Bad news for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: United Artists and MGM have pushed back the release of Tom Cruise's
Valkyrie from this fall to early 2009, meaning Oscar voters will now have to wait a full extra year to shower the film's cast, crew, and producers in golden statues. The studios, obviously hoping to capitalize on the romantic appeal of a movie about a one-eyed Nazi who botches an attempt to assassinate Hitler, will now open it on February 13, Valentine's Day weekend, instead of the once-planned October 3, when it likely would have been the odd film out among a bunch of dark, feel-bad movies.
Some Oscar watchers, given the short memory of voters, think the move could torpedo Valkyrie's Academy Awards chances — but they forget that previous Best Pictures like 1970's Patton and 1991's Silence of the Lambs also opened in February, weeks before one Oscar ceremony, only to ride to victory at the next year's. We think United Artists is just being strategic here; Valkyrie, after it's finally ended its blockbusting run in theaters — probably sometime in July or August 2009 — will drop on DVD, possibly with hilarious deleted scenes and alternate endings, just in time to remind the Academy how much they loved it before they fill out their ballots for the 2010 awards. Seems pretty obvious to us, anyway.
UA, MGM push back 'Valkyrie' [Variety]
'Valkyrie' release switch takes Oscar heat off Tom Cruise [Gold Derby/LAT]