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Little by little, the 2016-17 Oscar picture is starting to come into focus. Some movies are running into serious obstacles, and other films are collecting necessary buzz for what can be a lengthy marathon of media coverage. Today, we are learning that a 2017 movie might be good enough to slide back into December 2016 -- making it eligible for the current Oscar race -- and is even planning to bring some footage to the Toronto International Film Festival, traditionally a launch pad for movie with awards aspirations.
Theodore Melfi's Hidden Figures, which recently debut its first full trailer (which I'll include below), tells the true story of three brilliant African-American women who worked at NASA in the early 1960s and helped with the mission that sent John Glenn into space. The trailer looked like the type of historical melodrama that plays very well with Academy members, and the trio of powerful actresses -- made up of Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, gave the footage an added heft that will help it on the Oscar campaign trail.
And now, THR reports that Hidden Figures is putting a bold step forward, bringing footage (but not a full-blown premiere) to September's Toronto Film Festival that will be accompanied by a live concert by Pharrell Williams and other musical artists with songs on the movie's soundtrack. The 1960s setting likely opens the door to several signature hits of the decade, and a memorable soundtrack also helps a film as it tries to compete for attention during a busy Oscar season.
Here's that trailer for Hidden Figures, which played so well with readers a few days ago.
How much faith does Fox have in Hidden Figures? The Hollywood Reporter says that even though the movie doesn't open until January 13, 2017, the studio may open it in limited release in December to make it eligible for this year's competition. The reaction to the footage in Toronto could go a long way toward determining the types of legs that Hidden Figures has, in terms of awards. At the very least, it looks like a positive and affirming historical drama that should be a showcase for three talented women.
In addition to Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures stars Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst and Aldis Hodge. We will continue to track the movie's progress as we get closer to release, and will try to attend the footage presentation in Toronto to see what all of the buzz is about.
The movie also recently released a fantastic one-sheet for the movie, which you can see on the next page.