Oscar Watch: Collateral Beauty

OK – stop rolling your eyes. When Collateral Beauty (out Friday) had its trailers unveiled months ago, it was not out of the question that the film could receive some awards chatter. After all, the cast is made up of multiple Oscar winners and nominees – Will Smith, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, and Keira Knightley. Maybe its director David Frankel (who’s had some hits with The Devil Wears Prada and Marley & Me) would enter a new phase of his career that included Academy attention.

So it wasn’t unreasonable to include the Picture, the Lead Actor with Mr. Smith, and supporting players like Norton and Mirren in the realm of possibility for nominations. Yet there was also a general feeling from the trailers that perhaps it was trying a bit too hard. Reviews out today seem to confirm that notion. Bottom line? Collateral Beauty won’t get any Oscar nods.

Interestingly, a number of critical write-ups have called it the Hollywood version of Manchester by the Sea, which also deals with the heavy issue of losing a child. Those reviews haven’t exactly meant it as a compliment. While Manchester is poised for many nominations (including Picture), Beauty‘s best hope now is to connect with audiences. At least its costar Naomie Harris looks certain to be recognized, but it’ll be for Moonlight and not this.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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