In Contention


Sony Classics (busy, busy) also nabs ‘Get Low’

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 1:34 pm · September 21st, 2009

(from left) Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek in Get LowJust an hour maybe after I finished writing about why I had to take Robert Duvall out of the lead actor predictions (his film, “Get Low,” didn’t have a distributor yet), the news drops that someone has taken a bite: Sony Pictures Classics.

Talk about priming the stable with ponies.  Sheesh!  Here’s the release, in part:

Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired the North American rights for Aaron Schneider’s debut film, GET LOW. Schneider previously received an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short for his film, TWO SOLDIERS. The film is a co-production between Zanuck Independent, David Gundlach Productions, Lara Enterprises and TVN and produced by Dean Zanuck and David Gundlach. Chris Provenzano (THANK YOU, GOODNIGHT) and C. Gaby Mitchell (story by credit on BLOOD DIAMOND) penned the script…

“GET LOW is one of the great films about the American South. Brilliantly written, directed and shot, GET LOW has career best performances from Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray. This is the kind of independent film the American audience loves to embrace. We are thrilled Dean and Aaron have chosen us as their partner,” said Sony Pictures Classics.

I pretty much anticipated this.  If not SPC, certainly Apparition would have seemed a good fit (or even Paladin).  But as I said in Friday’s Oscar Talk, Sony Classics is somewhat short a lead actor hopeful (though in a just world, Tamar Rahim would tear up the circuit).  Now the film seems all but assured at least one nomination and perhaps a second statue for Duvall.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet…

Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek have also hopped into the race.  And the film seems to be quite precise in its period trappings, so maybe some ccraft recognition is in the cards as well.  Best Picture?  Hmmm……




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28 responses so far

  • 1 9-21-2009 at 2:00 pm

    Rob said...

    This movie sucks.

  • 2 9-21-2009 at 2:41 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Says the one guy who seems to feel that way…

  • 3 9-21-2009 at 2:48 pm

    Michael W. said...

    I would love to see Bill Murray get nominated again. Could he win if nominated? How good is he? He must have been close i 2004 and it’s not like supporting actor has a clear front runner at the moment.

    Murray was robbed for Rushmore and I would also have nominated him for Groundhog Day.

  • 4 9-21-2009 at 3:08 pm

    Rob said...

    Did you actually see it, Kris? Yes, two or three of your buddies have inexplicable love for it, but I’ll be floored is the buzz levels stay as high as they are now once it actually gets screened far and wide.

  • 5 9-21-2009 at 3:20 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s more than two or three of my buddies (silly thing to say), but settle down. I’m just joshing you and your weird desire to tear this movie down every time a post concerning it goes up.

    Seeing it soon.

  • 6 9-21-2009 at 3:35 pm

    Rob said...

    It’s by no means an awful movie. But (much like you) I get frustrated when mediocre-to-sorta-bad movies not only garner praise, but LOVE. Just trying to be a voice of balance is all.

    I’ll stop commenting every time, but for realsies, the movie actually sucks, and it’s not even a particularly strong performance from Duval. He cries in one scene, big whoop. The rest of the performance is one-note “eccentric mountain man voice” shtick. He’s significantly better in “The Road.”

  • 7 9-21-2009 at 3:35 pm

    Rob said...

    *Duvall

  • 8 9-21-2009 at 3:43 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I look forward to making a judgment call for myself. Though I’m curious, you’re in the UK, right? I wonder if the (apparent) Americana of the piece, or the classic “American yarn” aspect of the thing, somehow was lost on you and came across hokey as a result?

    Or am I thinking of a different Rob?

  • 9 9-21-2009 at 4:03 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    I can see Duvall getting nominated, but I still don’t get your absence of a first-time nominee in Best Actor. I think now that A Single Man, with its rampant praise, is (Probably?) being released this year, will bring Colin Firth a well-earned nomination (although I still personally believe Jeremy Renner will sneak in there, too).

    But I like to look ahead and soothsay how things will be *then*. Then, I believe that at least one of Damon and Day-Lewis will not happen.

  • 10 9-21-2009 at 4:06 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Nevertheless, I’m glad something else is sprucing this year’s slate up. Any potential release date yet? I’m figuring probably right before or after Christmas, perhaps….

  • 11 9-21-2009 at 4:27 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    James: Agreed. The layers will peel back. Maybe Day-Lewis will miss. Firth is right there.

    I’m beginning to think all Renner talk is simply wishful thinking. I loved him. But realistically, it would take a big campaign to get that kind of performance in. I’m not sure Summit has the juice (especially since the film didn’t bring in the money many hoped), but I’d love to be proved wrong.

    Alright, who’s the guy who voted “simply awful?” Do tell.

  • 12 9-21-2009 at 4:41 pm

    "Julianstark" said...

    Yeah. I don’t think Renner will get in, even though The Hurt Locker is still looking to get in for Picture…

    Duvall will be a contender for Drama Actor at the Globes at least. Not saying that he’s a lock for a nomination, but I can see it happening…

    And Firth will probably one of the big frontrunners by the end of the season

  • 13 9-21-2009 at 5:05 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Glad you agree, Kris. I’m with you that DDL is most likely to miss, as the women, particularly Cotillard (and Cruz for most) siphon all the early attention. Damon could miss as well though, considering he’s probably guaranteed that supporting slot, depending how that biopic turns out. (He’ll likely get ONE nom at least.) Or maybe the Academy is full of Robs and Duvall gets the snub =P. After Sally Hawkins, any robbery seems plausible.

    Hm, I see what you mean regarding Renner. But I can see some critics drumming their support for him. And when one sees the film, it’s hard not to be impressed by him. His chances though *definitely* lie within the momentum THL has from December on. If it takes off, he’ll ride the wave, I think.

  • 14 9-21-2009 at 6:07 pm

    "Julianstark" said...

    I feel liek an odd one out saying this, but I think Cotillard will go Lead for Nine. I mean, some people still think she has a shot for Public Enemies, so I can’t see her going Supporting for two films and cancelling herself out. And agreed about Damon

    And it’s probably because I don’t care for war films, but I wasn’t too affected by Jeremy Renner. Again, my preference against war films probably has something to do with that

    And agreed about Sally Hawkins. If snubs like that continue to be present, the Oscars will be as unpredictable as the Grammys :P

  • 15 9-21-2009 at 6:12 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    You feel like an odd one out or you simply read the Off the Carpet column announcing the studio’s plan to push her lead? ;)

  • 16 9-21-2009 at 6:12 pm

    RichardA said...

    Get Low: it’s possible that the list of 10 best pic is gonna be easily filled by movies that no one will watch.

    Renner will Jenkins himself to a nod.

  • 17 9-21-2009 at 6:21 pm

    "Julianstark" said...

    There was a column about that??? Oh wow. When was this???

  • 18 9-21-2009 at 6:48 pm

    "Julianstark" said...

    … just saw where you reported about Cotillard getting the Lead push… sorry about that :)

  • 19 9-21-2009 at 6:50 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Renner isn’t a long-time character actor who has a ton of friends in the biz, so the Jenkins comparison has always been dubious.

  • 20 9-21-2009 at 8:10 pm

    Rob said...

    Thinking of a different Rob. I’m in NY.

  • 21 9-21-2009 at 8:38 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ah, got it.

  • 22 9-21-2009 at 11:08 pm

    slayton said...

    I don’t really expect this to be very good. Looks like a pretty conventional piece of southern hoke to me. Some baity performances maybe, but of what I’ve seen they don’t look great on a craft level. Of course, audience-friendly mediocrity sweeps the Oscars so maybe we’re looking at a Get Low best picture win.

    I’ve noticed that the trades reviews haven’t been half as strong as word-of-mouth for this picture. This leads me to believe that it will fare much better at Hollywood voting bodies (HFPA, BFCA, SAG) than at the critics’ prizes. I’m expecting Firth and Renner to clean up at the latter.

  • 23 9-22-2009 at 5:47 am

    John H. Foote said...

    Duvall will be nominated gang — no doubt — and if nominated he might win as a way of saying “ooopppsss” for “The Apostle” – great performance in a wonderful little movie, the sort of thing people tend to gravitate towards during rough finanical times such as this, as it reminds them there were worse times, and life goes on no matter what — Bill Murray is wonderfully wry in the film, though there something oddly modern about his performance that set him apart from the others, as though he had difficulty finding his character in this period piece — he’s not bad, when is he? — but at the end of the day it is Duvall’s show

    Can I chime in on Renner? This is a great piece of acting that I am not sure they can or will ignore — brilliant — and I think he is going to be there come nomination day — hope so — look for “The Hurt Locker” to do very well with the pre-Oscar awards, that is if “Precious” does not sweep everything.

  • 24 9-22-2009 at 6:55 am

    The Other James D. said...

    I’m in a different camp than some around here regarding The Apostle (it left me cold–not that I can’t respect it, but I wasn’t impressed much). To me, Robert Duvall = Julie Christie for Away from Her. He may get as lucky as Julie and snag SAG, but I think the final prize is very likely to go to someone who hasn’t won before (especially considering that for the past two years, Best Actors are repeat winners…).

    Yes, John H.F., that’s also how I feel about THL (if it can hopefully split accolades with Precious and Up in the Air).

    Renner is the “newcomer”; Firth is the veteran overdue for a nod; Duvall is the legend; Clooney is the Hollywooder; and Freeman is the biopic boy. Together, it’s a nicely varied lineup that I think could happen if some other early assumptions fall by the wayside.

    But yeah, how could one compare Renner to Jenkins? If anything…Renner is more Adrien Brody: young, but talented, actor who finally landed a plum part to showcase his awesome skills. That’s not to say Renner will win, but it’s a more suitable comparison, imho. What sayeth you all?

  • 25 9-22-2009 at 8:49 am

    Ryan said...

    Was at the Get Low premiere in Toronto. The film is very strong and played to a long standing ovation. Duvall and Murray give masterful performances…some of their best work. The cinematography was excellent as well.