Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Oscar Movies That Weren't: Spanglish
What It Had Going For It: Director James L. Brooks is no stranger to Academy friendly fare. He's helmed three films that hit it big with AMPAS - Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News and As Good As It Gets. Spanglish had the potential to be one of those feel good movies that could have shown up in multiple categories and perhaps even gained an acting nomination or two (the sassy, alcholic grandmother role played by Cloris Leachman practically had a sign flashing above it reading "Best Supporting Actress nominee").
What Went Wrong: When the reviews came in, Spanglish was largely declared an uneven effort, and it never really found an audience to balance out its less than stellar critical reception. Early in the Oscar season both Leachman (who did receive a Screen Actors Guild nomination) and Tea Leoni were tapped as likely Oscar contenders but whatever buzz the film and its performances had quickly disappeared and come nomination day, Spanglish failed to show up in any category.
Legacy: The film came and went very quickly. Had it been more successful it might have launched Paz Vega as a star in North America but instead her most high profile Hollywood gig since this one has been the even less memorable The Spirit. Spanglish is perhaps best remembered as just another dramatic miss for Adam Sandler.
Posted by Norma Desmond at 4:00 PM