The Playlist’s Andrew Hart delves into the Invictus script, detailing the plot, the strengths — the potential pitfalls. But he also touches upon, naturally, the film’s award potential in the article’s money shot — framed smartly with the if/then tags:
Sure, Sure it doesn’t Work, but What About it’s Award Potential? If the critics and the public bite (and Eastwood lets Freeman and Damon work their more-than-capable on-screen magic), there’s a good chance Freeman could snag a Best Actor Nominee and Damon a Best Supporting. If industry voters are in a paint-by-numbers mood, Eastwood could easily nail a Best Director nom, but a Best Picture only feels like a lock if an old pro editor convinces Clint to show less, cut more, and linger longer in the good graces of Mandela and away from the team practice montages. Will it be “Gran Torino” (ok, but not Oscar-bait) or “Million Dollar Baby” feel-goodery? It’ll all be in the execution and we’ll have to wait and see, but Eastwood does have the Oscar 10 on his side this year. But in a stronger year without 10 Best Picture Nominations, so-so Eastwood (‘Torino,’ “Changeling“) probably wouldn’t cut it.
A word on Gran Torino, though. It doesn’t matter that a good many thought it was bad – if that movie had been released a month earlier it would have been a serious Oscar contender. The box office alone would have dictated it.