Watch: The Oscar race is no laughing matter for 'Bridesmaids' anymore
Do you remember way back in September when "Bridesmaids" star Melissa McCarthy stunned TV fans with her Emmy win in the best actress in a comedy series category? At the time the scuttlebutt was whether the industry love for McCarthy's breakout role in one of the biggest hits of the summer count translate into a legitimate Oscar campaign for best supporting actress. Oh, how times have changed.
Sure, McCarthy landed an important SAG Awards nod for her work and won the Boston Society of Film Critics and Las Vegas Critics best supporting actress honors. She is now battling six other ladies (Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Janet McTeer, Shailene Woodley, Berenice Bejo, Carey Mulligan) in what is turning out to be a very competitive race just for the nod, let alone the win. What wasn't expected, however, was "Bridesmaids" landing in AFI's Top Ten list of 2011. Or, the picture earning a SAG Awards nomination for best ensemble or Kristen Wiig being honored with a Golden Globe Awards nod for best actress in a comedy or musical (yes, we admit that best picture in a comedy or musical was a given from the always populist HFPA). Moreover, when Academy consultants at competing studios speak about just how "Bridesmaids" has a legitimate shot for a best picture Oscar nomination, placing it in the category of a "Full Monty" or "Four Wedding and a Funeral," well, that should make everyone take notice.
Happily, the opportunity has not been lost on Universal Pictures. "Bridesmaids" was the one shining light during a rough year for the venerable studio and landing a nod wouldn't just be a celebration for the filmmakers, but a sign there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the NBCUniversal crew. The studio had already paid for requisite print ads in some of the local trades, but a surprise appeared this week when TV spots highlighting all the film's honors hit Los Angeles cable networks* (*still trying to confirm whether they are limited to just LA and likely NY). Considering "Bridesmaids" came out on DVD and Blu-ray on Sept. 20, this clearly isn't a last minute Christmas gift push even though that's the big bumper at the end of the spot (although that can't hurt). It's a smart move and shows Universal realizes they have a shot with this one. And, at the worst, they took some time out to raise their glass to an audience and critic's favorite.
You can watch the new TV spot embedded in this post.
Do you think "Bridesmaids" can land a best picture nomination? Share your thoughts below.
For year round entertainment commentary and awards season news follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.