On the opening day of the 30th Sundance Film Festival (16), founder Robert Redford cited the lack of a campaign by Roadside Attractions as a reason why JC Chandor’s All Is Lost was largely overlooked by Oscar voters.
The survival-at-sea story earned a single nomination for sound editing but in one of the biggest shocks of the day Redford himself, who earned a Golden Globe nod and was the New York Film Critics Circle’s choice for best actor this season, is not in contention for his lead performance.
“In our case we suffered from little to no distribution,” Redford said at the opening day press conference at the Egyptian Theater, noting moments earlier that the film did not cross over into the mainstream.
“And so as a result our distributors either… I don’t know why… they didn’t want to spend the money… whatever, I suspect that had something to do with it.”
Since opening in the US on October 18 All Is Lost has grossed $6.1m.
In earlier remarks Redford said, “Hollywood is what it is: it’s a business. So when these films go to be voted on, usually they’re heavily dependent on campaigns that the distributors provide. There’s a lot of campaigning that goes on and it can get very political, but that’s OK because it is a business.”
Redford went on to say: “Would it have been wonderful to be nominated? Of course. But I’m not disturbed by it or upset by it because of what I just said… So that’s what’s on my mind: the chance it gave me [to return to acting roots]. I’m really happy about it. The rest is not my business; it’s somebody else’s business. I’m fine.”
Industry observers noted that sightings of Redford on the campaign trail have been few and far between this season. By contrast Bruce Dern, who earned a lead actor nod for Nebraska, has been hard to avoid.
When contacted by ScreenDaily, Roadside Attractions co-head Howard Cohen declined to comment.
The Sundance Film Festival runs until January 26.