The date change is altering the way Academy members will be seeing movies. It’s all starting much earlier, this recent post by Jeff Wells at Hollywood-Elsewhere illustrates — although Paramount also held a similar screening for Not Fade Away. This is a great way to get Academy members to see your movie early, and specifically movies that are better seen with a crowd, what with the date change and all:

There was an Academy-members-only screening Thursday night at the Laurel Canyon home of sound editors Michael and Nancy Ross (who also hosted that Not Fade Awayscreening & after-party that I attended a few weeks back), and I’m told that someone called it Capra-esque. Maybe, yeah…but Capra Redefined for the 21st Century and a Culture of Edge and Anxiety. I hate Capra myself. I think people who fall for It’s A Wonderful Life are easy lays and overly susceptible. But if you want a fairly good explanation how and why SLP comes together, read Brian Ondorf’s 10.24 review on

Favorite Ondorf line: “When Russell calls on cliche to dig out an ending, he does so with extraordinary skill and euphoric cinematic energy.”

Before the showing Russell told the crowd how Matthew Quick’s book first came to him from Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, who of course are both gone now. But still with us through this film.

A veteran director friend who attended the Ross screening texted as follows this morning: “Silver Linings Playbook was terrific…has to be the front-runner [now]. Jennifer Lawrence must be favorite for Best Actress Oscar…she hits it out of the park…movie comes doubly alive when she’s on-screen. Bradley for a Best Actor nomination but no win. De Niro probably. Lawrence dead certain. Stand-room-only with Academy voters fighting each other for seats. Cheers at the end.”

The Ross screening was co-hosted by Colleen Camp, Nancy Meyers and Lisa Tomei, I’m told. and was presided over by Oscar strategist Lisa Taback.

 Jeff Wells is currently Silver Lining’s biggest champion and really wants to see it ride the winner’s train all the way home.  A few more movies left to see and then we’ll have a better idea of how this Oscar race is going to play out.  It’s still too soon to know.
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  • Mel

    Why are we talking about what gives that old crazy a boner on here?

  • How telling that that ‘veteran director’ mentioned Bradley Cooper and missed Jacki Weaver. Some people…

  • Mattoc

    “…she hits it out of the park…movie comes DOUBLY alive when she’s on-screen”

    What a PAIR!

    The Breast Performance of the Year!

  • Question Mark

    I’m actually most excited about De Niro’s performance here….how comforting it is to know that De Niro can still bring it after so many years of mediocre, phone-it-in performances. If nominated, it will be 38 years between Supporting noms for De Niro, following his win for Godfather Part II.

  • alan of montreal

    Is that Colleen Camp from such 80s classics as Smokey and the Bandit 3 and Police Academy 2?

    I have to say, Jeff Wells sounds like a bit of a prick in his comment. Okay, so you hate Capra, but to call people who like his films as “easy lays” makes you sound like an arrogant, pretentious twit.

  • David

    Skyfall is AWESOME! Saw it twice on IMAX already. I hop the great Roger Deakins finally gets his Oscar!

  • Bryce Forestieri

    (excuse the caps but) MARK MY WORDS: Even if Silver Linings Playbook is the most beloved movie by the Academy, it will NOT win Best Pic. I mean, they may be decrepit, borderline demented senior citizens, but I don’t think they’d be so stupid as to risk this much credibility from everyone else by awarding Weinstein 3 years in row. They genuinely care for their little show so self-preservation will prevail in the end. No Weinstein film will win Best Pic this year…I’d count on it for my predictions

  • Jay

    I hope Silver Linings Playbook lives up to all the hype. I’m suspicious.

  • “…but I don’t think they’d be so stupid as to risk this much credibility from everyone else by awarding Weinstein 3 years in row. They genuinely care for their little show so self-preservation will prevail in the end.”

    From your lips…

    If Weinstein wins BP 3 years running, there won’t be credibility that will fly down the rabbit hole; there could be calls for a local or federal investigation along the lines of Italy’s latest football match-fixing scandal. It cannot happen.

  • richardM

    Who the hell is Jeff Wells?

  • rb

    I saw Silver Linings Playbook last week. The dialogue was fast and clever, while the direction was very good. There were great performances by Cooper, Lawrence, DeNiro, Weaver and Tucker. Unfortuantely, the last part of the film had an ending that was too clean and tidy for a story with so many emotionally and psychologically damaged people.

    Several weeks ago, I read the novel by Matthew Quick. It was so raw, emotional and real that it leaves the reader in an optimistic, yet weakened state. Sadly, the film, which started off so strong, seemed to take a more traditional path in the last third. Between that and the charachter changes that were made, the film does not live up to the source material.

    Ultimately, it is a very good film, but not one of the top 2 or 3 films of the year.

  • unlikely hood

    I’m still with Paddy on the whole SLP = UITA thing. Eventually, as it did with Up in the Air, gravitas is gonna sway people over to one of the other films. I mean this is just a story about a couple of people, right? You could argue that so was The Artist. I would counter either with 1) the silent era passing was its own gravitas or 2) that’s all the more reason they won’t make such a gravitas error 2 years in a row.

  • brian

    Best Picture

    1) Les Miserables
    2) Lincoln
    3) Beasts of the Southern Wild

    one of these three films will win … and, IMHO, I think Les Miserables has the best chance

  • Joseph

    Silver Linings Playbook will get the nominations and even win an acting award – but it won’t win best picture. It doesn’t have ENOUGH gravitas like so other players this year. Argo is also a huge crowdpleaser but feels more important. And the general audience has yet to see the 3 Ls – Lincoln, Les Miserables and Life of Pi which will all feel “weightier”.

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