Director Roger Ross Williams is no stranger to the Academy. His short film Music by Prudence was 2009’s recipient for Documentary Short Subject (making him the first African-American director to win an Oscar). The 2016 feature length doc Life, Animated was a contender in that race.
At Sundance, Williams is branching outside of the doc genre for Cassandro, which explores a real life subject. Gael Garcia Bernal is the title character – an openly gay Mexican wrestler who attained huge stardom. With a smattering of reviews in, the Rotten Tomatoes score is 100%.
With earlier acclaimed roles in The Motorcycle Diaries, Bad Education, and Babel, Bernal has yet to find his awards showcase role. He might get it here if distributor Amazon launches a serious campaign. The same can be said for Jonathan Majors and Magazine Dreams, which was my previous predictions write-up coming from Utah’s festival. Needless to say it’s early, but we already have potential hopefuls for next year’s Actor derby.
Cassandro could also contend for the memorable costumes that Bernal dons in the ring. Bottom line: this is worth keeping tabs on as the 2023 awards season is in its infancy. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…