The Cannes Film Festival can quickly confirm or deny the awards prospects for its screeners. Just today, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon (as expected) solidified its standing as a player in multiple races including the big one. On other hand, anyone thinking that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny had a Top Gun: Maverick level shot at breaking into Oscar territory were disabused of that notion upon its unveiling.
Then there’s cases where it’s murkier and May December from Todd Haynes falls into that category. The word campy is being used more than any other I’ve seen in this tale of a Hollywood actress (Natalie Portman) shadowing Julianne Moore. She plays a tabloid star known for bedding a 13-year-old who’s now her adult husband (Charles Melton).
Haynes has yet to see any of his pictures, including the acclaimed Far From Heaven, I’m Not There, and Carol, contend for Best Picture. He has, on the other hand, seen his performers get nominated. Moore was up in lead for Heaven while Cate Blanchett received a Supporting Actress mention for There. For Carol, Blanchett was nominated again (this time for Actress) while Rooney Mara made the cut in Supporting Actress.
With 90% on Rotten Tomatoes at press time, December is receiving some glowing reviews mixed with more subdued appreciation. Whatever distributor picks it up (which I’m sure is imminent) is bound to mount a campaign. Its chances in the acting derbies are probably higher than Picture or Director (though I wouldn’t count out Samy Burch’s original screenplay).
Category placement will be fascinating to watch. From what I’ve read, Portman and Moore appear to be co-leads. That doesn’t mean they won’t be split and one believable scenario is Portman in lead with Moore in supporting. They are both former winners in Best Actress: Portman for 2010’s Black Swan and Moore in 2014’s Still Alice. As for Melton, the former Riverdale performer appears to be a Supporting Actor play. All three should be in the mix for contention.
There’s another category placement story. At the Golden Globes, December could be placed in Musical/Comedy where its chances at noms might be stronger. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…