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Oscar Watch: Long Shots 'End of Watch,' 'Middle of Nowhere,' 'The Grey' Return to Theaters UPDATED

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 3, 2012 at 5:05PM

Open Road is reopening David Ayer's powerful must-see LA cop drama "End of Watch" for awards consideration nationally on December 7. The IFC Center is also bringing back November 30 Ava DuVernay's smart, elegantly shot and well-acted "Middle of Nowhere."
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'End of Watch'
'End of Watch'

Open Road is reopening David Ayer's powerful must-see LA cop drama "End of Watch" and Joe Carnahan's wilderness survival adventure "The Grey" for awards consideration nationally on December 7.

Ava DuVernay's smart, elegantly shot and well-acted "Middle of Nowhere" is also getting another crack at LA and NY for a one-week run. The critically lauded "Middle of Nowhere" played in limited release around the country on October 12. The film won best actress (Emayatzy Corinealdi) at the Gotham awards and earned four Indie Spirit nominations, including actress. (Here's a Q &A.) While some are hoping for an original screenplay nod for DuVernay, that's a long shot, although the film should wind up on some year-end ten-best lists.

'Middle of Nowhere"'s Emayatzy Corinealdi and Ava DuVernay
'Middle of Nowhere"'s Emayatzy Corinealdi and Ava DuVernay

Well-reviewed "End of Watch" boasts strong performances from Jake Gyllenhaal (my interview with the Broadway star is here) and Michael Pena, who earned an Indie Spirit nomination for supporting actor; Roman Vasyanov was also nominated for Best Cinematography. The film, which opened September 21 and scored an outstanding $39 million at the domestic box office, will be available via Blu-ray Combo Pack with UltraViolet as well as DVD and Digital Copy on January 22, 2013, well after Oscar nominations are announced.
 
Although Roger Ebert wrote that "Jake Gyllenhaal's image-transforming work as a very tough cop in David Ayer's 'End of Watch' may help the film win a Best Picture slot," the movie still has a tough slog to get there unless critics groups give it a boost in the next weeks.

The same is true of "Middle of Nowhere," which has less money behind it, as well as "The Grey," which features a standout performance by Liam Neeson and opened to number one back in January 2012, taking in over $50 million at the U.S. box office. Open Road is making both films accessible for free admission to members of AMPAS, ACE, ADG, ASC, BAFTA, CAS, DGA, HFPA, MPEG, MPSE, PGA, SAG NOM COM, WGA.  

 Screeners of all three films have gone out to various groups.

This article is related to: The Grey, Middle Of Nowhere, End of Watch, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jake Gyllenhaal, End of Watch, Joe Carnahan, Liam Neeson, Michael Peña


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.