn’t think Selma would make it for Director or Screenplay, and Song aside, didn’t predict it for anything else- correctly.

    Why did I do this? Was it because I didn’t think Selma was a great film? No. I predicted it because of the tightness of many of the categories it was competing it. Oyelowo especially being “new”- was competing with more known actors.

    I talked to a friend today who also said that perhaps it was the title of the film- Selma is not quite as direct as say, American Sniper or The Grand Budapest Hotel. Of course that sounds trivial, but was just an insight.  

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    traxton
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    #174079

    I think a film like Selma helmed by a relatively unknown
    director and fronted by a no-big-name cast, no matter how strong the film is,
    needed the award traction and festival buzz to spur Academy voters to watch the
    screener from the huge pile of screeners they receive every year.

     

    On another note, isn’t it ironic that American Sniper and Selma both debuted on the same day at the
    AFI fest, the former to lacklustre reviews and the latter to much fanfare (Even Rottentomatoes agree: Sniper at 72%, Selma at 89%). Both
    had issues with historical accuracies too. But look at how effectively WB
    steered the Sniper campaign (with screeners sent out to everyone ASAP, re-routing
    the narrative of Sniper as a patriotic salute to a man who did a whole lot for
    America) whilst Paramount was still in the midst of pushing a failing
    Interstellar campaign and completely neglecting Selma. By now we all know which film turned out victorious with the Oscar nominations…

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    dude
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    #174080

    Selma could benefit in the long run by not being exposed to the crucifixion it might have taken under the glare of an Oscar campaign. Likewise, perhaps, Foxcatcher not being nommed for best pic, while some people could still take aim at American Sniper for its POV. Selma can forever tout itself as a nominee for best picture, and people will more likely to enjoy it for its entertainment value than a history lesson, although some fans will still think it’s practically a documentary. Some people will discover it on their own, rather than having it pushed down their throats.

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    ProfessorChaos
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    #174081

    Yes, if it wasn’t complete in time to screen earlier, it should have been pushed back. It’s late entry worked against it. It’s a small film that could have benefitted from a lengthy push. American Sniper had an advantage of entering the game late because it had star power in both its filmmaker and star. 

     

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    vinny
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    #174082

    I don’t think so. It came out in the perfect year in my opinion. It was a tight race and thats the kind I like to watch.

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    Eddy Q
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    #174083

    I never like to say a film should delay its release just for the sake of awards. And who’s to say next year won’t be more competitive? Just last year people were calling the Best Actor field the most stacked ever. Then we had this year.

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    traxton
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    #174084

    Selma did not deserve a haphazard Oscar campaign just to have it out by end 2014. Besides, didn’t Ava mention quite a few times that she spent many sleepless nights to rush for a rough edit in time for AFI, and many subsequent sleepless nights to have it ready for its Dec 25 release? I feel that had she and her team taken their time to properly edit and put together the film, the quality might have been better?

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    Atypical
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    #174085

    Paramount could have botched its Oscar campaign for “Selma” in any year. Voters can be racist in any year. I do think that “Selma” needed more time to build momentum with audiences and the guilds (the critical support was already present). The controversies would have plagued it regardless, but in terms of factual accuracy at least, I find it specious that “Selma” seemed to be the only victim of the fact-checking police this season, while much more vile offenders like “Foxcatcher,” “American Sniper,” and “The Imitation Game” are left virtually unscathed. This is nothing new, as I recall “The Hurricane” going through similar factual issues plaguing its Oscar chances, while a few years later the blatant whitewashing of John Nash’s life in “A Beautiful MInd” wasn’t enough to stop that awful film from winning four Oscars, including Best Picture. Anyways, I’m going to finally see “Selma” today as my MLK tribute and judge all of this for myself.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #174086

    Well, to be honest, I think that by missing on the awards, it could actually help the Selma box office. It should have been released on MLK weekend, and with a spotlight being put on its omission, it actually stands out. In a few years, I think that being the film that deserved more works for the film in a historical sense, much in the way of Citizen Kane, or the Hitchcock classics. I’m not equating Selma to that honour, and I’m also not saying that winning a Best Picture Oscar hurts the reputation of a film. Casablanca, Gone With the Wind and Lawrence of Arabia are all examples of Oscar getting it very right, and recognizing a classic when it comes along. Selma is the kind of film that could have been forgotten, but it now has a chance to actually have an affect on the Oscars in a way that it couldn’t have had if it had just won everything.

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    Vincent Yeoh
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    #174087

    I think Selma is being released at this time to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Selma. And i think the lack of nominations may be due to the many similar-themed movies of late, including The Help, The Butler, 12 Years a Slave and Long Walk to Freedom.
     

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