One of the big question marks in this year's Oscar race is whether Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street will shake things up with a late-entry bid. According to new reports, it will.
John Horn and Steve Zeitchik of The Los Angeles Times reported late Monday that three people close to the Leonardo DiCaprio movie confirmed that it will come out on Christmas Day, echoing a tweet from HitFix's awards writer Kristopher Tapley last week.
A Christmas Day release has always been an option for the film, which tells the real-life story of trader Jordan Belfort, ever since word started to come out that the film wouldn't make its scheduled November 15 debut because Scorsese was still working on cutting down the three-hour running time. Horn and Zeitchik however are reporting with a fair amount of certainty that the drama is coming within the year, and that Paramount will then bump Kenneth Branagh's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit until January. That said, Horn and Zeitchik do note that "Scorsese and longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker have not yet finished the movie," and others are noting that the Christmas release isn't true—yet. Variety's Stuart Oldham tweeted last night: "Christmas release not final yet, sources tell me. Scorsese still working on the film."
If Horn, Zeitchik, and Tapley are correct, the question becomes what place does the film have in an already crowded awards season, where films like Gravity, Captain Phillips and 12 Years a Slave already seem like locks? Does it end up fighting for a place alongside David O. Russell's American Hustle, another flashy period piece about money with big stars that no one has seen yet? Can DiCaprio make a dent in an extremely crowded Best Actor race, where people like Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Chiwetel Ejiofor have already made their marks? Or is it simply not a film that's going to appeal to the Academy? (With DiCaprio and Scorsese it seems hard to believe that it's not that kind of film.)
While we still wait for official news from the studio, we'll just watch the (excellent) trailer again.