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‘A Monster Calls’ Gets a New Oscar-Friendly Release Date

A Monster Calls
Focus Features

With the overwhelmingly positive reception its fantastical trailers have gotten, and days before J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Focus Features has moved the film’s release date from October to December, possibly to give it a better chance at competing during awards season.

A Monster Calls will have a limited 10-city release on December 23 before going wide on January 6. It’s a given that December releases are the most likely to be Oscar contenders  studios opt to release their best (or most Oscar bait-y) films at the end of the year, probably so that they’re fresh in the minds of the judges. Sometimes summer blockbusters like Mad Max: Fury Road slip through the cracks, and favorites of festivals like Cannes usually make it onto the list, but a December release is a good bet for an award nomination.

It’ll be going up against blockbusters like Rogue One and Assassin’s Creed, and more Oscar-friendly fare, such as the musical comedy La La Land, which just debuted at the Venice Film Festival. But a story about a boy trying to deal with his mother’s illness, who meets a giant Groot-like friendly monster that becomes his companion might be a refreshing change from what theaters usually get in December, providing a low-stakes, self-contained family film that’s sure to be a tear-jerker.

A Monster Calls stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson as the monster. You can check out the trailer below.

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