As you’re now probably aware, after the reaction to A Star is Born in Venice and especially in Toronto, in front of a North American audience, the film is a now a major contender for award season and, ultimately, for Oscar. A Best Picture nomination seems likely, especially if ASIB does big business which I can’t imagine it won’t. I have friends whose 70-year-old fathers want to see it. And others who will be going with their 17-year-old sons and daughters. This is a critically acclaimed film that will also be classified as “popular”. Imagine then if the Academy had proceeded with their bullsh-t “popular film” Oscar category? They were staring at the very real possibility of Black Panther and A Star is Born being placed in that category instead of being placed in Best Picture. Or…perhaps worse… ASIB getting into Best Picture and Black Panther getting in for Popular Film and suddenly there’s a public relations disaster to deal with.
Warner Bros and Bradley Cooper decided not to take ASIB to Telluride and screened the film in Venice and Toronto instead, specifically to generate this kind of reaction. Telluride has a reputation for being pure cinephile, which, like, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But you’re probably not getting the emotion and the euphoria out of those screenings like the way people reacted here at TIFF. ASIB is a big, bold audience experience. I probably wasn’t as wrung out by it as others but I get why the story is affecting people in this way, and though I have a couple of small problems with it, I’m buying the hype, I’m not here to contest whether or not it deserves it. There is too much heart here that’s undeniable.
So what kind of awards probability are we looking at? The TIFF People’s Choice Award is always a good sign. Last year Three Billboards won. The year before that was La La Land. The year before that it was Room. And I think ASIB will take it on Sunday. There is NO way it won’t be nominated for everything at the Golden Globes with the Comedy/Musical category. As for Bradley himself – we could be looking at maybe, like, some kind of nominations record? Best Picture, there’s one. Best Director, there’s another. Best Actor, for sure. Screenwriting too. And soundtrack/songwriting because he co-wrote a few songs. That’s already five. It’s very possible.
Here’s Coop yesterday in Atlanta for a screening of A Star is Born.