Amazon Studios is a relatively new player in the Oscar game but its strategists understand the importance of getting screeners into the hands of academy members early. Three of its titles — “Cafe Society,” “Love and Friendship” and “The Neon Demon” — just got delivered.
“Cafe Society,” written and directed by Woody Allen, is a rueful and humorous look at life in the 1930s. Jesse Eisenberg stars as a Bronx native who moves to Los Angeles, where he falls in love with the beautiful secretary (Kristen Stewart) of his uncle (Steve Carell), an agent to the stars. Eventually, he returns to New York to open a nightclub with his gangster brother (Corey Stoll) and marry a knockout blonde (Blake Lively), all the while yearning for his lost love. Allen could well extend his record in Original Screenplay by reaping his 17th bid in that race. He has won three Oscars for screenwriting (for “Annie Hall,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Midnight in Paris”) out of 16 nominations (“Interiors,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” “Radio Days,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Alice,” “Husbands and Wives,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Mighty Aphrodite,” “Deconstructing Harry,” “Match Point,” “Blue Jasmine”).
“Love and Friendship,” written and directed by Whit Stillman, is based on Jane Austen‘s 1794 epistolary novel “Lady Susan. Kate Beckinsale shines as the manipulative Lady Susan who pursues wealthy Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett) despite his being intended for her daughter. This delightful comedy of manners earned rave reviews, meriting a score 0f 98 at Rotten Tomatoes and 87 at MetaCritic.
To date, just nine films have been delivered. But expect that trickle to turn into a flood in the coming weeks leading up to Thanksgiving (a prime time to catch up on contenders.) Below, a list of these titles with the most recent first.
Nov. 1: “Cafe Society”
Nov. 1: “Love and Friendship”
Nov. 1: “The Neon Demon”
Oct. 18: “Long Way North”
Oct. 12: “Hello, My Name is Doris”
Sept. 24: “I Saw the Light”
Sept. 24: “The Meddler”
Aug. 30: “Maggie’s Plan”
Aug. 30: “Miles Ahead”
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “Love and Frienship” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.