Earlier today Variety‘s Kris Tapley reported that Martin Scorsese‘s Silence won’t screen until sometime in early December, which means that the screening deadlines of the National Board of Review, NYFCC and LAFCA (i.e., the New York and Los Angeles critics’ orgs) and HE’s own Broadcast Film Critics Association are being ignored. Which is too bad as these four groups will definitely be selecting the 2016 award season hotties, and now Silence is looking at…well, it’s own path.
At least this puts the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in a good spot to elevate Silence (or not), as they’ll be voting a bit later in December.
This isn’t a tragedy but it’s too bad that Scorsese has decided that Silence will be a latecomer. (Glengarry Glenn Ross‘s Shelley Levene says “lately kiss my lately.”) If I were Marty I would say “fuck it” and screen an almost-cut to these four groups and then invite them to see the final, fussed-over version later in the month. How different could these two versions be? A few trims, a few music cues.
As a voting member of the BFCA, may I make a suggestion? Cut Marty some slack by offering him a special dispensation in their voting procedure. Silence won’t be seen when initial BFCA balloting begins on the morning of 11.28.16 and ends on 11.29.16. And yes, the BFCA noms will be announced on 12.1.16. But the final BFCA ballots will be e-mailed on 12.8.16 with return ballots required by 12.9.16 by early evening.
But the BFCA (which, don’t forget, cut J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: The Force Awakens a huge break last year) could simply decide to include Silence sight unseen on the final ballots, and then if Silence is screened by, say, 12.5 or 12.6, the membership could see it and vote accordingly. Where would be the harm? Bend over for Marty, guys! He’s earned a special measure of respect.