I suspect that Saving Mr. Banks might have trouble landing an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Maybe. It certainly can’t win at this stage. But Hollywood Reporter award-season analyst Scott Feinberg believes it might still be a contender for a nomination. Maybe he’s right. A seasoned industry guy told me this afternoon that “it might squeak in.” But here’s what I wrote Feinberg earlier today:
“Your post boils down to a line that says ‘since 2001, 17 of the 240 acting Oscar nominees — or 7 percent — received neither a SAG nor Globe nom en route to the Big Show.’ In other words, since ’01 less than 10% of Oscar nominees weren’t first nominated by SAG or HFPA. But more more than 90% of the time, people who weren’t nominated by SAG or HFOA didn’t land an Oscar nomination. Correct?
“Are you going to sit there and tell me that Saving Mr. Banks is doing fine as a Best Picture nominee? It’s been a bit of a weak sister all along, and after the shut-out by SAG and HFPA plus that Amy Nicholson slam piece in the L.A. Weekly, I think it’s dead. Thompson and Hanks are fine as acting contenders, but the movie is finished. It might barely earn a nomination but…
“And by the way, do you know what the ‘Big Show’ is? It’s not the ABC telecast on March 2nd from the Dolby theatre. That’s the Big Show’s finale with the tuxedos and the Vegas-styled dance numbers and the choices made by sedate, mostly out-of-touch farts who nod off after watching screeners for 20 or 30 minutes and don’t even watch stuff like All Is Lost and who drive luxury Beemers and Lexuses and live in gated communities… people who basically bring everyone else down.
“The ‘Big Show’ is right now…the season is the show. The very good mainstream movies that are saved for October, November and December release, the cavalcade of award events, the cranked-up energy and fanaticism, the columnist fervor, the parties, the sense of culmination and climax….that’s the Big Show. The Oscar telecast is merely the conclusion, the end of it, the last hurrah.”
Feinberg responds: “As I explain in my post, the people who choose the Globe noms have ZERO overlap with the people who choose the Oscar noms, and are more inclined to pick European-centric films (Rush, Philomena) than American-centric films (The Butler, Saving Mr. Banks). To dismiss any contender on the basis of how it went over with the HFPA — or because of an LA Weekly piece — is crazy. You are writing the obit of some of these films and performances too early. As my post shows, one or two performances come back from what you would describe as ‘the dead”‘every year. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Tom Hanks’ supporting performance in Saving Mr. Banks is one of them.
My response: “Hanks is fine. Thompson is fine, the movie might get Best Picture nominated if it’s lucky but the winning chances are nil. That Nicholson piece isn’t just Amy and her editor. I believe it’s a radio signal from the culture…I think it’s a sign that working industry women might be cool to it.”
I wound up betting Feinberg $50 bucks that Banks won’t get nominated.