Art imitating life happens fairly often. On occasion, art will, inadvertently, imitate current events just a little too closely. If those current events are negative, highly visible and the public’s reaction is emotionally charged, the result is sometimes poor timing to display the art.
That’s exactly what has happened to Miramax’s Gone Baby Gone. According to this Sky News article the film’s UK debut has been delayed because the story resembles the case of the missing McCann girl much too closely for anyone’s comfort.
Some may argue the case’s worldwide publicity in the news could be a bonanza for the film, and the studio should strike while the iron is hot and put it in theaters now. I could only imagine the controversy and backlash that would create. I think Miramax made the right decision. Call it sensitivity, call it savvy business sense. As Michael pointed out in his recent post, there is such a thing as bad publicity, and it should be avoided, even if its cause is external and through no fault of those associated with the film.