The race is getting fun now and I expect tomorrow we’ll get to talk about screenplays as the Writers Guild should be announcing their nominees any time now. However, today the talk is Best Picture on the heels of the Bridesmaids. But first let’s get the usual suspects out of the way…
The PGA announced ten nominees for their Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award and of the bunch, seven were the repeat offenders: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball and War Horse. There seems to be a general agreement that these seven films will be nominated for Best Picture. Considering the new rules, where there can be anywhere from 5-10 nominees for Best Picture, it could all end there and we go home. However, there also seems to be a growing consensus that there will be eight nominees. So, of course, the question now is what film would fill that eighth slot?
I have now conceded that it appears Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is out of the race. People kept on wanting me to bag it, but I was holding out to see which direction the PGA went, but without their support and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) not even nominating Max von Sydow it looks like a lost cause. Oh well, it’s still one of my favorites.
When it comes to that final slot, my perception is we have these four films to choose from (now we’re going to talk about Bridesmaids):
But what about Drive? I hear you saying. Drive was left off the PGA top ten and has not made any kind of ground on the precursor circuit outside of support for Albert Brooks. I love Drive. It was my #1 film of 2011. I don’t think it has a chance.
So, to look at the four films I listed I’ll begin with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and say I don’t see it getting in. People like it, few seem to love it and I see its nomination from the PGA as a slow clap with a “good show sir” but nothing more.
As for the other three, history and expectations begin playing games with us at this point.
In my opinion, The Tree of Life just doesn’t seem like a film that would be recognized by the Academy. Not because it’s not good, but because it’s too personal, too ethereal, too “out there” to make it an easy pick.
Then again, I could always argue against myself and say that since Academy members are being asked to list only five films for Best Picture rather than the ten they were asked to list over the last two years that could prompt many of them to, at the very least, make sure Tree of Life is included. And once it’s on their ballot it could very easily climb from being a #5 choice to as high as a #3. Once it’s that high what would stop them from saying, “Ah hell with it, I’ll just say it’s my favorite.” Interesting things can happen when you take away and/or add choices in such circumstances.
Then we come to The Ides of March, a film that jumped back into the conversation after being nominated for four Golden Globe Awards along with being named one of the “Top Films” of the year by the National Board of Review. Now, with support from the Producers Guild it becomes a serious contender. In fact, I’m sticking with eight nominees at this point and Ides is now my eighth choice right behind Moneyball. If it gets to a point where there are only seven nominees I think Moneyball wins out, but Ides definitely isn’t going away.
And finally, the dark horse, a film that now has history on its side thanks to information relayed to me by Erik Childress (Movies.com) and Ed Douglas (ComingSoon.net). With both a Screen Actors Guild ensemble nomination and a PGA nomination, Bridesmaids has some serious credibility when considering it for Best Picture.
The last time a film was nominated for a PGA award and a SAG ensemble award and was then not nominated for Best Picture was Dreamgirls in 2007. Going back to 1998’s PGA Awards there were nine others that suffered the same fate, which mathematically gives Bridesmaids an 85.7% chance of being nominated if my math is correct. I think it is…
I guess the question now is, are you someone who plays by your gut instinct or by the numbers? A nearly 86% chance is quite high and it would afford the Academy a chance to say, “See, we nominate comedies!” But will they?
As I said, I’m betting they won’t, but I have added Bridesmaids to my updated Best Picture predictions, which are now down to 15 films as I bid adieu to My Week with Marilyn, Shame and Young Adult. I have listed my current predictions for Best Picture directly below and you can click here to browse the complete rankings and comments for all 15 of my contenders.
But before you go, share your thoughts. Do you see Bridesmaids getting the nomination? How many films do you think will be nominated? Do you think I’m undervaluing The Tree of Life‘s chances? Am I overestimating The Ides of March? Share your thoughts below and stay tuned as we should have Writers Guild and Art Directors Guild nominations tomorrow.