When it comes to getting attention for your movie in a very crowded fall festival season, two tactics rarely go wrong: casting a very famous pop star and winning an award. And in September, the Prime Video release My Policeman is going to try both. with Harry Styles in the ensemble cast in his largest dramatic role to date, the movie was always going to cause a stir with its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And now Styles and his castmates—including Emma Corrin and Rupert Everett—are set to receive TIFF’s Tribute Award for performance, presented during a gala fundraiser on September 11.
It means that Styles is guaranteed to be in Toronto causing traffic jams, just days after he’ll presumably do the same with the premiere of Don’t Worry Darling at the Venice Film Festival. But it also raises interesting questions about what a Harry Styles Oscar season might look like, provided either of his films is well received. The most recent model is a pretty tough act to follow: Lady Gaga made what was essentially her feature film debut in 2018’s A Star Is Born, earning a best-actress Oscar nomination, winning the original-song award, and minting herself as Hollywood royalty in the process. But Styles seems to be following a potentially quieter path. By all appearances, Florence Pugho is the lead of Don’t Worry Darling, with Styles fitting in as part of the ensemble. And in My Policeman, as discussed in our recent book club episode, he’s playing the frustratingly opaque center of a love triangle, suggesting that it might be his costars Corrin and David Dawson doing the flashiest work. As we learned when his film debut was as a grunt soldier in the sprawling dunkirk, Styles seems to be taking the slow-and-steady route to movie stardom—if, in fact, that’s what he has in mind at all.
On this week’s Little Gold Men podcast, the hosts discuss the potential for Styles’s big movie breakthrough and what the award for My Policeman tells us about a very ambitious TIFF lineup. They also discuss a few bits of recent awards news, including Janet Yang‘s election as the president of the Academy and Kenan Thompson getting tapped to host the Emmys, as well as the continuing confusion around HBO Max and the future of Warner Bros.
The episode ends with the next installation of our book club series, with Vanity Fair editor in chief Radhika Jones joining to discuss She Said, the book by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey about their landmark Harvey Weinstein investigation. As an editor and newspaper veteran, Radhika is particularly fond of how the book lays out the process of investigative reporting—but as the group discusses, the impact of their reporting was particularly seismic, and the book is a reminder of just how hard it was to predict how the story would be received. Set to be adapted into a film directed by Maria Schrader and starring Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan, She Said could be a particularly interesting moment of truth for Hollywood, where the impact of Weinstein’s awful behavior is still being felt today.
Listen to this week’s Little Gold Men above, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you get your podcasts. You can also sign up to text with us at Subtext—we’d love to hear from you. Please join us for next week’s book club, during which we’ll be discussing Bones & All, soon to be a movie from Luca Guadagnino.