Three years ago Summit Entertainment surmounted considerable odds -- a 17-month viewing window, a Goliath "game changer," low box office numbers that became the story -- to claim the Best Picture prize for Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker." It was a pretty significant moment. The house that "Twilight" built had secured the industry's highest honor.
Things have changed a bit since then. Obviously, the biggest event has been Lionsgate's acquisition of the company, which yielded plenty of personnel changes. But in the frame of awards season, Summit has been there when it had the goods. Last year brought "50/50," a near-Oscar player that had a good time at the Independent Spirit Awards, and summer release "A Better Life," which brought a surprising Best Actor nomination for star Demián Bichir. This year, they have another one-two punch, a pair of films that couldn't be more different but that nevertheless showcase strong directorial voices.