The movie, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, re-creates the 1819 massacre by armed government militias who charged into a crowd of 60,000 people in Manchester who were demanding reforms in parliamentary representation for the working class. As many as 15 people were killed and up to 700 were wounded.
Amazon executives believe that with the large number of awards films opening during the fall and end of year, the spring slot will enable them to ensure the film is getting the time in theaters to find audiences and secure the best cinema locations.
Guy Lodge gave “Peterloo” a positive review for Variety, but admitted that its box office appeal could be limited: “Nothing about this grim passage of history was easy for its victims, and ‘Peterloo’ sets out with textured integrity to honor the experience of those who suffered most under it, at whatever cost to its commercial arthouse appeal.”
Leigh has been nominated for seven Academy Awards — for directing and writing “Secrets & Lies” and “Vera Drake,” and for his screenplays for “Topsy-Turvy,” “Happy-Go-Lucky,” and “Another Year.”
Amazon Studios’ remaining awards contenders for this year include “Beautiful Boy” (due out Oct. 12), “Suspiria” (Oct. 26), and “Cold War” (Dec. 21). The company’s “Manchester by the Sea” won Oscars last year for best actor and original screenplay.