When it comes to “Foxcatcher,” Sony Pictures Classics have certainly been playing the long game. Bennett Miller's third film was originally set to premiere on the opening night of AFI Fest in LA on November 6 last year, priming it for a 2013 awards run, before being abruptly pulled from the release schedule — the reason given that it wasn't ready in time..
Resurfacing in a somewhat loftier festival slot — in Competition at Cannes, no less — the film has retained its aura of prestige. But if you thought the spring premiere meant you'd get to see it sooner rather than later, think again: Sony has announced that the film will be released on November 14, more than a year after it was originally set to be unveiled.
That surely means that the film will reappear on the fall festival circuit, in Telluride and/or Toronto, allowing it to build on whatever buzz it generates on the Croisette next month. And the November date is a canny choice by the studio, which evidently harbors major awards hopes for the biographical drama, which stars Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo in the story of the fatal bond between chemical-industry heir John Du Pont and Olympic wrestling champion brothers Mark and Dave Schultz.
October and November have been the lucky release months for Best Picture players in recent years, with December releases still struggling to gain sufficient momentum in the newer, shorter Oscar-season calendar. In terms of past Oscar campaigns, “Foxcatcher” will be looking to emulate a film like the Coens' Best Picture champ “No Country for Old Men,” which premiered at Cannes to massive critical acclaim (but no jury awards), stopped off at the Toronto and New Yorks fests, and eventually hit screens in November. Even if the film doesn't hit big at Cannes, all is not lost, as Alexander Payne's slow-grower “Nebraska” (another mid-November release) proved last year.