A major piece of the awards season puzzle came into focus today as Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying has screened at the New York Film Festival. The pic casts Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne as Vietnam vets brought together decades later by a tragedy.
Flying opened the festival and has been seen as a serious Oscar contender for some time. Three years ago, Linklater’s Boyhood was nominated for six Academy Awards and the subject matter here made this an immediate curiousity item in the season ahead. Early reaction has been mixed. It stands at 79% currently on Rotten Tomatoes and there has been some reviews calling it a disappointment.
For a while, it’s been unclear how the three leads would be campaigned for. It appears Amazon Studios will tout Carell in Lead Actor with Cranston and Fishburne in Supporting. Cicely Tyson is said to have a one scene role that is a highlight according to some notices. It’ll be interesting to see if Amazon mounts a campaign for her. It’s entirely feasible none of them make the dance and Carell will even be competing against himself in Battle of the Sexes (unless he’s switched to Supporting there).
The mixed buzz will likely mean a downgrade in my next projections where I’ve had Flag planted at 8th and getting in the Best Picture race. Right now, Adapted Screenplay is looking lighter than Original Screenplay so that could perhaps be the best chance at any nod.
My Oscar Watch posts will continue…