What a mess: Paramount's reshuffling of 2008 awards bait including Defiance and The Soloist — the latter of which now won't open until next March — has left devastated Oscar watchers (including us) tossing out their carefully wrought Trophynomics™ calculations for the fall movies season. Few are more dismayed than the DreamWorks gang, whose hopes that The Soloist might at least cover the cost of hiring movers were met with the reality check that the 'Mount has more important, Brad Pitt-y things to do before year's end. We think this, along with other traumatic developments elsewhere over the last week, calls for an all-new Oscar scorecard; start over with us after the jump.So who's in and who's out? · The Soloist: OUT. The move to March 13 stings for everyone, especially with millions in marketing dollars already being spent ahead of the Jamie Foxx/Robert Downey Jr. drama's Nov. 21 release. Both men were on the bubble for actor nominations — Foxx as a schizophrenic cellist and RDJ as the journalist who chronicles his feel-good recovery journey — but Paramount's new conservatism (i.e. an intern hiding Brad Grey's checkbook) means it only has so many in-house resources to lend to its fall releases. The studio's semi-official insistence that the shifts have nothing to do with the film's quality or favoring its homegrown Benjamin Button and Scott Rudin/DreamWorks offering Revolutionary Road, but that's bullshit. It's not 2006 anymore; nobody can afford all this prestige at once.
· Defiance: IN. Barely. Paramount inherited the WWII-era Daniel Craig drama from its lopped-off Vantage arm; but unlike The Soloist, the studio didn't have it on its Oscar-season books until earlier this year. Pushed back from Dec. 12, it'll still get a qualifying run in New York and L.A. before opening wide on Jan. 16 — sort of an afterthought treatment that won't likely sit well with director/producer and biennial Oscar bridesmaid Ed Zwick, but hey: There's always the ShowEast Kodak Award. Congrats again, Ed! And while we're at it, let's not forget the neglected Weinstein and MGM family: · The Road: OUT. As noted yesterday, the Weinsteins took it back from MGM only to nudge it from Nov. 14 to an undisclosed release date in December. It's not finished, and the Weinsteins can't promote it; we foresee this one left wailing on someone's doorstep in a basket some time in mid-2009. · The Reader: IN. It's apparently back on the Weinstein Web site, and Bob Weinstein thinks it's "terrific"! And now without Defiance to contend with, Harvey's Folly may actually have a shot at an audience on Dec. 12. Oscars, though? We're not so sure. · Valkyrie: IN. Even the MGM Tower receptionist is pulling her weight on the campaign these days. If gold had a smell, Valkyrie would reek.