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Will Hamilton Be The First Filmed Stage Production To Win An Oscar?

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    I remember before the Tony Awards Administration Committee decided that Leslie Odom, Jr. would be eligible as a lead actor, people on the message boards of BroadwayWorld were wondering if he would be competing in lead or featured. Some were making the argument that he should be in lead because the story of Alexander Hamilton is told through the perspective of Aaron Burr. Then again, in Jesus Christ Superstar, the story is told through the perspective of Judas Iscariot. Yet, Ben Vereen received a Tony nomination as a featured actor for the original Broadway production in 1972. Same with Josh Young for the 2012 revival and Brandon Victor Dixon for NBC’s 2018 live telecast.

    Though it does seem more comparable to Amadeus where you have the title character as the main protagonist, yet the story explores his rivalry with the other lead, Antonio Salieri. When the original Broadway production competed at the 1981 Tony Awards, Ian McKellen (Salieri) won Best Lead Actor in a Play over co-star Tim Curry (Amadeus). The same thing happened with the 1984 film adaptation where F. Murray Abraham (Salieri) won the Oscar for Best Actor over co-star Tom Hulce (Amadeus).

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    Victor Cruz
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    letting Hamilton compete for Oscars would cheapen the Oscars. Now Beyonce and her film that’s coming out July 10th would also have to eligible.

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    BetteDavis
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    letting Hamilton compete for Oscars would cheapen the Oscars. Now Beyonce and her film that’s coming out July 10th would also have to eligible.

    Ah yes. Hamilton would cheapen the Oscars. The Oscars which awarded such brilliant works of fine cinema as Green Book and Crash. Ah yes, those very Oscars that shamelessly hand out career wins while ignoring the year’s best work for being too indie or foreign. Yes those very Oscars. *Hamilton* would definitely be the thing that cheapens the Oscars.

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    diego
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    Like I’ve said before, I don’t really agree with it being eligible, however, unlike some terrible decisions that the Oscars have made that I will never get over (Crash, Green Book, etc.), Hamilton is actually a fantastic project and if they decide to nominate it I wouldn’t mind.

    It’s a shame this wasn’t the actual film adaptation because then we wouldn’t be having this conversation but instead would be discussing the possibility of Hamilton breaking the nomination records (in acting and overall).

     

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    Brayden Fitzsimmons
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    letting Hamilton compete for Oscars would cheapen the Oscars. Now Beyonce and her film that’s coming out July 10th would also have to eligible.

    Black Is King wouldn’t since we don’t know have it was ever intended to have a theatrical release (Lemonade & Homecoming competed at the Emmys I imagine BIK would be the same).

    As a director, Beyoncé’s track record is pretty outstanding, Lemonade will be remembered as one of the defining cultural-shifting films of the 2010s.

    If BIK keeps up the quality I wouldn’t mind if Disney tried an Oscar run.

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    BetteDavis
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    I’m genuinely not sure how Hamilton could be a regular movie.  It’s so inherently theatrical and the 4th wall is practically non-existent.  I’m not sure it would work. Not to mention the fact that directors no longer know how to make movie musicals and the current intermission-less format of modern movies doesn’t allow for musicals to be adapted properly.  This is probably the best way to film Hamilton.

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    Honey
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    Black Is King wouldn’t since we don’t know have it was ever intended to have a theatrical release (Lemonade & Homecoming competed at the Emmys I imagine BIK would be the same). As a director, Beyoncé’s track record is pretty outstanding, Lemonade will be remembered as one of the defining cultural-shifting films of the 2010s. If BIK keeps up the quality I wouldn’t mind if Disney tried an Oscar run.

    Disney’s FYC page.

    Best Picture – Beyonce
    Best Director – Beyonce
    Best Adapted Screenplay – Beyonce
    Best Editing – Beyonce
    Best Actress – Beyonce

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    Monsoon
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    Beyoncé + Oscar = Never happening

    “Spirit” couldn’t even get a filler nomination. Despite an incredibly weak year for Original Song.

    Anyway, Hamilton was intended for a theatrical release so it should be eligible. It’s going to be a strong contender.

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    AMG
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    Question: remove the audience and are people happier with it being an Oscar contender then?

    Check out more of my thoughts on Twitter (@AMG_Review) and Instagram (amg_reviews)

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    Zooey the Dreamer
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    I don’t think it’s eligible. There is a minor but very important detail: the VOD rule applies only to films that were intended for premiere during the lockdown and the ongoing ban on screenings. Hamilton was not intended to be released in 2020 at all. It was intended to be released in 2021. So I guess it doesn’t fit the criteria.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen it and as much as I enjoyed it, it’s not really cinematic. The OP mentions Bergman’s Magic Flute, but that one is masterfully shot. Hamilton’s very much a filmed stage performance (that has no cinematic aspirations whatsoever). Cinematically it’s dull.

    Bottom line: Oscars aren’t the end goal. It’s a splendid show. It’s great fun, it’s touching. It has terrific music and Leslie as well as my fave Renée Elise Goldsberry are brilliant.

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    John Berchmans
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    Just saw the Hamilton recording (it was great btw) and if Leslie Odom Jr. gets nominated it should be in lead. His performance is just as central to the plot as Miranda’s. Putting him in Supporting would be a fraud.

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    GregSprinkles
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    I don’t think it’s eligible. There is a minor but very important detail: the VOD rule applies only to films that were intended for premiere during the lockdown and the ongoing ban on screenings. Hamilton was not intended to be released in 2020 at all. It was intended to be released in 2021. So I guess it doesn’t fit the criteria. On the other hand, I’ve seen it and as much as I enjoyed it, it’s not really cinematic. The OP mentions Bergman’s Magic Flute, but that one is masterfully shot. Hamilton’s very much a filmed stage performance (that has no cinematic aspirations whatsoever). Cinematically it’s dull. Bottom line: Oscars aren’t the end goal. It’s a splendid show. It’s great fun, it’s touching. It has terrific music and Leslie as well as my fave Renée Elise Goldsberry are brilliant.

    Hamilton may not have originally been played to be eligible for this year’s Oscars, but it was going to be released as eligible for next years Oscars, so I don’t think that’ll get them ruled ineligible.

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    Zooey the Dreamer
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    Hamilton may not have originally been played to be eligible for this year’s Oscars, but it was going to be released as eligible for next years Oscars, so I don’t think that’ll get them ruled ineligible.

    Yes, but the actual rule change the Academy did was that the VOD rule would apply ONLY to films that had premieres planned for 2020 (and theaters were closed at the time of the premiere). This is not the case here.

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    GregSprinkles
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    Yes, but the actual rule change the Academy did was that the VOD rule would apply ONLY to films that had premieres planned for 2020 (and theaters were closed at the time of the premiere). This is not the case here.

    That’s not gonna be enough to rule it ineligible though. They’ll definitely make an exception. They obviously didn’t consider the idea of a project intended for the next year coming out now, but that’s not gonna cause them to completely rule out its award chances.

    I can put it simply this way: in a time where race is a huge hot button issue in the US, the Academy isn’t going to reject a feature that’s been widely celebrated for its diversity over just one small rule.

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    Zooey the Dreamer
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    That’s not gonna be enough to rule it ineligible though. They’ll definitely make an exception. They obviously didn’t consider the idea of a project intended for the next year coming out now, but that’s not gonna cause them to completely rule out its award chances.

    I can put it simply this way: in a time where race is a huge hot button issue in the US, the Academy isn’t going to reject a feature that’s been widely celebrated for its diversity over just one small rule.

    This is not some minor rule. This is a huge rule, as we all know the industry’s sentiment toward Netflix and VOD. And in this rule applies this year only due to the crisis. The Academy already said so many times that the moment theaters open, the rule would be removed and would not apply. So why would they actually make an exception for a film that was intended for a release in 2021 but was released on VOD more than a year earlier instead?

    And even if it’s somehow eligible, I doubt it would make much impact. Its blocking is basic, its cinematic qualities are none. It’s not meant to be a movie. It’s just a taped performance. I can’t imagine that writers or directors watch it and decide to vote for it. It’s wonderful as what it is but what it is is not cinema.

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