What Awards Can BRIDESMAIDS Actually Win?

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Just recently we took a look at the awards prospects of The Muppets, a film that is enjoying an incredibly positive critical response but isn’t exactly your typical “Oscar Movie.” Today we’ll consider a different film in a similar situation: Bridesmaids. When the Judd Apatow-produced comedy opened in May, it was surrounded by a good deal of advanced buzz thanks to a series of well-timed preview screenings. The opening weekend gross was impressive for an R-rated comedy, but enthusiastic word of mouth propelled the film to stellar box office week-after-week. Audiences fell in love with the Kristen Wiig-penned flick, and star Melissa McCarthy broke out in a big way. Hit the jump for our take on Bridesmaids’ chances this upcoming awards season.

With regards to the Oscars, it appears that Bridesmaids has picked up some significant traction in at least one category: Best Supporting Actress. McCarthy is undoubtedly the standout in the film (amongst a cast that all bring their A-Game), and the chatter about her Oscar chances began a few months ago. She won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Emmy this past June in grand fashion, and her shocked reaction and genuinely heartfelt acceptance speech made for more than a few people “awww”-ing at their television screen. This likeability factor is key in the coming Oscar race, but McCarthy has one major hurdle in the way of a nomination: Bridesmaids is a comedy.

Comedic performances are almost never recognized by the Academy, and when they are the nomination is almost always the end of the line. Furthermore, McCarthy’s performance is pretty much straight-comedy; it’s not the “dramedy” work that the Academy is much more willing to acknowledge. The actress does have one scene where she stretches her dramatic chops, but the majority of the film is her taking on the role of Megan with 110% hilarity.

This begs the question: is McCarthy’s intense commitment to this powerhouse comedy role any less impressive than a more dramatic performance? Why is comedy not worthy of awards consideration when the actor’s work is on par with the best dramatic performances of the year? This is one of the biggest problems of awards season: the organizations pretend like comedies don’t count. A separate “Best Comedy” category would do much to improve conditions for comedic actors, but the Academy is thus far averse to this change.

bridesmaids-movie-image-kristen-wiig-maya-rudolph-01But I digress. McCarthy has been picking up some genuine buzz and she actually has a fair chance at landing a nomination. She’s extremely likeable, her talent is undeniable, and Robert Downey Jr.’s 2008 nomination for Tropic Thunder proves that there are actually a few current Academy members willing to recognize comedy. While Universal is pushing for nominations in all the major categories for Bridesmaids (Best Actress for Kristen Wiig, Best Director for Paul Feig, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture), Best Supporting Actress is likely the film’s only genuine shot.

With the Golden Globes, however, Bridesmaids stands a much better chance at a wider range of nominations, and even a win. The film is certainly a frontrunner in the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category, and could nab nominations for Best Actress – Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actress, and even Best Screenplay. The Globes like to award “the cool kids” and are notorious for nominating famous people just for the sake of it (Johnny Depp is already a lock for Best Actor in the lackluster The Rum Diary), so I’m expecting Bridesmaids to land multiple nominations.

bridesmaids-movie-image-01The film’s most likely shot at a win is in the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category. The HFPA awarded the similarly toned The Hangover in 2009, so they’re definitely not afraid of the raunchy R-rated comedy. Best Supporting Actress isn’t divided up into Comedy and Drama, so McCarthy will have a tougher time winning here as she goes up against other contenders like The DescendantsShailene Woodley. However, I think Wiig stands a real chance in Best Actress – Musical or Comedy for a win. She was the driving creative force behind getting the movie made, and a more memorable lead comedic performance this year fails to come to mind.

So, what awards can Bridesmaids actually win? The Oscars are pretty much out of range as far as taking home the gold goes, but I do think McCarthy stands a chance at a Best Supporting Actress nomination (though it’s not necessarily a given). As for the Golden Globes, I’d say Bridesmaids is the frontrunner to take home the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy award, and is on track for nominations in Best Actress – Musical or Comedy (for Wiig) and Best Supporting Actress (for McCarthy).

Keep an eye on the site in the near future, as we’ll be taking a look at the awards chances of a few more critically and commercially successful films that don’t fit the “Oscar Movie” mold.

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  • Sajorij

    How can such a painfully unfunny movie even get an article about being nominated….

    • Cartouche

      I agree this movie was shit. It was so unfunny I wanted to kick my own ass for watching.

  • Dane

    I agree with Sajorij. BRIDESMAIDS was awful, and I’m not saying that just because it’s a chick-flick. It’s simply not funny. Instead, it was one of the most annoying movies of the year. Oh yeah, it was also over TWO hours long!!! Kevin Smith rightfully bashed the movie for that.

    The complete hack Judd Apatow and his team of “comedians” are really pushing it with these types of “comedies”.

    Adam Chitwood, it’s good that you enjoyed the movie, but don’t try to portray it as something special. Because it’s not and you know that very well. As for the Oscars, these awards lost their credibility years ago.

    No one with a brain in his head cares about the Oscars anymore.

  • jymmmymack

    Bridesmaids is funny, but it’s also over-long and borderline ridiculous. It isn’t even the best comedy this year, let alone worthy enough for an Oscar nomination. Zach Galifinakis didn’t get nominated for The Hangover, why would McCarthy get nominated for Bridesmaids? I love Kristen Wiig and almost everybody in the entire cast, and I still think this is an overrated, run-of-the-mill comedy.

    • berg

      women oscar categories have a tendency to be far weaker than the male nominees mostly do the fact that women are given less juicy roles on average leaving them mostly in the role of love interest. If Sandra Bullock was a man there’s no way should would have one for the blindside but since she was going up against a bunch of unknowns and veteran actresses who had already won Bullock got the award for a mediocre performance. For another example just look at Jennifer Hudson in Dream Girls, she sang her way into an oscar even though her acting performance was less than stellar because she was basically going up against a bunch of nobodies from the movie Bable. So it’s not unprecedented.

  • gerard kennelly

    melissa mccarthy just won the Boston critics award
    best supporting actress

    and i am 100% certain
    kirstin wiig will be golden globe nominated

    best actress comedy or musical

  • Jason

    The article is not 100% correct. Marisa Tomei won for My Cousin Vinny and Kevin Kline won a fe years earlier for A Fish Called Wanda. The Academy seems more likely to recognize a comedic performance in a supporting role versus the lead.

    • Adam Chitwood

      Never said it was impossible, just stressed that it’s not commonplace. But I agree, the supporting categories are where comedy is most often recognized.

  • gerard kennelly

    http://www.awardsdaily.com/2011/12/new-york-film-critics-online-in-progress/

    melissa mccarthy just won
    the New York online Critics award

    supp actress

    that is 2 awards she won in the last half hour :)

  • junierizzle

    I agree with the others. This movie wasn’t very funny. I honestly cant believe why it was such a huge hit. And why is it that critics trash sh*t humor in other movies but found it funny in this one?
    People taking sh*ts, enough already. It was only funny in Dumb and Dumber, and that was over a decade ago.

  • mark tornits

    this movie was more like the female equivilant of the movie Tomcats (which is terrible) as opposed to female version of the hangover-

    Bridesmaids is a terrible film.

  • felliniboy

    i’m with you on Wiig and Golden Globe win. She just had a breakthrough year. the problem is that WEINSTEIN is pushing MY WEEK WITH MARILYN for MUSICAL/COMEDY. and Wiig pales in comparison with Michelle Williams’ performance. hate Harvey.

    as for Best Musical/Comedy, i don’t see anyone beating MIDNIGHT IN PARIS even if MYWM is up against it. Woody’s best film in YEAAARRRRRRRRRSSSSSS will be rewarded.

  • Strong Enough

    GTFOH with this article. movie was ass

  • Farzan

    I don’t know what movie most of the people on this post saw, but I thought Bridesmaids was f*cking hilarious and I’m a guy. It did drag alittle in the second half, but the movie was soooo much better than Hangover 2 (biggest disappointment of the year).

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  • tyed

    Maya Rudolphs face looks like an asshole that got turned inside out. She looks like E.T, but thinks she is J-LO. Her and Adam Sandler shold do a Rom-Com together. Two butt ugly Creatures think that they are LEADING Love interests.

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