The Huffington Post has a piece by Scott Mendelson wondering about Tyler Perry’s upcoming For Colored Girls and its Oscar potential. The film is based on the 1975 play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Anyone who ever went to acting school is quite familiar with this play as it’s a popular choice for monologues.
“Oscar potential” refers only to the possibility that the AMPAS will like it enough to nominate it, being that it’s a “Tyler Perry movie” and all. The movie just needs the perception of greatness to make it to the Big Show. It can get that by popping up in one or two of the early critics’ awards, specifically the National Board of Review or the New York Film Critics. It could still make it all the way up to Oscar nomination time, sweep the Golden Globes and not get nominated. But with ten slots, not only is anything possible, but we might be looking at a situation where the Blind Side slot could be filled by another fairly emotional money making powerhouse.
He’s the only mainstream filmmaker outside of Clint Eastwood who consistently makes adult dramas. I can’t defend Madea Goes to Jail or Why Did I Get Married Too? (the last five minutes of that sequel contains the biggest ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ ending since Spanglish), but he has solid work on his filmography. I Can Do Bad All By Myself is a low-key and engaging musical drama, and Angela Basset and Lance Gross are stunningly good in Meet the Browns. All of his films, both good (The Family That Preys) and bad (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which he did not direct) boast fine performances by underemployed actors of color. Viola Davis is terrific in Madea Goes to Jail, and Daddy’s Little Girls contains the first leading theatrical role for Idris Elba, as well as a fine supporting performance from Louis Gossett Jr. And anyone who consistently casts Cicily Tyson gets a gold star just for that. There are any number of undervalued black actors who I’d love to see stretching their (melo)dramatic muscles in Atlanta (cough-Tony Todd-cough), and I’d love to see Eddie Murphy try dramatic acting again in an environment where he wasn’t the biggest star on the set.
Given that Tyler Perry’s movies tend to make bank, it isn’t entirely out of the question that his film could take, at the very least, the Blind Side slot.
The Blind Side slot, by the way, proves that film can get pretty bad reviews, completely miss the critics awards and guild awards, yet land a Best Picture nomination. True, the film had a lot of crossover appeal – sports fans and Christian pockets were tapped. But people just liked the movie too. You know, people out there in the world, not those with their noses pressed to the glass of the Oscar race.
Perhaps it is insulting to imagine that Perry’s film can only land a nod by taking the Blind Side slot. It could also get rave reviews, hit every important stop of the way to Oscar and end up with all of the important nominations, like Precious did. I don’t think that this fits the Precious slot, though, because that film was about abuse. It just so happens that both projects are African American stories based on treasured pieces of literature.
So what do you think, readers? Yay or nay sight unseen? For Colored Girls bows November 5.
Yahoo movies posted eight new posters from the film.