Some have been saying over the last 48 hours that if Kevin Costner‘s two-part Horizon: An American Saga is deemed Best Picture-worthy, guild and Academy members will have to either vote for Part One (which is opening on 6.28.24) or Part Two (opening on 8.16.24)j, but they can’t vote for Horizon as a single long film with two parts. One or the other.

What are they talking about? Of course they can vote for Horizon as a single entity!

The unified Lawrence of Arabia that we all know is a 227-minute, two-part film separated by an intermission.

After Part One ended at the two-hour mark, the music swelled, the word “Intermission” appeared, the film came to a stop and the lights came up. And then, 15 minutes later, Part Two began and ended 107 minutes later. That’s how it was shown. A lot of industry people voted for it in early ’63, and Lawrence would up winning the Best Picture Oscar.

But let’s imagine that instead of showing Lawrence in one big nearly-four-hour package (including intermission), Lean and Columbia Pictures decided to release Part One in early October of ’62 — a two-hour, World War I-era film about T.E. Lawrence, titling it Lawrence: Cairo to Aqaba. And then in early December they released Part Two, an 107-minute film called Lawrence: Despair and Downfall.

Lean and Columbia explain that they simply felt that the film could be better appreciated in two separate viewings. It’s still the same 227-minute movie — they just decided to show Part One and Part Two separated by two months rather than 15 minutes.

What kind of idiot would say “oh, no…you can’t do that! You can’t show Part One and Part Two eight weeks apart. If you show these films as a pair on a single evening, separated by a 15-minute intermission, fine, But if you can’t show two separate parts and expect us to vote on them as a single film experience….no way!”

What’s the difference between this and how Costner is planning to unveil Horizon, as a two-parter separated by several weeks between openings? Who would prefer it if Costner announced that both parts of Horizon will screen as a single experience, except it will last nearly five hours or maybe longer with an intermission? That sounds like a sore ass to me. I would rather see it in two separate viewing experiences.