Yes, this is taking the whole concept of “putting the cart before the horse” to an entirely new level, but when has that ever stopped me?
To the point then: considering Disney’s “Stargirl” is planned to be an exclusive film for Disney’s not yet launched (late 2019) streaming service, is it possible for Grace to win an Oscar?
That all depends on Disney.
What does that mean?
It means that in order to qualify for Oscar consideration, the film must screen for 7 consecutive days in Los Angeles County before December 31st, 2019 and before it is released on the streaming service, though it can be released on the same day it appears in a theatre.
Will Disney ever consider doing such a thing?
That’s the real question, and it’s not an easy one to answer.
The best example of a streaming movie qualifying for an Oscar is last year’s Netflix release “Mudbound” which scored four nominations (Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, and Best Cinematography).
The release trajectory of “Mudbound”, however, was different from what has thus far been announced for “Stargirl”. While Grace’s film is being produced solely for the Disney streaming service, “Mudbound” was produced independently and made the rounds of the festival circuit before being picked up by Netflix.
The precedence, however, has been set for a streaming movie to win serious consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts.
This all brings us back to the real question, of course, as to whether or not Disney would ever consider releasing the movie to a single theatre for a week in LA county concurrent with the movies first week of availability on the streaming service?
It depends on Disney management’s perception of what does and does not dilute a movie’s release caché. After all, if it’s released to theatres (or a single theatre) it isn’t really an exclusive to the streaming service, is it (playing Devil’s advocate)?
Here’s the thing, however. If I were the team of Julia Hart and Jordan Horowitz (Director and Executive Producer of “Stargirl”, respectively) I would petition Disney management to consider the one-week release (to begin on the same day, but two hours before becoming available on the streaming platform) as a week-long series of screenings for exclusive pass holders who will have won their tickets through a fan-organized contest. The tickets will have been pre-bought by a fan club(s) as part of the co-promotion.
This way Disney can spin the screenings as merely a promotional event, meaning the film is still a publicly-exclusive release to their streaming service, while still technically (by a hair) qualifying the film for Oscar consideration.
Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not the film is strong enough to warrant all of the bother I’ve outlined above.
If the film honours the book, as all indications thus far apparently confirm, and if Grace pulls off the role of Stargirl as I feel she can, supported by a strong performance from Graham Verchere as Leo, which is likely, the film, or at worst, Grace’s performance, will have what it takes.
If the film, and Grace, could get nominated it would be a massive boon to her career, and the profile of the movie. It would ensure a huge boost in requested views on the streaming service come nomination announcement time.
Will any of those multiple conditions above ever be met? The only thing we can do is wait and see.
I’m not going to lie, crossing my fingers for an entire year will be debilitating, but I’m willing to give it a try.
This article was first posted on VanderVault’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yfl9ID8F0g&lc=UgyoDhDvUseohmUyzFp4AaABAg