Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Enough is enough: This "Bright Star" snubbing must cease!

Quite a while ago, there was a little movie called Bright Star directed Jane Campion, and starring Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, and Paul Schneider (he of The Assassination of Jesse James and TV's "Parks and Recreation"), that was supposed to play a decent part in the 09-010 Awards Season. The reviews were generally quite positive, and deservedly so. And then something weird happened...and not the good kind of weird: Bright Star got the biggest of middle fingers. Since the National Board of Review kicked off awards season in early December, Jane Campion's small gem of a film has been snubbed is just about every way, barely making it onto the BAFTA longlists before it was left out in the cold on the official nominations. Cornish, who rightfully earned herself best-in-show reviews, has been particularly hurt by all of this. This should have been the performance that let the world know that she could lead a film, even though she's done it before (Somersault). "Why", is the question we're left with, and for the life of me the best answer I can come up with doesn't seem to fully answer the problem: campaigning. For some reason, either due to lack of faith or funds, the studio behind the film didn't campaign the film enough. Yes, there are For Your Consideration ads (beautiful ads, might I add), but there was never any sense that the film was being given special screenings to put it back into people's minds, or for those who missed it in regular theaters. The same could also be said for Duncan Jones' Moon, though at least that film and its star, Sam Rockwell, have show up in a few places (BAFTA). It's a shame, because with 10 Best Picture nominees, this film would have had a decent shot of making it in, and Cornish would be playing a solid role in the Best Actress race. I mean AT LEAST it could have had a role in the artistic categories! Costume design? Art direction? Cinematography!? Original Score? It's a mad mad mad mad mad mad (mad mad mad) world out there.

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