The Weinstein Company has surrendered to the power of the Force. Perhaps a little wary of opening on Dec. 18 — the same day as Star Wars: The Force Awakens — the studio has moved the release date of Todd Haynes’ lesbian romance Carol up one month to Nov. 20.
Set to start in limited release, the 1950s drama starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett will nonetheless still face a blockbuster behemoth in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2, which also opens on the same day.
However, it’s a smart strategy by the distributor. The smaller-scale and subtle Carol is obvious counter-programming to wider-audience movies like Star Wars or The Hunger Games, and will benefit from the extra month of good buzz in the compressed awards season, where it may very likely become a key player. November is also a good time for TWC in general: The King’s Speech (Nov. 26), The Artist (Nov. 25), Silver Linings Playbook (Nov. 16), Philomena (Nov. 22) and The Imitation Game (Nov. 28) all opened in limited release during the month, and each scored a Best Picture nomination. (The King’s Speech and The Artist would go on to win the Academy Award in that category.)
Carol has been finished since the spring, when it premiered to universal raves at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Mara won the jury’s Best Actress prize (she actually shared it with French actress Emmanuelle Bercot for Mon Roi).
Check out two clips from Carol here and stay tuned for more information about the film.