Johnny Depp: Pirates star shock Oscar hopes rise | Films | Entertainment

Johnny Depp (yes, that really is him in the main picture) has been praised for a powerful and moving performance that is being called “his best in years.” Minamata has had a troubled road to cinemas, and was only released in the US this month. The actor was disappointed when 2015’s Black Mass didn’t make much impression on awards season and would have hoped that his latest hard-hitting indie biopic would generate attention for his bold performance – as well as for the movie’s true-life subject matter. When its release date was repeatedly delayed, the director publicly blasted MGM, accusing the studio of sabotaging the film over Depp’s public fall from grace.

Minamata premiered in 2020 and was originally scheduled for a February 2021 release before being delayed again and again In July last year director Andrew Levitas accused MGM of trying to “bury the film.” The studio simply announced that the date was “TBA.”

The film recounts the true story of how reclusive US investigative photojournalist W Eugene Smith is lured back by Life magazine to do a report on a horrifying cases of mercury poisoning in Japan, linked to industrial pollution. 

Depp is completely transformed for the role and gives a moving and reserved performance seven seas away from his more famous turns in Pirates of the Caribbean or Fantastic Beasts.

The late release has meant the film has not been picked up by the main Awards Season circuit, however a brand new category at the Oscars has given fresh hope – and fans are determined to see a happy ending for their idol.

This year, the Academy has decided to inaugurate a Fan Favourite best film winner, voted for by the public. The competition will run alongside the traditional nominations and categories. Any film on the Academy’s 2022 list is eligible. 

A huge fan campaign has already started with the message that “a vote for Minamata is a vote for Johnny Depp.”

So how can fans vote for an Oscar for Minamata and Johnny Depp?

Voting is already open and fans have until March 3. Each person can cast up to 20 votes a day either on Twitter using the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite or direct on the official Academy Fan Favourite page.

An early rush of votes were cast for the Zack Snyder Justice League film, but fans should note that any director’s cut of a previous film is not eligible.

At the moment the Camilla Cabello Cinderella reboot on Amazon Prime is reported to be out in front, with Tom Holland’s box-office dominating Spider-Man: No way Home in hot pursuit.

But word has started to spread about Minamata and Depp’s dedicated fan base is hard at work to see victory for the actor.

The results will be announced at the main Academy Awards on March 28. As if supporting their favourite star isn’t motivation enough, fans have added incentives in the form of some impressive prizes.

Everyone who tweets their votes will be eligible to win one of the three Grand Prizes. Each winner will receive a three-day trip for themselves and one guest (who must be 21 years of age or older) to attend the 2023 95th Academy Awards. Each winner will also be a guest presenter at the 95th Academy Awards.

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