LOS ANGELES – With the deadline for voting looming and with phase two of the Oscar season – where Academy-targeted events have been disallowed – on the horizon, the “Boyhood” crew celebrated the film's DVD/Blu-ray release Wednesday night at a swanky Chateau Marmont soiree.
Richard Linklater, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane, among others, worked the room at the outdoor party – which was hosted by Diane Keaton, Frank Marshall, Jack Black, Julie Delpy, Jon Hamm and Sean Daniel – over a four-hour stretch. Champagne flowed, smoked salmon was passed around on little cucumber slices, the usual, as a bevy of rank-and-file Academy members mingled about. And it's a nice bit of timing. With Oscar campaign hands being tied for phase two as noted, an event like this is about as close to the cut-off as you can get. Today is the last day of voting for nominations.
I ended up finding an empty table and just posting up to observe at some point. Hawke eventually came around and took a seat, knackered from all the press and campaign stops (he had just come back from New York's National Board of Review gala Tuesday). He also has “Predestination” releasing imminently and he's coming off a full year of Chekhov, Brecht and Shakespeare on stage, though he's eager to find the time for another theater stint. The guy is restless.
Naturally, the question on everyone's lips at the party was, “Can 'Boyhood' pull off a Best Picture win?” It's one that's been in the ether since the film's June release. I went from doubting the film's chances at getting nominated to thinking it could take the whole enchilada in the space of a week. It became de rigueur to stump for its little-engine-that-could prospects not long after, and now, most would call it the frontrunner.
An IFC Films release being the frontrunner to win Best Picture at the Oscars. That in and of itself is fascinating and heartwarming (even if, if you're asking me, my bet is “The Imitation Game” pulls it out). It's a fabulous culmination for Linklater, and an interesting case study in how an artist like that gets locked into a certain perspective by the gradual build. Would “Boyhood” be in such a dominant awards position if not for “Bernie” bringing the director back into the circuit fold and “Before Midnight” adding tons of fuel to the fire? I have no doubt it would have been the critically acclaimed and laureled film it is, but it's just interesting to note, again, timing.
And it is time, by the way. “Birdman” may be my favorite film of the year, but you'll have no complaints from me seeing Richard Linklater clutching a Best Director Oscar, which I believe is his destiny with this film. Modern American cinema owes a lot to this guy and the artists he's inspired, I have no doubt they will be key to the creative infrastructure of this business for years to come.
“Boyhood” is now available on DVD/Blu-ray.