The Conversation: Is 'Bridesmaids' Suddenly On Track for a Best Picture Nomination?

The Conversation: Is 'Bridesmaids' Suddenly On Track for a Best Picture Nomination?

Jan 04, 2012

The idea of Bridesmaids earning an Oscar nomination for Best Picture was debated heavily before the holiday, when Universal attempted to hype the comedy as a real contender. Since then the acclaimed film has appeared on more top 10 lists and received a seemingly suprising nod from the Producers Guild of America. It's likely to also receive kudos from the Writers Guild as well. But is it really worth taking seriously -- that is, as seriously as the Academy Awards are? 

Some of the reasons people have against the plausibility have to do with its genre. Yes, it is a broadly popular comedy. Yes, it is Rated R. Yes, it is raunchy. Sounds like the 1964 Best Picture winner, Tom Jones. Okay, so Bridesmaids doesn't have the cred of being based on a classic novel. As long as that WGA recognition comes in, though, I think the Academy will make up for a BP snub with an Original Screenplay mention, and probably the expected nomination for Melissa McCarthy.

While I do like the movie, I'm not sure it's one of the best of the year. But then, I don't think The Artist, The DescendentsWar HorseThe Help or The Ides of March are among the ten best either (still haven't seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Midnight in Paris). The likelihood of you seeing Bridesmaids nominated for the top Oscar prize is the same as you attending a wedding with a surprise performance by Wilson Phillips -- or Mike Tyson, for the boys. 


What are people saying about Bridesmaids' Best Picture chances? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet: 

The big surprise on the Best Picture list has to be Bridesmaids, a raunchy summer comedy with a really remarkable staying power throughout awards season-- the Screen Actors Guild also nominated the film, and while the Oscars and their long-standing aversion to comedy may still not be game, the little female-driven comedy that could is still doing amazingly well. - Katey Rich, Cinema Blend

"The Ides of March" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" have to be the biggest surprises among the 10 and it would be surprising to see them make the Oscar cut. "Bridesmaids"?  Well, watch out. It's looking more and more like a lock for a nod. - Gregory Ellwood, HitFix

Remember that the Producers Guild of America (PGA) has picked ten film nominations for 2011--the Academy may only pick seven or eight under their new rules favoring number one votes. Thus "Bridesmaids," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Ides of March" may not make it into the Oscar Best Picture race. - Anne Thompson, Thompson on Hollywood

The recognition of Bridesmaids, The Ides of March, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are plenty surprising. All of those are generally considered to be good, respectable films — but Best Picture contenders? No, not really. - Nick Newman, The Film Stage

The single interesting thing about the list is the inclusion of Bridesmaids, which shouldn’t be too much of a shock. But there is a wave of energy in that direction in terms of a potential Oscar nomination, though still a very, very, very long shot. - David Poland, The Hot Blog (Movie City News)

Pundits figured that the heat behind "Bridesmaids" would only go as far as the populist-skewing Golden Globes, but its appearance among the PGA's nominations suggests that the Kodak Theater may get Apatow-ed next month. - Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist

The surging Bridesmaids might raise a couple of eyebrows but shouldn’t as this raunchy female comedy released in May has had some of the most consistent showings so far. Now, with major guild recognition by SAG and PGA, it has to be taken seriously as a potential Best Picture player at the Oscars. - Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood

The endurance of "Bridesmaids" this season is becoming, well, annoying. And I love the movie. But if any place makes sense for it to find some love, I guess this is that place. The film was successful financially and the PGA loves to recognize that kind of excellence. It will soon get a WGA nomination to go along with its SAG ensemble bid, meaning many will be foaming at the mouth to declare it a sure-fire Best Picture nominee at the Oscars. They will, of course, willfully ignore the fact that it won't get a DGA nomination for Paul Feig. - Kristopher Tapley, In Contention (HitFix)

It’s hard to see Bridesmaids making it.  The main reason, of course, is that the Academy not only has a long tradition of only nominating dramedies – movies that take you to extreme laughter and then to extreme tears (Terms of Endearment, Little Miss Sunshine, etc.) Some of the best comedies ever made weren’t nominated for Best Picture.  Satire is something that died along with surreality and vulgarity back in the 1970s.  Comedy is one thing, but an out and out vulgar comedy a whole other thing.  So now we’re not just dealing with it being a comedy but we’re dealing with “I love my new bleached asshole!” Worse than that, we’re dealing with that overlong dedication at the mic scene, and the taking the bite of the cookie scene and all of the outlandish, very funny comedy set pieces that, trust me, just ain’t Oscar’s thing.  But never say never. [...] So here’s the thing. More power to Bridesmaids.  If the Academy is at last ready to embrace comedy I’m sure the world over would cheer them on. - Sasha Stone, Awards Daily

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!" - Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon

On the flip side, the producers have a soft spot for commercial hits. “Shrek,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Star Trek” and “The Dark Knight” were nominated for producers’ awards without getting a best picture nomination from the Academy. So “Bridesmaids,” this year’s pop darling, is not home free quite yet. - Michael Cieply, The Carpetbagger (The New York Times)


Conversation Twitter Poll: "Could or Should Bridesmaids Be Nominated for Best Picture?: 

@Gyropitus: No chance. It was fun and well-written, but it's not Oscar material.

@SceneStealrEric: It's not in my Top 10 but I wouldn't be angered by it. BRIDESMAIDS is a solid comedy full of truth.

@ScottMendelson: It's one of the best films of the year. It's a fantastically insightful character dramedy that just happens to be about women.

@jbdcampbell: While I agree it was smart, fresh, and VERY funny, I can't imagine the Academy would award it with a Best Picture nod.

@LauraInRealTime: Any film can be entered, but not every film should. Bridesmaids has its merits but not "Best Picture" merits.

@sarahrleslie: no way!

@mousterpiece: Maybe and no.

@lacasamagacine: neither!!!

@markhayes107: Probably could, definitely shouldn't.

@jessecarp: Best Picture? No. Since 'pure' comedies are shit lately, we elevated it to greatness. It's a good movie.

@Merazad: Yes BRIDESMAIDS should get an Oscar nod at the very least for Best screenplay.

@Leonade: I'd be really surprised if Bridesmaids got *any* Oscar nominations but I'd love if it did - it definitely deserves one for Wiig.

@devbostick: If Bridesmaids gets a nom for the Best Picture Oscar, all justice shall be served for comedy & women everywhere and the heavens will open

@joshbrunsting: If those PGA nominees are a hint of things to come, than Bridesmaids, Ides and The Help are the ones left out of Oscar, me thinks.

@jnstone: Can we just get off of Bridesmaids' jock for a second? It was good, but it wasn't Oscar good. It had a lady pooping into a sink.



Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.



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