The seven-day period between Christmas and January 2nd is the flattest time of the year. No screenings, nothing going. You can hear a pin drop. And then comes New Year’s Eve (which I always ignore with a passion) and then another blank-out on January 1st, and then the Producers Guild and Writers Guild nominees on January 4th, and then the DGA noms on January 10th. But all this time it gets a little bit harder to write with any feeling about the awards race because people are getting sick of it by this time. They need a break already.

So you focus on January openings, of course, and sometimes that’s fine. Plus whatever you can get into regarding Sundance. And then Sundance finally happens (I’m leaving on the 18th) and you’re alive again big-time. Nine 18-hour hammer days in a row. And then comes the Santa Barbara Film Festival, which lasts until the 4th or 5th of February. And then it’s back into the Oscar race for another 20-something days. And that’s okay because at least it’s ending. And then finally a new slate.