Ben Affleck’s ‘Live By Night’ Enters Awards Race With Earlier Limited Release

Gangster film will show in select theaters Christmas Day before opening wide Jan. 13

Ben Affleck Live by Night
Warner Bros.

Break out the bathtub gin — Ben Affleck‘s “Live By Night” is getting an early limited release that lands the film in this year’s Oscar race.

Originally scheduled to open wide on Jan. 13., it will now show in select theaters on Christmas Day, Warner Bros. announced Tuesday.

A small run, typically in New York and Los Angeles, on Dec. 25 puts the film out before the cutoff time to hold the public theatrical screenings a movie needs for Best Picture eligibility.

Affleck serves as director and star of the period piece, about a bootlegger and gangster. Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Max CasellaScott Eastwood and Chris Cooper will co-star in the film.

Affleck plays Joe Coughlin, the son of the police superintendent who decides to turn his back on his father’s values and enter a life of crime. But after he gets on the wrong side of one of the city’s crime bosses, he’s forced to move south to Ybor City, Florida, where he becomes a bootlegger and rum-runner — and climbs up the local underworld.

The Bostonian filmmaker and his Pearl Street partner Jennifer Todd are producing with Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way partner, Jennifer Davisson Killoran.

Affleck’s last directorial effort, “Argo,” won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2012.