Oscar Watch: Wendy

In 2012, one of the big (if not the biggest) Oscar shocker was the emergence of Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild as a contender. Shot for under $2 million, the fantasy drama premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to a glowing audience response and critical accolades. The film would take the Grand Jury prize in Utah. It played through the festival season and maintained buzz throughout the year. The result? Four major nominations from the Academy: Best Picture, Director, Actress (Quvenzhane Wallis), and Adapted Screenplay.

Eight years later, Zeitlin finally has his follow-up with Wendy and it has debuted at Sundance too. A reimagining of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan tale, it is set for release by Searchlight Pictures on February 28th. With a cast of unknowns, Wendy is one of the more anticipated titles at Sundance due to Zeitlin’s previous credential.

The reaction has been mixed and definitely more so than the mostly fantastic Beasts reception. Its Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 55%, despite some critics singing its praises. While it might have ardent admirers, I don’t see lightning twice for its director with Zeitlin’s sophomore effort. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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