on Over the last couple of weeks I have told you that word on the street was that Spielberg’s Munich was running behind, and that there was some doubt that the film would actually hit at the end of the year as promised – and in time to make it an Oscar contender.

Spielberg’s mouthpiece Martin Levy says that the rumors are nonsense. "There aren’t many movies like this, which start shooting around July 1 and plan to be in theatres on December 23. But it will get done. Munich’s production is moving forward exactly as it should."

But even if the film is ready December 23, it could end up screwed in other awards races, which can help build momentum for the Oscars. For example, the Golden Globes ballots are due on December 8. As a member of NYFCO (New York Film Critics Online) I have access to Universal’s screening schedule for folks who hand out awards, and as of now the earliest Munich screening is the 23rd. Besides leaving the movie out of Golden Globes consideration, that date makes it impossible for Munich to win the prestigious NYFCO awards, which we are deciding on December 11!

What’s really too bad is that the crush to get the film ready for awards season could possibly affect its quality – and deny it awards. Spielberg has promised bike messengers will be standing by to take new prints right to critic groups in early December, but is he also making sure that he’s getting the best cut of the film into their hands, or just the one he finishes first?