Ever since the announcement last September, I could not figure out for the life of me why Fox was releasing Hitchcock this year, right after The Sessions played at TIFF. I think I've figured it out.
They don't have faith in the picture.
The Session, from what I've read is a drama with comedic scenes, but that does not seem the case, judging by the trailer. Fox has not picked up another Little Miss Sunshine. If I ever get around to seeing The Sessions, there's a chance I might like it more than LMS.
Right now though, The Sessions deals with a great thing for the Academy, and another taboo. Let's get the baity thing out of the way, and that is disability. From a stutter (I'm looking at you, The King's Speech,), to autism (Rain Man), to paralysis (The Academy ate up Diving Bell and the Butterfly,despite it being very French and very abstract,). Since The Sessions deals with a paralyzed poet, it has an advantage going in because of it's themes with disability.
But, The Sessions loses it all when you know this one thing: it's about sex.
Not entirely, but in a way, since the paralyzed poet is trying to lose his V-card. Sex is taboo in the Academy, or at least it currently is. Shame was chopped from getting anything at the Oscars last year, despite the Golden Globes and critics groups. I think even though Fox Searchlight nabbed this film about sex, it might befall the same fate Shame befell last year.
Fox is hoping for a few more nominations by releasing Hitchcock this year. Beasts of the Southern Wild might be too abstract for the Academy, a la Tree of Life. Also, Hitchcock just might be able to get some acting nods in general, since Beasts is ineligible for SAG.
Fox is going to need promote two films at SAG this season, The Sessions, an example of towering indie cinema, or Hitchcock, a film with more star power than one can imagine.