The Oscar race just got a little less crowded. According to the Los Angeles Times, George Clooney's The Monuments Men has been pushed back to 2014, instead of its planned release on Dec. 18, which would've been right in time for awards season. The World War II drama, directed, co-written and starring Clooney and featuring a cast that includes Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett, was long considered an Oscar favorite. The new release date now makes it ineligible for the race, but it was a necessary move in order to ensure the quality of the movie, said Clooney.
"If any of the effects looked cheesy, the whole movie would look cheesy," he said. "We simply don't have enough people to work enough hours to finish it."
Clooney and co-producer Heslov arrived in London a day ago to work on the film's score, and they quickly realized finishing the movie in time would be impossible. They asked Sony and Columbia for an extension and received the studios' blessings a few hours later.
"All we've ever said, from the very beginning, is that we wanted to make a commercial, non-cynical piece of entertainment," Clooney said.
He continued: "We're really happy to buy ourselves a month. I can't tell you how relieved we are."
That's good news for Clooney and Heslov, but it's disappointing for audiences who had hoped to see the best-looking cast of all time on-screen before the end of the year. Still, we understand the call. Judging from its trailers, The Monuments Men looks too good to risk messing up. Clooney and Heslov should take all the time they need.
Now that the movie's pushed back, the whole Oscar race just got a lot more interesting. The Monuments Men was a strong candidate for Best Picture and Best Director, and had reasonable shots of getting nominations for Best Actor (Clooney), several Best Supporting Actors (Goodman, Murray, and Jean Dujardin), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Clooney and Heslov). It's surely a disappointment for everyone but Clooney — the actor still has a decent chance of scoring nods for his supporting role in Gravity and for producing August: Osage County (the man had a busy year). It's doubtful he's too upset over the loss — he's probably too busy rapping with Sandra Bullock and photobombing celebrities to care, anyway. Or so we imagine.