The last piece of the AFI Film Festival puzzle as it relates to Oscar potential was unveiled Thursday night as Adam McKay’s The Big Short screened. You don’t normally (as in ever before now) see director McKay’s name linked to Academy Awards buzz. We know him best for making Will Ferrell comedies like Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and The Other Guys.
Yet this comedy with some drama mixed in focuses on the financial and housing crises of recent years and features a stellar cast that includes Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, and Marisa Tomei. And when Paramount pushed it up from a release date in 2016 to Christmas time this year, it was seen by some as a move to put it in the Oscar race.
The verdict? Pretty strong, but reviews haven’t been met with universal acclaim. Some critics have been quite positive though and when it comes to the performances, attention has turned to Carell for Actor and Bale in Supporting Actor (a category he won in 2010 for The Fighter). Even though the Best Actor race is less competitive in 2015 than it’s been in recent year, I still feel Carell is a bit of a long shot for consideration unless the movie really takes off. Same goes for Bale. I would also say its inclusion in Best Picture seems iffy, at best.
As you know, however, these things can change over the next couple of months and The Big Short at least established itself as a potential player in the weeks ahead.