In a development reminiscent of Jeff Bridges’ last-minute entrance into the awards season with Crazy Heart last year, Halle Berry is now poised to try to shake up this season’s Best Actress race. As Pete Hammond over at Deadline.com first reported, Berry’s drama Frankie & Alice will get an Oscar-qualifying release on December 17 courtesy of Freestyle Releasing. In the film, costarring Stellan Skarsgard, Berry plays a woman with multiple personality disorder. I’m told by people who’ve seen the film that one of her character’s personas, fascinatingly, is a racist white woman. The movie showed at the Cannes film market back in May but has only now announced distribution.
At this point, Berry isn’t as much of a slam dunk as Bridges was. Crazy Heart had undeniable buzz and the power of Fox Searchlight in its corner. Freestyle, on the other hand, is a much smaller distributor without the resources of a company like Searchlight. Despite strong reviews for Christian McKay’s performance in Me and Orson Welles last year, the outfit wasn’t able to score him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. But in the right role, Berry is certainly a force to be reckoned with, so I’m not counting her out.
Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for more Oscar news.