To the Editor:
Compare the situations of "Defiance" and "Inglourious Basterds": One is based on a true story, one is (politely) pure nonsense; one was given limited distribution and little studio hype in support of Oscar candidacy, one received wide distribution and seemingly limitless expensive studio hype in support of Oscar candidacy. Why?
A few guesses: "Defiance" was around at the same time as "The Reader." Maybe it felt unseemly to compete with a another "Holocaust movie," although "The Reader," like "Inglourious Basterds," is complete fiction.
Perhaps more important, "Defiance" had the misfortune of being released during the Gaza conflict. Was it feared that strong promotion of a true story about Jews defending themselves in the 1940s might be seen as support for Jews defending themselves in the second half of the first decade of the 21st century?