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Maybe it’s first predictions, maybe it’s the first of the fall festivals but I usually like to think the real kickoff of the Oscar season is the first official screener to hit voters. This year, Sony Pictures Classics has that honor with its spring and summer releases Miles Away and Maggie’s Plan.
Miles Ahead debuted at the 2015 New York Film Festival last year and many thought that it, and director/star Don Cheadle, was going to factor into the 2016 Oscar race. But Sony Pictures Classics decided to hold onto the Miles Davis slice of life biopic for a spring debut, which was met with respectable, if not outstanding, reviews.
Maggie’s Plan, from director Rebecca Miller, stars Greta Gerwig, Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke and Oscar winner Julianne Moore. Moore is a possible Supporting Actress contender and the film could find itself in Golden Globe consideration.
Last year, the first official screener out was I’ll See You in My Dreams, starring Blythe Danner. It didn’t result in any major awards attention. Grandma, starring Lily Tomlin, was SPC’s first screener last year. It landed Tomlin Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations.