As the year comes to an end, we’re getting into the heart of awards season. This is the time of year when studios release most of the movies they hope will be vying for Oscars, Golden Globes, and plenty of other awards from various guilds, critic circles, and more. The deadlines to qualify for these awards are always known far in advance, but every now and then some films end up cutting it rather close, and this year, that film is Cats.
Cats is the big screen adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical of the same name, and a big ensemble cast that includes Francesca Hayward, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, and more. Director Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) is bringing the story to life with a heft amount of visual effects, using what has been hilariously referred to as digital fur technology, to turn the movie’s stars into photorealistic human-cat hybrids that terrified many as soon as the first trailer arrived. It’s an interesting, albeit haunting, way to tell this story, and now it might cause the film to miss some major awards deadlines.
IndieWire reports that Universal Pictures has told the New York Film Critics circle that they likely won’t see the movie until mid-December. The only problem with that is the group votes on the nominees for their awards on December 4. That also just so happens to be the date of the final awards qualifying screening for Golden Globes, which will announce their nominations on December 9. That’s a little worrisome for a movie meant to hit theaters on December 20.
Other major deadlines that Cats will miss include the National Board of Review, who will announce winners of their awards on December 3, and also the Screen Actors Guild awards, which will close nominations on December 8. That latter one would be a huge bummer for Universal since they have quite the star-studded cast that they surely would like to see honored with nominations.
What doesn’t help Cats either is the fact that the Oscars are happening much earlier than usual, with nominations due by January 7. That doesn’t give Cats a lot of time to campaign for awards, and it gives a lot less time to allow Academy members to see it before nominations are due. There’s a chance that could work in favor of Cats since it will be more fresh in the minds of voters, but as of now, it’s looking like Cats could miss out on some big opportunities for awards. Then again, since no one has seen the movie yet, there’s always a chance it’s just not good enough to land any nominations.
Honestly, the awards season timetable is something that has always bugged me about the film industry. Most of the critics circles, guilds, and whatnot are determining winners of their awards long before an overwhelming majority of the general public has had a chance to see the films that will likely be nominated. Sure, this is something that helps build buzz for these movies once they hit theaters, but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone just waited until the end of the year to start doling out accolades?
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