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Weinsteins Set a Date For Madonna's "W.E." as Oscar Race Schedule Fills Up

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire June 29, 2011 at 7:40AM

The Weinstein Company has officially set a limited release date for their recent acqusition "W.E.," which marks the second directorial effort of Madonna after "Filth and Wisdom" (despite the fact that official press releases are listing it as her debut).
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Weinsteins Set a Date For Madonna's "W.E." as Oscar Race Schedule Fills Up
Madonna and Eugene Hutz at the Berlin Film Festival premiere of "Filth and Wisdom." Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

The Weinstein Company has officially set a limited release date for their recent acqusition "W.E.," which marks the second directorial effort of Madonna after "Filth and Wisdom" (despite the fact that official press releases are listing it as her debut).

The film will hit New York and Los Angeles on December 9, 2011, expand to additional markets in December, and find a wide release by mid-January. The film - rumored to be heading to the Venice Film Festival at the end of the summer - spans six decades, juxtaposing a contemporary love story with that of King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson. It stars Abbie Cornish, Oscar Isaac, Richard Coyle, James D'Arcy and Andrea Riseborough.

Clearly the release date reeks of an awards season strategy on behalf of the Weinsteins, giving them quite the packed slate in that regard. Between November 4th and December 16th, Harvey and company will release 5 Oscar-bait films, from Simon Curtis' Michelle-Williams-as-Marilyn-Monroe biopic "My Week With Marilyn" to Phyllida Lloyd's take on Margaret Thatcher (starring Meryl Streep, no less), "The Iron Lady."

November 4 - My Week With Marilyn, directed by Simon Curtis
November 23 - The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius
December 2 - Coriolanus, directed by Ralph Fiennes
December 9 - W.E., directed by Madonna
December 16 - The Iron Lady, directed by Phyllida Lloyd

Perhaps the most fascinating element of The Weinstein Company's slate is how very, very British it is. Other than France's "The Artist," the other four of the films are all British productions or co-productions. And those four all take on a piece of British history (whether Shakespeare in "Coriolanus," Thatcher in "Lady," Marilyn Monroe visiting London in "My Week," or King Edward VIII in "W.E."). Under a year after "The King's Speech" swept the Oscars, isn't this a tad overkill? Weinstein is putting all his Oscar eggs in a British basket all of a sudden, which may or may not end up working out for him.

Besides the Weinsteins and "W.E.," the Oscar race release schedule is filling up. Check out the below distributor-by-distributor breakdown of what's set (and what's not), or take a look at iW's full schedule of releases:

20th Century Fox:
December 23 - We Bought a Zoo, directed by Cameron Crowe

Buena Vista:
December 28 - War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg

Film District:
September 16 - Drive, directed by Nicholas Winding Refn
October 28 - The Rum Diary, directed by Bruce Robinson
December 23 - In the Land of Blood and Honey, directed by Angelina Jolie

Focus Features:
November 18 - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, directed by Tomas Alfredson
TBD - Pariah, directed by Dee Rees

Fox Searchlight:
October 7 - Martha Marcy May Marlene, directed by Sean Durkin
December 16 - The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne

Oscilloscope:
TBD - We Need To Talk About Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay

Paramount:
October 28 - Like Crazy, directed by Drake Doremus
November 23 - Hugo Cabret, directed by Martin Scorsese
December 23 - The Adventures of Tintin, directed by Steven Spielberg
TBD - Young Adult, directed by Jason Reitman

Sony:
September 23 - Moneyball, directed by Bennett Miller
October 8 - The Ides of March, directed by George Clooney
December 21 - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher

Sony Classics:
September 16 - Restless, directed by Gus Van Sant
October 14 - Take Shelter, directed by Jeff Nichols
October TBD - The Skin I Live In, directed by Pedro Almodovar
November 18 - Carnage, directed by Roman Polanski
TBD - Damsels in Distress, directed by Whit Stillman
TBD - A Dangerous Method, directed by David Cronenberg

Summit:
September 30 - 50/50, directed by Jonathan Levine

Warner Brothers:
September 9 - Contagion, directed by Steven Soderbergh
TBD - J. Edgar, directed by Clint Eastwood

Needs Distributor:
Albert Nobbs, directed by Rodrigo García
Butter, directed by Jim Field Smith
Dark Horse, directed by Todd Solondz
The Eye of the Storm, directed by Fred Schepisi
Rampart, directed by Oren Moverman
Shame, directed by Steve McQueen
Take This Waltz, directed by Sarah Polley
Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold

This article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit






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