Sasha Stone‘s Oscar Season Rule #1 states that serious Best Picture contenders have to launch at Venice, Telluride and/or Toronto and then open in October or November, but never December.
[Correction: Sasha’s rule has only applied since the Academy pushed their date back one month, which they did in 2003. Before that late December was when films were released and considered for Best Picture. Now it all happens so fast that a December release can’t build the momentum it needs to win.]
But that sure wasn’t the case in 1979 when Kramer vs. Kramer opened on December 19th and wound up winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman) and Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep).
I’m just popping this in as a reminder of how good Hoffman was in his prime. He’s living in an apparent state of seclusion since the #MeToo Robespierres put his name on their Black List after he was nailed for being a little too feely or exploitively gropey-grope back in the ’80s, and I know he’s long had a general rep for being too self-possessed and caught up in his own mythology, but he was worth his weight in gold during the late ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
What was Hoffman’s last really good film? Meet The Fockers, right? And before that Wag The Dog. He shouldn’t have done Family Business or Hook. His last really, really big movie/performance was Rain Man, and that was 30-ass years ago.