Such darts-at-a-dartboard-that-isn’t-there prognostication is par for the course among the “Oscar blogger” set. Such scribes don’t just pick this up as a sideline around Oscar time — their entire beat, and often their entire website, is tracking buzz and momentum and backlash and all the other political jargon that’s infected film discourse. (It should also be noted that many of them are very nice people, and good writers! Many also are not.) So obviously, it’s in their best interest to get this rat out of its cage as soon as possible; they’re itching from six months of relative inactivity, or of having to write about movies simply as freestanding works unrelated to gold statues.
But that doesn’t mean everyone who writes about film has to bend to the will of the Awards Industrial Complex. Around this time last year, I begged those lucky enough to attend the fall festivals to resist the urge to view every motion picture through the prism of “potential Oscar contender”; that’s clearly not gonna happen. But the year before (as you can see, this is an annual irritation), I humbly proposed that maybe, just maybe, we could put off the endless parade of awards consideration and blind guesswork until a more reasonable date — Thanksgiving, I suggested, as that would allow three-plus months of Oscar chatter, while still including the year-end critics awards (which begin a full month from the end of the year, but that’s another conversation) and the SAGs and the Globes and the Spirits and all the rest of it.
So if you’re also tired of this approach to fall festival reporting and film reviewing, I’ve got good news for you: this year, the Thanksgiving embargo isn’t just a suggestion, but Flavorwire editorial policy. That’s not how we’re going to cover these events or these movies, because (incoming #hottake) that’s not what’s important about them. With that in mind, until the turkey and stuffing are tucked away in their Ziploc containers, we’re going to try out the radical notion of letting movies be movies, and see how it goes.