Is 'Midnight In Paris' An Oscar Contender?

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 9, 2011 5:39 AM
12 Comments
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It's very easy to take Woody Allen for granted, and for the better part of the last ten or fifteen years, audiences have. Working steadily at his one-movie-per-year rate, in recent times, Allen hasn't exactly endeared himself to the movie-going public with a string of terrible films that felt more like contractual obligations or something knocked out half halfheartedly out of habit, than anything imbued with the wit, thematic scope and verve he displays when he's in top form. But recent years have found him on an upswing, with his European flavored films earning better reviews and more attention but "Midnight In Paris" is a concoction that is proving irresistible at the box office.

Thompson On Hollywood makes an interesting case that with film set to hit 940 screens this weekend (the most Allen has had since "Anything Else"), and given the engine that's chugging behind the film ($7 million domestic that's part of a $25 million worldwide haul to date and growing; it's looking like it could do "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" sized numbers or more) it could be an Oscar contender. While she doesn't think Owen Wilson will land an acting nod (we agree), she thinks Original Screenplay and Best Directing could be open for Woody himself and it's not a bad theory.

While on the face of it Allen's whimsical tale hardly looks like golden statue material, the Academy loves nothing more than to roll out the red carpet for the legends. Yes, Allen already has three Oscars (Screenplay and Directing for "Annie Hall" and Screenplay for "Hannah & Her Sisters"), but he hasn't personally been nominated since 2005 (Screenplay for "Match Point") and Hollywood loves a good comeback story. And certainly the surprise/sleeper success of the film is putting it on the radar of everyone around town.

Of course, this is all just speculation and who knows how the next six months will play out, but let's not lose sight of one thing: while the industry frets about 3D, VOD and box office margins here's yet another example of a modestly budgeted film, made for adults, with a top shelf cast that is doing great business. More proof that there is an audience out there who want to go to the movies, but just won't take whatever blockbuster is being pimped that week shoved down their throats. Hollywood, are you listening?

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More: Films, Midnight In Paris

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12 Comments

  • Jacob | November 18, 2011 1:22 PMReply

    My knowledge of oscar potential films and such is very Limited, but i know when i see a great movie. And this one is certainly one of them. I'm a bit of a romantic, and i must admit i havent seen a greater movie since "the notebook", however the genre is not exactly incommon, but i like the way those two movies goes in the romantic way, especially the nostalgic atmosphere. Apoligize my english. But year i'd 100% give 5/5 stars to "Midnight In Paris". Magnificent movie by Woody Allen.

  • chris | July 9, 2011 7:49 AMReply

    I think the music could be in line for something as well, it really sets up each scene like a marker, and then finally the song finishes right along with the emotional climax of the film. "Bistro Fada" by Stephane Wrembel.

  • Meadows | June 26, 2011 7:23 AMReply

    Absolutely will be included among one of the 10 Best Picture noms. Good chance for an Original Screenplay, nod. Might have a decent shot at winning the latter.

  • Trevor | June 19, 2011 6:28 AMReply

    Great Movie

  • rodie | June 10, 2011 4:13 AMReply

    With 10 nominations now, I wouldn't rule out a Best Picture nomination...actually that seems much more likely than a Best Director nod to me. If the field is week then a strong Woody Allen comedy always has a good shot at a Best Screenplay nomination.

  • Andrew James | June 10, 2011 4:04 AMReply

    My favorite film of the year so far. Owen hasn't been this good since Bottle Rocket. Deserves every praise it gets and then some. Absolutely magical.

  • Christopher Bell | June 9, 2011 9:23 AMReply

    @hack

    Agreed, big time.Thought he was the best Woody surrogate I've ever seen.

  • hackattack | June 9, 2011 7:44 AMReply

    I know it's a darkhorse...but Allison Pill stole the show in the entire movie. Every time I saw her I wanted more. Had no idea she had those chops.

    Owen was great, it will probably be the best actor playing woody allen performance ever .... but the Academy always leans to Dramatic Roles by leading actors. (Can't remember the last time a true Comedy got a nom)

  • josh | June 9, 2011 7:17 AMReply

    Love this article. Owen and Woody both deserve a nom. Such a great movie and everyone should see it. So true: "...another example of modestly budgeted film, made for adults, with a top shelf cast that is doing great business."

  • free owen | June 9, 2011 6:13 AMReply

    Owen Wilson deserves an Oscar nom. He was great.

  • Kenneth | June 9, 2011 6:02 AMReply

    I mean, obviously the Academy loves to nominate him, at least for a Screenplay nod. But I don't think it'd amount to anything more than that. I suppose that's still pretty cool, but let's not overstate it.

  • Kenneth | June 9, 2011 6:01 AMReply

    "While on the face of it Allen’s whimsical tale hardly looks like golden statue material, the Academy loves nothing more than to roll out the red carpet for the legends."

    Even though Woody Allen doesn't care about the Oscars at all and has only came to the Academy Awards once (only to present a montage of films set in NYC)?

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