At the Cannes Film Festival in May, Harvey Weinstein vowed to get Jake Gyllenhaal an Oscar nomination for Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama “Southpaw” after the actor was shockingly passed over for a nod in last year’s “Nightcrawler.” It appears that wasn’t just lip service: The Weinstein Company announced Thursday that the film will be re-released on more than 300 screens tomorrow, Oct. 2.
The move gives the film a chance “to be seen by a more drama- and awards-focused fall audience,” according to the distributor. Added TWC President of Theatrical Distribution & Home Entertainment Erik Lomis, the re-release “gives more serious-minded audiences who may have missed it the first time around a chance to see a film that we feel is a very serious contender.”
It would be tough to make an impact with an earlier release in a category that is, as ever, very competitive. So a re-expansion helps. But slots appear to be sewn up for stars like Johnny Depp (“Black Mass”), Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”) and Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”). Fox will be pushing the Leonardo DiCaprio cause for his work in “The Revenant” later this year, while Will Smith is said to be a stand-out possibility for his performance in “Concussion.” Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”), Steve Carell (“The Big Short”), Tom Hanks (“Bridge of Spies”), Michael Caine (“Youth”) and Matt Damon (“The Martian”) will also be in the thick of it.
It’s notable, too, that Weinstein doesn’t have a strong lead actor contender in the race. Samuel L. Jackson heads up Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight,” but could be lost in what is more of an ensemble film. “Carol,” meanwhile, does not feature a male lead, while Michael Fassbender’s “Macbeth” portrayal is likely to be sidelined by “Steve Jobs.”
For Gyllenhaal, he was often singled out even by critics who didn’t take to the movie. Variety‘s Justin Chang noted the actor’s “solid if strenuous transformation” in the film, which he deemed a “heavy-handed melodrama,” for example.
“We’ll get revenge,” Weinstein said at the Cannes fest. This is a first step.