Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Oscar Movies That Weren't: Invictus
What It Had Going For It: Dude, it's a Clint Eastwood movie starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. If that doesn't scream "Oscar," I don't know what does. In addition, it had the benefit of exploring themes that would certainly resonate with American audiences, coming so soon after the election of Barack Obama.
What Went Wrong: It's hard to say. I mean, Invictus isn't a "great" film but it's the kind of feel good, inspirational movie that should have been able to slip into a ten nominee Best Picture race with ease (I mean, The Blind Side got in there, after all). Instead, it got shut out of every category except Best Actor (for Freeman) and Best Supporting Actor (Matt Damon). Maybe people felt that the film simply didn't live up to its subject?
Legacy: I suppose it's still too soon to say what Invictus' legacy will ultimately be. It received fair reviews from critics but bombed at the box office and seems to have mostly faded away. In all likelihood it will be remembered as one of Clint Eastwood's lesser directorial efforts and one of Morgan Freeman's best performances.
Posted by Norma Desmond at 4:00 PM