January 23rd, 2012
04:36 PM ET
When you reflect back on the biggest movies of 2011, taking into consideration box office success, buzz and residual impact, "Bridesmaids" is an obvious choice for the top of the list.
The film, written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo and directed by Paul Feig, not only established a box office record - it's the top-grossing R-rated female comedy ever with $169 million earned domestically - but it was also loved by both critics and audiences alike.
Add to that its lingering cultural impact of reinforcing the (captain obvious) concept that women can be just as raunchily comedic as men, along with the public clamoring for a sequel, and it would make sense if you expect to see it among the best picture Oscar nominees announced tomorrow.
The debate over whether this comedy could find a spot on the Oscar nods list has been going on since its release last May. (In a review, The Wrap, wary of over-praising the film, toned down expectations by saying that "Bridesmaids" "won't change your life or win a fistful of Oscar nominations...But it will make you laugh...)
Let's say you weren't betting on a "fistful" of Oscar nods, but rather just one or two. Most acknowledge that "Bridesmaids" could find itself among the best picture nominees, or snagging a best supporting actress nod for Melissa McCarthy.
The best picture possibilities, it seems, really boil down to whether the Academy will go with five nominees, or 10 - because it could be anywhere in between.
"It will fluctuate between five and 10, depending on the strength of support behind the films," Gold Derby explained in December. In a poll of Oscars watchers, most came to the conclusion that if the category were to allow 10 nods, "Bridesmaids" would slide right in.
With just days to go before the nominations, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter and E! all had "Bridesmaids" sneaking onto their lists of possible best picture Oscar nominees, although THR notes that it sees "Bridesmaids" as more of a "potential surprise" than an actual contender.
The Los Angeles Times, with the aid of its "heat meter," is also less confident."Though the perception is that the movie has some traction in the run-up to the Oscars, the numbers paint a somewhat different picture," the paper notes, going on to illustrate with its data that the film itself is "a long-shot in pretty much all of the categories in which it might hope to compete."
McCarthy, considered a front-runner for the best supporting actress category, is more like a maybe, the Times said. Expectations would be better placed on the movie picking up a best original screenplay nod. While it's true that the Academy will recognize successful films that have resonated with moviegoers - such as "Avatar," or "The Blind Side" - "it's just increasingly clear they're not hungry for this big commercial hit."
New York Magazine's Vulture breaks it down this way: "The Globes has separate categories for comedy, and still 'Bridesmaids' didn't break through. Can it really make the best picture cut with the much tougher Oscar membership?"
That's the question on the table, Oscars watchers. The industry observers are leaning toward a big, fat "maybe," but what do you think? Is a best picture nod in the cards for "Bridesmaids," and do you think McCarthy's chances of a best supporting actress nod are as strong as everyone has been saying? Sound off below!
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