Around this time of year, critics begin discussing what their top movies of the year will be. And if you're part of a guild that has annual awards, then those discussions can get pretty intense. For instance, I'm part of WAFCA and the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), and any awards discussions we've had come with the caveat that we haven't seen Martin Scorsese's Silence yet. And as it turns out, we may not see it in time, or at the very least it will be cut extremely close.
According to a piece by Variety, Silence isn't expected to screen for critics and press until December. That means it could miss a couple of the early guild awards, possibly even us in the BFCA as the Critics Choice Awards are held on December 11th. On the other hand, we totally trampled our own rules to let Star Wars: The Force Awakens in beyond the deadline last year. Chances are if Silence is good enough we'll find a way to get Scorsese in. The 17th-century religious drama stars Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver, and certainly has the look of a prestige effort. But in a year that is packed with intense films will it be enough
This isn't unusual for Scorsese, either. He's been known to work at his own pace, and a couple of years ago he went down to the wire completing The Wolf of Wall Street. The late arrival paid off with five Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. Paramount probably isn't too concerned as they can always pin their hopes on Arrival or Fences which look like sure-fire nominees and are debuting late enough to be fresh in voter minds. There's also the possibility that Silence isn't an awards movie and so the director feels free to take all the time in the world getting it done. We won't know the answer for a while yet. It hits theaters in limited release on December 23rd before going wide in January.