Searchlight was the darling of the awards season last year with both The Wrestler and Slumdog Millionaire. Given the lukewarm response to this year’s one-time hopeful Amelia, says the Risky Business blog, the outfit may now be putting its muscle behind Crazy Heart, the country-music drama starring Jeff Bridges.
Searchlight does have another serious awards-season contender in (500) Days of Summer, a candidate for an original screenplay nod. And, in the mind of The Big Picture blog, the studio must be betting that Bridges -- perennially one of Hollywood's most-underrated actors -- could land some best actor nominations.
Crazy Heart marks Scott Cooper's directional debut. The film is based on Thomas Cobb's novel and centers on a washed-up country singer who gets his life back on track thanks to the help of a female reporter, and a close but complicated relationship with a younger country star.
Company reps, BIZ says, aren't formally confirming that there's a calendar move or awards-push in the offing, but given how much Searchlight has been a fixture on the Oscar circuit the past few years -- and how high expectations are for this film, which execs have been buzzing about for several months -- it would almost be odd if they didn't.
TBP reports that sources say Searchlight is planning a limited Dec. 11 release in Los Angeles and New York before taking the film wider early next year.