Peter Weir's wartime drama The Way Back is premiering this weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, right at the kickoff of the fall Oscar season, but it looks like we won't see it outside of festivals until next year. Deadline reports that Newmarket Films has acquired the domestic distribution rights for the film, and plans to release it January 21.

That release date would put it outside of Oscar contention for this year, but it's still possible they'll have a one-week qualifying run in December in Los Angeles and New York to get it in there anyway. That's a move that pays off only sometimes-- it sure didn't work for Defiance a while back-- but I guess it will all depend on how the film is received at Telluride this weekend. Even though it stars Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Saoirse Ronan, The Way Back is not a guaranteed crowdpleaser, given that it follows a group of escapees from a Siberian gulag as they walk their way to freedom in Tibet. It's the kind of challenging subject matter than can result in Oscar nominations when played right--but that's only if anyone is willing to put themselves through the experience of seeing it. We'll keep an eye on Telluride this weekend and see how things go.

We tracked down a few photos and a synopsis for The Way Back a while ago, and you can check it all out here.

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