Oscars: Eligible for Emma Thompson’s Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Sophie Hyde’s Good Luck to You, Leo Grande had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January and received critical acclaim – particularly for its star Emma Thompson – and many named her a potential contender for the Academy Award for Best Actress. But the British sex comedy, which was acquired by Searchlight Pictures and later released on Hulu on June 17, became ineligible when the academy returned to its pre-pandemic requirements that required a film to have a seven-day theatrical release date before it was released debuted on a streaming platform.

However, diversity has now confirmed that Searchlight Pictures has officially submitted an application for approval of the film and the Academy has approved it for the awards. In addition to AMPAS, the film was also recognized by BAFTA (which has already been awarded because Lionsgate distributed the film in the UK), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and the Critics Choice Association for award submissions released (CKA).

The Academy has worked closely with filmmakers, studios and distributors on eligibility issues, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not unprecedented that the Academy has included films and studios basing their release plans on the currently published rules for eligibility available at the time. Searchlight announced the film would debut on Hulu in March, before the academy announced it would return to pre-pandemic rules.

This provides an interesting question about Hulu’s other hit titles, like Andrew Ahn’s rom-com Fire Island and Dan Trachtenberg’s sci-fi horror film Prey, which Hulu touted as its most-watched content of all TV content series and films. While “Fire Island” and “Prey” aren’t your traditional award-flair projects that AMPAS voters typically opt for, the blurring lines between film and television are becoming increasingly blurred. For example, what makes a “movie release” versus a “television movie”? Prey bolsters Jeff Cutter’s lush cinematography with his pioneering Indigenous star Amber Midthunder providing another example of a stunning action genre performance that joins the ranks of Sigourney Weaver in Aliens (1986) and Charlize Theron in “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015). We can only hope that Academy members will have the inventiveness to embrace such a film, set to be the fifth installment in the Predator franchise.

But “Prey” and “Fire Island” were made for the Hulu streaming platform, so they’re not eligible for Oscars this year, and Searchlight won’t be aiming for similar appeal either. However, they will be eligible for Emmys in 2023.

Thompson is an Academy Award winner for Best Actress for Howard’s End (1992). She received four other subsequent nominations, including double nominations for The Remains of the Day (1993) and In the Name of the Father (1993), and another pair of double mentions for the role and writing of Sense and Sensibility ‘ (1995) and won her second statuette for an adapted screenplay. But despite other acclaimed performances in films like Stranger Than Fiction (2006) and Saving Mr. Banks (2013), she hasn’t been invited to the ceremony for nearly 30 years.

Will that change soon? diversity Awards Circuit has updated the Best Actress predictions, where Thompson sits in the top 10 with Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) and Cate Blanchett (“TÁR”).

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is produced by Debbie Gray and Adrian Politowski from a script by Katy Brand.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 24, 2023, with the 95th ceremony scheduled for March 12, 2023.

https://variety.com/2022/awards/news/emma-thompson-oscars-good-luck-leo-grande-eligible-1235339526/ Oscars: Eligible for Emma Thompson’s Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Charles Jones

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