One of the largest pieces of the Oscar puzzle came into sharper focus tonight as Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk premiered at the New York Film Festival. For months, the film has rightfully been looked at as a massive awards contender. After all, the director has won two Best Director awards for Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi.
Based on its initial screening, it appears Walk has taken a significant hit. Early critical reaction is quite mixed and several reviews have been negative. I’ve had this pegged at between 2-5 for the last several weeks in terms of getting a Best Picture nod. I’ve also included Lee in the top 5 every week in terms of his nomination. At various junctures, I’ve also predicted Joe Alwyn (Actor), Steve Martin (Supporting Actor), Kristen Stewart (Supporting Actress), and Adapted Screenplay. Based on tonight’s buzz, that’s likely to change come Thursday when I make my next round of predictions.
Billy could still be a player in technical categories like Visual Effects and the Sound races. Yet the sound heard tonight in the Big Apple was a perceived Oscar heavyweight losing serious luster.