Monday, September 14, 2015

Oliver Stone's "Snowden" Release Date is Delayed

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
There's an off chance that you were probably excited about the upcoming release of director Oliver Stone's Snowden biopic. With the date scheduled for Christmas Day, the story would follow the life of the notorious Edward Snowden, as played by Joseph Gordon Levitt. With a strong cast, it looked to be one of the most promising films of the Fall season. Even with a lackluster teaser trailer, it could have been something particularly great as sticking with the director's best work. However, the wait will be a little longer now, as Stone has announced that there will be a delay to the film. Is this good or bad? Nothing is sure yet.

There's a strong chance that you saw director Lauren Poitras' moving documentary Citizenfour. It won Best Documentary at this year's Oscars. It may have not been the most stylistically exciting, but it does feature candid interviews with Edward Snowden on the days leading up to the NSA hack that changed our public understanding of safety. If you haven't seen it, I recommend filling the down time until Snowden comes out with seeing it. If nothing else, it will give you a better understanding of Snowden the individual and allow you to formulate your own opinions on the subject.

I will admit that there's a part of me that was excited about Snowden. I don't know that Stone has the biting power that he once did, but I think that he can bring his A game when it comes to specific subjects. Having won Best Picture for his surreal Vietnam War film Platoon, he has made a career out of pushing political buttons. While his most recent film Savages may have been a little too disconnected at points, I still find faith in Snowden's potential. Contrary to general opinion, his take on George W. Bush in W. was very intriguing and had plenty of good moments, even if the "still in office" nature of the release meant that it inevitably had moments that felt premature.

There is no released news on when Snowden will see the light of day. It could be months, or possibly over a year until we next hear from it. I do predict that it will be an Oscars contender next fall, especially with 2016 being a big political election period in America. Snowden's work is politically charged as it is, so I do think the move is trying to soak free publicity off of that. Again, I am not entirely sure why the film will be delayed, but I do think that there's something "timely" that will be put into the campaign when it does come out. I don't see this as a first half of the year release, if just because of the attitudes we share towards films out during that time.

With one film out of the discussion circle, it's time to look at what's left. On Christmas Day, we have a lot of strong Oscar contenders. There's still Joy, The Hateful Eight, and the production nightmare that is The Revenant (which, if the stories keep up, may be the next to bow out). It does make it a little bit of a relief to not have such a dour and politically charged movie open on that day. However, it means that the race will be altered a little. Who knows how everyone else will stand now. I think that they definitely stand a stronger chance without it. With film festivals also starting to take shape of the Fall season, I do think that we may be entering a very interesting Oscar season.

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