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Why Sony Pictures Classics Pulled ‘I Saw the Light’ from Awards Season

Why Sony Pictures Classics Pulled 'I Saw the Light' from Awards Season

As Tom Hiddleston earns raves for his performance in Guillermo del Toro’s “Crimson Peak,” Sony Pictures Classics is quietly withdrawing “I Saw the Light” from its planned November 27th theatrical release. Which means they won’t be mounting an expensive Oscar campaign for Hiddleston, who drew the only nice things anyone had to say about the film (it’s at 31% Rotten on the Tomatometer) which costars Elizabeth Olsen as the alcoholic country singer’s beleaguered wife. It’s pretty rare for any movie with reviews that bad to compete with the big boys.  

The movie written and directed by Marc Abraham is a straight-on musical biopic which may do better in the spring against less competition. Finally Hiddleston is a rising movie star and many women may want to see the movie because of his engaging, charismatic performance as a Nashville country icon, which is a stretch for a British actor. That Hiddleston survives the movie at all is a testament to his charm and skill.

Hiddleston will have more time to promote the movie in March, SPC co-presidents Tom Bernard and Michael Barker explained to Deadline, after he finishes shooting “Kong: Skull Island.” They will now open against “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” “Batman Vs. Superman” and “Keeping Up With The Joneses.”  

After the Toronto Film Festival the Weinsteins made a schedule change as well: in the face of Focus Features’ “The Danish Girl,” with positive reviews for actors Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne, the Weinstein Co. at the last minute pulled its transgender drama, Gaby Dellal’s “About Ray,” starring Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon, from theaters. It was set to open that Friday, but after a lackluster reception in Toronto, will wait until 2016. 

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