Why does this matter now? Because we are just beginning the season. People like me are looking not just at the movies themselves but the undercurrents that will impact their trajectories. What kinds of shit storms will bubble up. Whose background will be exposed? Whose reputation will be ruined? How are things going to look if, say, the five hottest directors heading into the season are all maleCandyman (1992): The original movie features Virginia Madsen as Helen Lyle, a graduate student who is writing a thesis on urban legends. Her research brings her to the legend of the “Candyman” and she becomes entangled in the sadistic spirit’s vengeful plans.
That’s probably why so many are prioritizing Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog. Campion has a hell of an Oscar story. An early pioneer for female auteurs who was rendered mostly powerless in the film industry. They kind of chewed her up and spit her out as they did many talented female directors, while their male counterparts got more at-bats, even when they delivered failure after failure. Campion has the backing of Netflix, however, and thus, does not need the market to validate her place in cinema. So that puts her in pretty good stead with an Oscar story.
The next in line with a whopper of an Oscar story is Ridley Scott, who has never won an Oscar for directing. I’m going to write a separate piece about Spielberg and Scott, side by side masters of the form hitting the race at the same time but for now, let’s look at just Ridley ScottSet in 2020, Candyman: Day of the Dead sees the ghostly murderer return from the grave on the eve of the Day of the Dead. This time, he goes after an LA art gallery owner named Caroline McKeever (Donna D’Errico) who is the daughter of Annie Tarrant. Day of the Dead is considered the worst of the Candyman movies but you could still watch it, even if it’s only to complete the series.