You know what the Academy loves? Old people. You know who it’s largely made up of? Old people. Give them an elderly person emoting and they’ll hand out an Oscar nod, particularly if it’s a legendary actor who is beloved and has been kicking around for a while. And when your movie stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, why not see if these guys can generate a bit of awards season heat?
That’s just what Lionsgate is doing with “Stand Up Guys,” as they are giving the movie a New York and Los Angeles run starting on December 14th. Penned by Noah Haidle and directed by Fisher Stevens, the story follows two friends and lifelong criminals, one of whom has been hired to kill his friend. But they go out for a night on the town instead and of course there are laughs, hijinx and emotions as these old dudes come to terms with their various feelings. Aww. That said, the trailer got a decent reception and if pitched just right, Pacino’s turn as the ex-con who may be getting whacked could be a sleeper surprise. The studio will also be pushing the movie hard for Golden Globes in every major category, including Best Original Song for Jon Bon Jovi‘s “Not Running Anymore” (one of two new tunes he’s penned for the soundtrack).
But does this really have an Oscar shot? Our gut is that it doesn’t, but Lionsgate is hoping that maybe, possibly, something might connect with voters. However, while the acting categories are tough this year, a really nice turn by any of the three could find them slotting out younger thesps. It’s always a bit of a coin toss.
If you’re not in NY or LA, not to worry. The movie will be available for regular folks in theaters starting February 1st. [THR]