December 06, 2016

Oscars: Are “Marilyn” and “Tinker” dark horse Best Picture contenders? – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: When the BAFTA’s revealed the long list of nominees for their year-end awards, one film leading the pack with 16 nominations was somewhat expected, while another was a bit of a surprise.

The anticipated picture was Tomas Alfredson’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” a British-to-the-core adaptation of John Le Carre’s exquisite novel that has performed admirably at the UK box office and continues to remain in the Oscar hunt for Gary Oldman, possibly a screenplay nod and (deservedly) numerous technical nods. “Tinker” nabbed the most BAFTA nominations with 16, including Best Film.

But it wasn’t alone. It tied Simon Curtis’ “My Week With Marilyn,” which also earned 16 nominations including Best Picture.

Now, what does this mean for the two films? Maybe nothing. Guy Lodge over at InContention dismissed the BAFTA nods as “embarrassing,” though he seemed more upset over omissions (“Shame,” “The Tree of Life” and Vanessa Redgrave in “Coriolanus,” to name just a few).

BAFTA and the Academy share members, obviously, so a film that performs well with one group has the potential to charm the other. And there might be something to be said for quiet, smaller films like “Marilyn” and “Tinker” playing better on DVD screener than they would in a theater. Could this also be why George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” has seen a resurgence of late, with the Producers Guild and the HFPA and their Golden Globes nominations? (Well, the HFPA likely just wanted to ensure George Clooney would attend the Globes, but the Producers Guild was a feather in that film’s cap).

All week, bloggers have been beating the drum for “Bridesmaids,” which continues to perform well with the guilds and could potentially play itself into the Best Picture race as a dark horse contender. But with a significant boost from the BAFTAs today, is it too much of a stretch to see something like “My Week With Marilyn” – already generating serious heat for Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh – getting into the Best Picture race, as well?

Here’s a clip of Michelle Williams accepting the Hollywood Actress Awards at our Hollywood Film Awards in October. We’ll find out soon enough if she, her co-star Mr. Branagh, and their film will be in the Oscar race.

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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