Can the British Academy Award Members influence the Oscar nomination results? Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, ‘Best Exotic,’ and ‘Skyfall’
Exactly two hours before I began writing up this article, the Producers Guild of America had just announced its complete list of nominees.
In the “Theatrical Motion Picture” category, one film appeared that virtually no pundit had thought to anticipate: Sam Mendes’ British-produced Skyfall. But after recently crossing the $1 billion mark worldwide, not to mention its widespread critical acclaim and seven BFCA nominations, does this really comes as that much of a surprise? Oh yes, I forgot…Skyfall is a “genre” film, which means its “Best Picture” chances would usually be at the bottom of the barrel when stacked against baitier competitors that seem destined for Oscar® upon announcement. However, it has two things going for it that critically-beloved moneymakers like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises do not: a late release closer to the pivotal Oscar® date and, most importantly, a huge chunk of support behind it in the form of the Academy’s hefty British voting bloc, who are no doubt beyond astounded by its record-breaking success, and not just for the James Bond franchise either.
Skyfall is currently the 14th highest grossing movie of all-time and the United Kingdom’s top movie earner in history, barely surpassing James Cameron’s Avatar. Not including the Harry Potter movie franchise, Skyfall is also the most successful British film (Eon Productions) ever released. With these figures and the aforementioned accolades and overall success, it may be time to not just realistically consider Skyfall for “Best Picture,” but also come to the realization that we’ve been underestimating the influential power of the Academy’s British voting bloc throughout this entire race. In addition to Skyfall, I’ll now turn your attention towards award hopefuls who have been under-the-radar all season long like Judi Dench as “M” in Skyfall, Maggie Smith in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and even John Madden’s British ensemble dramedy itself. I strongly believe these four British category contenders will receive their major boost from the crucial British voting bloc in the form of Academy Award™ nominations come the morning of January 10th. After the jump, you will see the ‘Skyfall’ category contenders in this first of a two-part article series…
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