Wouldn’t you know it, right after we post our August predictions for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress comes the news that Don Cheadle’s decade-long Miles Davis passion project and directorial debut Miles Ahead, which is set to close the New York Film Festival, gets a pick up today from Oscar powerhouse Sony Pictures Classics. We saw this happen at last year’s Toronto Film Festival when they grabbed Still Alice, which would end up winning Julianne Moore her first Oscar. The year before that Cate Blanchett won Best Actress for the Sony Pictures Classics release Blue Jasmine from Woody Allen. This is a studio that knows how to get Oscar nominations and wins and this bodes very well for Don Cheadle as well as Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere).
Miles Ahead details just a few days in the life of Miles Davis, who plans to steal back his music from his record company with the help of a Rolling Stone writer (played by Ewan McGregor) and flashes back to his years with his lifelong love, Frances Taylor (played by Corinealdi). The film was written by Steven Baigelman and Cheadle and also stars Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man) and Keith Stanfield (Selma). As director, writer, producer and star of the film Cheadle would be able to reap four individual nominations for Miles Ahead. Take that, George Clooney.
From Sony Pictures Classics:
[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]“What Don Cheadle has done here with the spirit of Miles Davis is truly astounding. We are not only witnessing for the first time this part of Miles Davis’ story as it deserves to be told, but also the birth of a major film director who happens to portray the iconic singer in a jaw dropping performance. This movie will be embraced by audiences everywhere and we are so pleased to help make that happen.” [/box]
So, what does this mean for I Saw the Light? The Hank Williams biopic starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen has been riding on the horse of being the main focus for Sony Pictures Classics in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress races. Now they have two films in direct competition with each other for those same nominations (and more). Was the most recent test screening in Boston that bad? It’s not entirely unrealistic that the studio could manage both of these films at the same time but it would also not be out of the realm of possibility that they hold onto I Saw the Light and drop it in 2016 instead. With no festival appearances as of yet I can see that as quite likely.