'The Founder' Trailer: Michael Keaton's McDonald's Biopic Kicks Off Its Awards Qualifying Run Today

Michael Keaton's Oscar chances just got ever-so-slightly better. The Weinstein Company has just announced that it will put The Founder into theaters starting today for an awards-qualifying release. Directed by John Lee Hancock, the biopic tells the story of Ray Kroc, the enterprising businessman who turned McDonald's from a humble local operation into a global billion-dollar empire. Get details on The Founder awards qualifying run, and check out the new The Founder trailer, below.

The Weinstein Company has announced that The Founder will kick off a one-week run at the Arclight Hollywood starting today, December 7. Those in other cities will have to wait a while longer to see it, however, as the national rollout is still planned for January 20, 2017. Here's a synopsis:

THE FOUNDER, directed by John Lee Hancock (THE BLIND SIDE, SAVING MR. BANKS), features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Writer Robert Siegel (THE WRESTLER) details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire. The film also stars Laura Dern as Ray Kroc's first wife Ethel; Linda Cardellini as his second wife Joan Smith; John Carroll Lynch as Mac McDonald and Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald.

And here's a trailer:

The Founder has had a weird and winding road to the big screen. Originally, it was scheduled for the awards-friendly date of November 25. However, The Weinstein Company then decided it wanted to put Dev Patel's Lion in that slot instead, so it moved The Founder to August 5. Then, at the last minute, The Weinstein Company decided a summer debut wasn't quite right either and postponed The Founder to January 20, 2017. At the time, the word was it'd get a limited release starting around December 16. But we didn't hear about the film again until today, when The Weinstein Company issued a press release confirming The Founder is in theaters, like, now.

While there could be any number of reasons The Weinstein Company has been so wishy-washy on their release strategy for The Founder, the one they picked does not exactly instill confidence. Maybe they don't think the movie is good. Maybe they do think it's good, but don't think it'll make money. Or maybe they like The Founder just fine, but have been so busy pushing Lion for awards attention that they forgot they also had The Founder on their to-do list. Who knows.

For what it's worth, early word on the film has been mixed. Variety was a fan, calling it "a glowingly crafted, smartly acted film [that] largely holds the cheese." The Hollywood Reporter was more conflicted, and didn't much seem to care for its "wishy-washy" tonal shifts. And ScreenCrush seemed entirely unimpressed, sniffing that the film "offers very few insights, and has no apparent point beyond mythologizing the early days of a company that doesn't exactly need assistance in the self-mythologizing department." But I suppose you don't need us to tell you what everyone else thinks — if you live in LA, you can go out and see for yourself right now.