Adam Sandler‘s Oscar campaign continues to appear. The comedy icon is set to receive one of two performer tributes at this year’s Gotham Awards, Vanity Fair you have confirmed. (It was previously announced that the other would be given to Michelle Williams, a strong best-actress player for The Fabelmans.) It’s but the latest boon to Sandler’s surprisingly robust campaign: The hustle star has really been getting out there this fall following the basketball drama’s well-received spring release, gracing the cover of AARP, coming to Vanity Fair‘s Little Gold Men podcast for a candid interview, and taking part in receptions and Q&As everywhere from West Hollywood to Santa Barbara. He also just headed down to Newport Beach to accept the inaugural performance-of-the-year award at that city’s film festival. All told, this is arguably the most concerted solo campaign effort we’ve ever seen from him in his long, varied career.
“Adam Sandler’s spectacular performances across some of the most popular films of the past three decades have inspired the community of filmmakers that we represent here at the Gotham time and time again,” Jeffrey Sharp, executive director of the Gotham Film & Media Institute, said in a statement. “Adam has proven that he is a brilliant talent who can deliver genuine heart and hilarious comedy in any role. Whether creating absurdly specific characters, telling jokes, or singing clever songs that we all know and love, Adam Sandler is the consummate performer who has brought immeasurable joy to audiences throughout the world. It’s an honor to name him a recipient of the performer tribute for the 32nd annual Gotham Awards.”
The Gotham Awards’ tribute prizes are typically given to strong incoming Oscar contenders. Recipients in the last three years alone include spencer‘s Kristen Stewart, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom‘s Viola Davis and late Chadwick Boseman, and Marriage Story‘s Laura Dern, all of whom went on to contend for Academy Awards, with Dern ultimately winning. Hustle, made by Netflix for a reported $21 million, is a small-scale film that still doesn’t fall into the Gothams’ parameters of eligibility—the New York-based indie-film awards do not consider high-budget studio projects. But as with Stewart or Dern, this kind of recognition fast-tracks a big moment onstage regardless.
I’ve heard Netflix has been taking a close look at the relatively thin best-actor field after disappointing recent bows for the streamer’s own Bard and whitenoise, Sony Pictures Classics’ The Son, and 20th Century’s Amsterdam. Sandler, who recently neared his first Oscar nomination with Josh and benny safdie‘s kinetic thriller Uncut Gems, is jockeying for a career nomination slot alongside other potential first-time nominees, including The Whale‘s Brendan Fraser, The Banshees of Inisherin‘s Colin Farrell, and Living room‘s Bill Nighty. It may not be the most stacked race, as best actress is turning out to be, but if Sandler keeps up the momentum with these other candidates, it may just wind up being the most fun.
Nominations for the Gotham Awards will be announced Tuesday, and the ceremony takes place in New York on November 28.
This article has been updated.