Bleecker Street has launched their full FYC site with screenings and categories listed for their 2018 slate. Their dynamic lineup includes Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace,” Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” Sebastián Lelio’s “Disobedience,” Elizabeth Chomko’s “What They Had,” and Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui’s documentary feature “McQueen.”
One of the more surprising announcements was the classification of Ben Foster in the indie hit “Leave No Trace” in Supporting Actor. As an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD, Foster delivers an immensely powerful and touching performance, with many believing that a Lead campaign would be in the cards. Bleecker Street will campaign young breakout star Thomasin McKenzie in Lead Actress.
Adapted from Peter Rock’s book “My Abandonment,” the film still sits at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with 183 reviews counted, easily one of the best-reviewed films of the year. Foster has had bouts with Oscar before. In 2007, a vocal few were beating the drum for his work in James Mangold’s remake of “3:10 to Yuma” before he received loud praise in 2009 for his work in Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger,” which scored two Oscar nominations. After that, heads turned for his work in “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and “Lone Survivor” before he came to his closest moment with Oscar for his work in “Hell or High Water.” Perhaps his time has finally come?
Foster also has an upcoming role in Mélanie Laurent’s “Galveston,” which is screening at many of the fall film festivals. His road to his first nomination may be more clear than what many may be assuming. Firstly, it’s not one of those cases of “offensive” category fraud as Foster’s role straddles the line between lead and supporting. In the category of Supporting Actor, there is little competition that has emerged as of yet. Surely eyes are on upcoming performances from Timothée Chalamet and/or Steve Carell in “Beautiful Boy” and Sam Elliott has seemed to have cemented his tentpole in the race with “A Star is Born” based on Venice reactions. Telluride has made a case for Richard E. Grant in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” but other than that, the race is open for a few slide-ins.
The studio also has an ace in their pocket with Robert Forster in “What They Had” but co-star Michael Shannon will also compete in the same category. If they can get enough voting bodies to see the film, watch out for a veteran play down the line. Hilary Swank will try her chops out in lead while Blythe Danner rolls the dice in supporting. The film also features an Original Song, “Are You There,” that is co-written by writer/director Chomko.
“Colette” is a beautiful gem that should be able to muscle its way into Production Design and Costumes but Original Score and Makeup are indeed in play, as well as the works of Keira Knightley and Dominic West, who both deliver their best work in years.
I’ll continue to hold the sign up for “Disobedience,” especially for the turns by its CO-LEADS Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, but the studio has opted for supporting run for the former, which could bode well in thinner Supporting Actress category that only has Claire Foy thus far. Weisz will already be pulling votes from herself as her work in “The Favourite” has admirers, and there’s been no decision on where the three co-stars will campaign. Co-star Alessandro Nivola is exquisite in his role and should be able to get some votes of his own.