There is a lot of web chatter about The Town and its Best Picture prospects. We wrote about this earlier in the week before we’d seen it – now that we’ve seen it, I can say that it’s a very good film. What I find funny about this column by Patrick Goldstein (I’ve already written a long-winded comment on his site) is that he says The Town is a thriller so therefore it isn’t an Oscar contender. This is funny because the one thing I think that has kept me in the game for this long (ten long years) is when people say stuff like that. One thing I love about the Oscar race when the impossible becomes possible. It really is my absolute favorite thing about it. Two black contenders winning? A woman winning? A fantasy film making a clean sweep? A movie where Leo DiCaprio dies at the end winning? A Bollywood movie winning? Yeah, that keeps gas in the engine. So, naturally, I feel that tiny itch when people say “no way.”
Meanwhile, Goldstein’s column is in direct response to Pete Hammond over at Deadline talking up the film’s Oscar chances. You’ll recall last year Pete was one of the first to call out The Blind Side’s Best Picture chances. From where I sat, he was the only one. Lots of us kind of saw Sandra Bullock’s nomination and win coming, but the Best Picture nod? We all thought it couldn’t happen. I thought Star Trek would take that slot.
So, what did we think of The Town? I was entertained through the whole thing – it reminded me a bit of The French Connection, only not as downbeat. The performances are probably the thing that makes the movie so involving – but it’s more than that; it’s great suspense. The reason I think it could do something awards-wise is that it has real heat on it. It isn’t just made up heat by publicists and pundits; it’s the dangerous kind – accidental. It wasn’t particularly set up to be an Oscar contender and therefor it has the luxury of viewers going in with lowered expectations (unlike, say, Hereafter).
That makes it a potential threat. Also, the audience I saw it with were riveted, start to finish. That means it was a good movie that will have good word of mouth and make a lot of money.
Also – a big cast like this means lots of actors voting for you, which usually means a SAG ensemble nod. Producers Guild, SAG — even without a DGA nod, which is entirely possible if the film does really well, we could still be looking at a Best Picture nod with ten slots open. Seems like a no-brainer to me. In fact, why isn’t really the right question — why not, is the better one.
The Fugitive anyone?