24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Kristen Wiig

Heat Meter: Does 'Bridesmaids' have any shot at Oscar gold?

January 19, 2012 |  5:33 pm



Few award season contenders have been as intriguing as "Bridesmaids," the Kristen Wiig-driven phenomenon that  grossed nearly $170 million domestically and made the world (OK, the U.S.) safe for a raunchy female comedy.

Like "The Hangover" a couple years back, "Bridesmaids" is a candidate of choice for a certain kind of award-season observer. The movie, they argue, deserves recognition for its writing and acting, not to mention its overall brand of honest comedy.

It's a compelling argument. There's only one problem: Awards voters don't feel the same way.

Though the perception is that the movie has some traction in the run-up to the Oscar nominations next week, the numbers paint a somewhat different picture.  According to The Times' Heat Meter system, which our data desk has devised to compile and analyze the season’s contenders (for a fuller explanation please click here), the movie is a long-shot in pretty much all of the categories in which it might hope to compete.

The film's writers pick up just enough points for eighth place in the screenplay category -- but in a tie with three other films. That's perhaps -- perhaps -- good enough for a nomination in the relatively weak Oscar original screenplay category.

Meanwhile, Melissa McCarthy, whose display of frank Everywoman comedy has done wonders for her career, would seem like an ironclad contender. But she ranks just sixth on the supporting actress chart, with just a few points behind the fifth-place contender, Shailene Woodley. ("The Help" star Jessica Chastain is currently in first with 60 points.)

Maybe most important,  "Bridesmaids" overall point total, which is rung up when anyone affiliated with a movie gets a win or a nomination, clocks in at a meager 43. That's good enough for only 15th place, just  ahead of the documentary "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."

Supporters of "Bridesmaids" will say that the movie's tepid showing is simply proof that voters disadvantage comedies. Maybe so, though it’s also axiomatic that voters like a big commercial hit, especially when it has cultural significance (see under the recognition for movies like “Avatar” and “The Blind Side” in recent years.)  That’s probably still true. It’s just increasingly clear they're not hungry for this big commercial hit.


Heat Meter: Is 'Descendants' hotter than 'The Artist?'

"Bridesmaids:" Judd Apatow wants a comedy Oscar category

Bridesmaids in AFI's top 10 of 2011

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: A scene in "Bridesmaids." Credit: Universal Pictures

Comedian Aziz Ansari on which movie cracked him up this year

November 29, 2011 |  3:46 pm

Aziz Ansari
Although comedian and actor Aziz Ansari's popular blog is titled Aziz Is Bored, it seems unlikely he has much time for boredom these days. Earlier this year Ansari starred in the buddy bank robbery comedy "30 Minutes or Less" with Jesse Eisenberg, and he's a fixture on the small screen, playing Tom Haverford, a cocky government drone with big entrepreneurial dreams, on the NBC series "Parks and Recreation." He also performs stand-up and delivers a never-ending stream of funny tweets.

Occasionally, Ansari even finds himself on the receiving end of some good comedy. He recently told 24 Frames which movie had him laughing this year:

" 'Bridesmaids' was great. Kristen [Wiig] was incredible in that, showing such a range of attitudes. She's doing pretty well for herself. I remember when the movie first came out there were all those articles saying,  'It's your responsibility to go see "Bridesmaids" so there can be more female-centric comedies.' I wanted to write a joke that, what, it's everyone's responsibility to go see 'Fast Five' so there can be more movies with fast cars in them?"

Wiig also co-wrote the film, a likely contender for a Golden Globe nomination, in which she plays a maid of honor leading a colorful crew of bridesmaids on a wild ride. Like Ansari, Wiig is well known for her role on a comedy series, in her case "Saturday Night Live." Down the line, she will reunite with many of her "Bridesmaids" cast mates, including John Hamm, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd, in the parenthood dramedy "Friends With Kids" (a release date has not been set).

What did you think of Wiig in "Bridesmaids," and what other comedies impressed you this year? And just what will it take to get more movies with fast cars in them? Let us know in the comments below.


Comedy 'Friends With Kids' recalls 'Bridesmaids'

Ralph Fiennes on which movie he can't wait to see next

'30 Minutes or Less': This time, Aziz Ansari has more than a cameo

— Oliver Gettell

Photo: Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times


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