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“Jersey Boys”: What’s Up with the 2015 Awards Race

Jersey Boys 600x33

Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Written by: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Main Cast: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken, Mike Doyle, Steve Schirripa, and many more…
Past Oscar relations: Clint Eastwood is a four time Oscar winning filmmaker, most recently winning Best Picture and Best Director for Million Dollar Baby

Here now we have a brand spanking new article in this series of mine on 2014 releases hoping to compete for some sort of Oscar attention as contenders at the upcoming 2015 ceremony. Next up for us is the Broadway adaptation Jersey Boys, which looks to become the latest musical to capture the Academy’s admiration.

This musical comes to us from legendary filmmaker Clint Eastwood as well as being co-written by Marshall Brickman, who has an Oscar on his mantle for once upon a time co-writing Annie Hall with Woody Allen. Starring the likes of John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken, and Mike Doyle, it’s the story of how Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons came to be. Many of their classic songs are recreated and a good time is had for the most part, meaning the box office should be fairly solid this weekend. Could that translate into a success story with the Academy as well?

What this flick has going in its favor is the music itself, which is part of why the Broadway show is so successful. The tunes have stood the test of time, so that’s a big factor here. The story itself isn’t amazingly original, but the combination of the songs and the story give you something to hum along to, and that can’t be overlooked when it comes to crowd pleasers. If it charms enough folks, voters will be sure to give it a long hard look when the time comes.

Working against Jersey Boys is a bloated running time, poor sense of pacing, and an overall sense that this is nothing too special. Eastwood’s name is a bit of a draw, but you can argue that his direction is one of the reasons this isn’t a fully successful endeavor. The look of the picture is off and it takes a long time to tell a story that could have been done much shorter and more efficiently. None of my issues with it are too big, but I know I’m not alone and that likely will be enough to keep it away from the big Oscar categories.

So, can this be a player at all? My thoughts veer very much towards a no, but either of the Sound categories (Editing or Mixing) could be possibilities, I suppose. I’d also say that the Golden Globes could certainly cite it in their Comedy/Musical categories (for the latter, of course). The Academy will likely consider this one a bit, but Jersey Boys is more likely to be shut out than anything else. Audiences don’t need to worry about that though, and they can take a look at it this weekend and see the final product for themselves…

Grade: Long Shot Contender (Except maybe in Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing)

Stay tuned for another one of these profiles coming your way next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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