Another day, another wrench in the release calendar. Late on Friday, Sony Pictures Classics announced that the specialty arm would be shifting debut dates for three of its awards season titles: “The Father,” “Truffle Hunters,” and “I Carry You with Me.” Earlier this week, Sony Pictures Classics also pushed the Sundance science-fiction favorite “Nine Days” out of January and into the undated realm of summer 2021.
The new release dates are obviously due to COVID-19 and the ongoing closure of movie theaters nationwide as many corners of the country grip for lockdown, part two. The new dates for the films are as follows: “The Father,” starring Anthony Hopkins, will now be released February 26, 2021; Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw’s festival darling “The Truffle Hunters” will now be released March 12, 2021; and nonfiction director Heidi Ewing’s narrative feature debut “I Carry You with Me” will now be released in the spring of 2021.
Sony Pictures Classics said that all films would still qualify for year-end top 10 lists and awards, meaning that limited qualifying runs remain in play. IndieWire has reached out to the distributor for comment. The new release date for “The Father,” director and playwright Florian Zeller’s gutting film led by Hopkins as a man plagued by dementia, slots it just ahead of the cutoff for 2021 Academy Awards eligibility, which is February 28. That should place the film top of mind for voters next year. The film is an Oscar contender for Hopkins, Zeller, and supporting actress Olivia Colman. It’s been widely acclaimed since world-premiering at the Sundance Film Festival back in January. The film was originally set for release December 18.
“The Truffle Hunters,” meanwhile, is in the awards derby for Best Documentary. It was originally set for release December 25.
Earlier this week, when Sony Pictures Classics took Edson Oda’s “Nine Days” off its January 22 release date, the distributor said the film would still be considered for Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Continually moving release dates is par for the course at a moment when the COVID-19 pandemic has grossly affected theaters, pushing Warner Bros. earlier this week to dump its entire 2021 slate onto HBO Max and in wherever theaters possible day-and-date. It’s a decision that’s erupted controversy throughout the industry.