Race for the Oscars Begins

There's this stigma to Awards season that the most important movies of the year come in the final quarter. If you're released in late October, November or, especially, December, you've got a shot at Oscar's biggest prize. If not, well, better luck next year.

And while that seems to have been the case in recent years, it wasn't always this way. And it might not be that way going forward. March, 10 months before the end of the year, has seen some early Oscar buzz. You heard that right, Oscar buzz before the official end of winter.

Last year we saw "Deadpool," released in mid-February, generate serious consideration for Oscars. It was a Golden Globe nominee, but didn't make the Oscar pool. Well, this year there's two films that have already been released in March that could both make a play.

"Logan," which was released on March 3, is a film many feel could be a Best Picture contender. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are also earning buzz for their performances. And the film has been an incredible commercial success at the Box Office, as well as earned some of the best reviews of any movie in recent years.

"Beauty & The Beast," which opened on Friday, is a profound technical achievement. It looks beautiful and is beautifully put together. It wouldn't be hard to imagine it snagging some technical awards and consideration for some of the new original music.

This is just the latest sign that the film landscape is changing. Blockbusters are no longer relegated to summer, as several big releases litter the spring and fall. And "awards-season" fodder might not be, either.

"Boyhood," a film that was a strong contender just two years ago, was a summer release. "Braveheart," a film that earned Best Picture and Best Director honors for Mel Gibson in 1995 was released in March.

And "The Silence of the Lambs," a film that is one of only three in American history to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay, was released in January 1991, a time usually know as the dumping grounds.

So could it happen again this year? Could a March release actually be nominated for Best Picture? Stranger things have happened.


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