Why Won't Sony Classics Support an Oscar Campaign for Moon?
by Alex Billington
January 1, 2010
If you're a die-hard supporter of the petition for Sam Rockwell to be nominated for Best Actor for Moon, then you probably already know all about this. But for the rest of you out there that aren't following director Duncan Jones on Twitter, this should (hopefully) come as shocking and surprising news. On Wednesday this week, Jones wrote a few short tweets expressing his dissatisfaction with the way Sony Pictures Classics (the US distributor of Moon) is handling the Oscar campaign (or lack thereof) for Moon. Most notably they never sent out screeners of the movie to Academy members, which has pretty much killed its Oscar chances.
Jones said a few minor things, but the impact his complaints have had is tremendous. Here's what he said:
“We have more than asked… we've knocked heads. They have chosen the films they are backing & we are not in their plans."
"They say it costs too much for our little film as they would need to be water-marked copies as our DVD isn't out yet in the US."
As any smart Blu-Ray addict knows, Moon is already out on Blu-Ray in the UK completely region free. In fact, I imported a copy of that exact Blu-Ray and watched it a few weeks ago. Since writing those tweets, the web has become riled up in support of Jones, Rockwell, and Moon, and in opposition of Sony Pictures Classics (and this isn't the first time that's happened). Sites like SlashFilm, Film School Rejects, We Are Movie Geeks, and Geeks of Doom have all written brilliant articles in support of Jones. Even the industry rag Hollywood Reporter chimed in on all the buzz on Wednesday. But will it make a difference?
I would absolutely love to see Rockwell even at least get nominated. And if that happens, we'll know that it was the fans who were responsible for that achievement, not Sony Pictures Classics (since they're obviously not giving Moon an Oscar capmaign). This is incredibly sad and quite disheartening to hear, especially since Moon deserves all the acclaim it can get (it's one of this year's best sci-fi films). Sure, SPC has a lot of Oscar caliber films to support (like An Education and Un Prophete and The White Ribbon), but Moon is right up there with the rest of them. In fact, I'd say it might even be better than some of those films they're pushing.
So what can you do if you want to support Moon and Sam Rockwell and Duncan Jones? Well, you can follow Duncan on Twitter, read his website for updates, sign the petition, and join the rally in support of the movie. It's not going to help to complain, but it is going to help if Moon continues to gain more and more support from fans. And if all goes to plan, we'll hopefully see Duncan Jones' name in the nominees for Best Actor on February 2nd when the nominations are announced. Until then, I suggest seeing Moon as soon as you can.
Reader Feedback - 24 Comments
ALEX, FIRST OFF, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Second, I wanna thank you for this article. I had NO idea Sam Rockwell's performance was being ignored by The Academy. I knew he didn't receive the Golden Globe nomination, but I was hoping to give The Academy the benefit of the doubt. I recall back in 2007, when Marion Cortillard did not win the Golden Globe for Best Actress, I had my faith in The Academy that she would win the Oscar, and she did. I only hope that this year, Sam Rockwell wins it too. He truly was my favorite performance of the year, above Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker, above Colin Firth in A Single Man, above Thirst, and above Morgan Freeman in Invictus. Just for your viewing, this is the personal letter I wrote for the petition:: >>> >>> I rarely ever watch trailers for Indie projects. I hear what they're about, and I go watch them. Most of the time, I'm more than impressed by the picture I end up viewing. One of my favorite foreign films, besides Pan's Labyrinth, is LA VIE EN ROSE. When I saw that movie in the Summer of 2007, I was flabbergasted and astonished by how beautiful of a film it was. When the Oscar season came around, I wanted it to win Best Picture on top of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and THERE WILL BE BLOOD. When I saw MOON earlier this year, I was just as impressed. The Hurt Locker, Un Prophete, An Education, The White Ribbon, Thirst, and 500 Days Of Summer have all been incredibly moving pictures, but MOON impressed me the most. I vote for Jeremy Renner to be nominated for his performance in THE HURT LOCKER... But I vote for SAM ROCKWELL to win the oscar for Best Lead Actor. The film spans an original sci-fi tale, and Sam Rockwell is a man who plays more than one character, but all three characters are exactly the same man, only reacting in different ways because of their different timelines, and it's ingenious. Once I had figured out the plot halfway through the film, I fell in love with it. Of all the performances this year, Sam Rockwell's was by far the best. I have to say, an ordinary actor cannot take a role where he plays three versions of the same person, with the same mentality, the same psyche, the same environment, interacting with one another, and actually do an impeccable job. Sam Rockwell did. I vote for this film to be nominated for Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Director, and above all, Best Actor. The screenplay and story were original and properly structured. The art direction, although low-budget, did an incredible job with the vehicles, the pods, the multiple rooms, the recreational areas, and the companion robot with the smiley faces. That was creative! The directing took the script and brought it to life, brought three characters out of one and made them flow with one another properly. And Sam Rockwell took that direction to heart and gave not only the best performance of the year, but the best performance of his career to date. In my top 20 films of the decade, from 2000 to 2009, I put MOON on my list because of the amazing performance by every facet of that film. It would be shameful, dishonorable, disrespectful, vile, and utterly cruel to ignore this film from the Oscar season. Twenty, thirty, fifty, eighty years from now, when people look back on the great films that shaped the movies they are watching then, I would like to believe they can research the Oscar nominees and winners, and find an asterisk by Sam Rockwell's name. He deserves it.
Van Castle on Jan 1, 2010
Sam deserves one. What a shame.
In-Rainbows on Jan 1, 2010
That's a goddamn tragedy. Shame on Sony Pictures Classics for brushing off an easy contender for Best Picture.
Ragweed on Jan 1, 2010
If it wasn't for the internet, I wouldn't even know this movie existed. I still haven't had the chance to watch it, but I have wanted to ever since I saw the trailer for it. It didn't play at my local theater. If a company is this incompetent that they won't even let people know about their product, and won't even release the DVD of it (in the U.S.), or try to at least help a movie "maybe" get nominated for an award, then they deserve to fail (not the movie, but the distributor). Hopefully this will be a red flag to other film makers to use someone else besides Sony Pictures Classics.
Brad on Jan 1, 2010
Sony Pictures Classics actually released “Moon” theatrically on behalf for its right owner Stage 6 (a direct-to-DVD movie label of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group) http://images.blu-ray.com/movies/covers/7728_back.jpg “Moon” is lucky to get US theatrical release (almost all of Stage 6’s movies went direct-to-DVD) ; Duncan Jones couldn’t ask for more.
JJJ on Jan 1, 2010
Dear Duncan, You should not take all the praise to heart for a first film. I got the buzz and went to see your film in an art theatre in Austin, and found the work a good first try, but not up to the buzz, and certainly not Oscar worthy. I thought it a decent entertainment, but it did not last in my consciousness, and was gone from memory the next day. It was not memorable, like 2001 or other Sci-Fi to which Moon is being compared. I do think you are capable of better work, but this is not your Oscar. Keep at it, you will get there. bp
floman on Jan 1, 2010
To snub this movie is appalling! It's a great movie. It actually has an original story-line; as opposed to the same story with different characters, different set, different time frame, etc. I loved it. The twist at the end ... oh my god! While I was watching it, I was trying to figure out where it was going and how it would conclude. I couldn't figure it out and that, I loved! I think it's sad and just plain wrong for this movie to be treated this way. I come to the website 4 times a week, on average. I am a movie buff and this is where I get my movie news from. This site is what turned me on to "MOON". When I saw the trailer, I was excited to see it. When it was officially release, I learned that it was NOT showing here in ATL. I was PISSED OFF! LOL However, it came here the following week and I had no idea. I was just perusing the papers looking for something to watch and BAM (!) it was here, showing at a small twin cinema. I can't wait to buy the DVD.
Khalil on Jan 1, 2010
Though it does suck Rockwell wont get what he deserves, news like this (if it spreads) will maybe make other studios and directors recognize his talent more. This could be a starting point for a nice career for him in the next decade.
Cody on Jan 1, 2010
This is ridiculous.. Moon is the best movie of the year! I signed the petition already!
Robbie on Jan 1, 2010
Besides Roy Schider in Iron Cross and Waltz in Basterds, Rockwell's acting was the best. The movie wasn't my favorite film of the year, but deserves a nomination over Precious and An Education, which are both considering definites.
Al on Jan 1, 2010
you are all buffoons ^
loci on Jan 1, 2010
This movie should have it's share of the Oscars it was a really great movie that i didn't only enjoy it myself but as far as i am aware everyone watched that movie loved it. Sam should have the Oscars for this one anyway.
Fisherr on Jan 1, 2010
Completely agree with the sentiments already expressed. One point though, the copy of Moon you linked to on the Amazon UK site is region coded to region 2 - just in case anyone from the US wanted to import it.
Bash on Jan 1, 2010
Great Movie, watched it this morning actually. Probably one of the best films I've seen this year. hough I haven't seen Avatar or District 9 yet.
Kris on Jan 1, 2010
although i do not think Rockwell deserves even a nomination for Moon I do think it deserves a nomination for Original Screenplay and its a damn shame its getting shafted because the movie was amazing.
DoomCanoe on Jan 1, 2010
so its great and all that its out in the UK but that just sucks, being in the US and all does anyone know when its comeing state side
rowdy on Jan 1, 2010
This is a great Sci-Fi movie, at a $5million budget makes it even more amazing. It would have been better imo, with 100% realistic CGI, and not at say 90-95% realistic as in this gem of a film. Bad or lacking CGI ticks me off. All minature work in the film is ace. But if u are looking for fault in a diamond, you will find it, its all about what grade of fault, and me only picking on the CGI that could have been better shows this is a truly great Sci-Fi film. Rockwell is a marvel in this role. I only wish it would have been a even more over the edge preformance, but what one can do on the moon is limited. A sweet thing for filmlovers and collectors is that BluRay region codes are a myth, imo. Sony as an example, 80% are region free, 20% are region A on US releases. If a BluRay comes out in the US, it does not mean it is region A locked. I buy my films from all over the world, but before I order, I check on this site: http://bluray.liesinc.net/ or at: http://www.axelmusic.com/ On the top of this page you can choose Region A, Region B, Region C, further down you can type in your search. Easy as pie. Now, you might go to sites like http://www.play.com and see that this movie is "locked to region B", that is a default line they have on all films they sell, might even be some law that tells them to do so. Check with the site mentioned above before you order a BluRay from abroad. If you can wait, Moon will be released on January 12th in the US on BluRay
David Banner on Jan 1, 2010
moon was an oustanding movie, its was just plain good sci fi and it deserves some mainstream recognition one other things though, at the ends its written "we'll hopefully see Duncan Jones' name in the nominees for Best Actor on February 2nd" I do believe it was starring Sam Rockwell with Duncan Jones directing/writing
Janny on Jan 1, 2010
This film was a total surprise for me. The plot is like something from The Outer Limits or Science Fiction Theatre, but the execution is perfect and Sam Rockwell makes you believe it. On the other hand, I can see Sony's point. Time and time again we've seen sci-fi and horror films snubbed in the major awards categories. They can win the technical awards, but the Oscar voters don't seem to be able to appreciate the acting and directing of such films. Heck, Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar and he's one of the best directors who ever lived! Spielberg won for a Holocaust film, not for any of his sci-fi films. Star Wars is one of the most popular films of all time, and Annie Hall beat it for best picture. So I can see Sony doesn't want to waste its money. As for not wanting to send out DVD screeners, the film is already available on the Internet so it's a little late to be concerned about that!
Dan Zee on Jan 2, 2010
I watched Up in The Air over the weekend... If Clooney gets nominated for best actor and Sam Rockwell doesn't there is something seriously wrong with the academy. Moon was an overall better movie and Rockwell delivered a much better performance with a character(s) far more complex than that of Clooney's. Clooney just played himself it seemed like to me, Hollywood just needs to get off people like Clooney's knob.
JB on Jan 4, 2010
"Moon" was one the best movies of 2009. Rockwell should be nominated, his performance was outstanding.
Steve on Jan 4, 2010
Meanwhile those of us who admire the movie should vote for it in every Movie of the Year opinion poll we see (e.g. http://www.filmoftheyear.co.uk/votelistfilmofthyear.php).
ville on Jan 4, 2010
Why won't Sony support an Oscar campaign for Moon? Because they know it sucks. The film doesn't deserve anything. Sam Rockwell doesn't deserve any nomination, he's always the same arrogant character. This film is forgettable and will fade into obscurity in the coming years.
SlashBeast on Jan 9, 2010
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