Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively hosted a special screening of Mary Poppins Returns in New York last night, fêting Emily Blunt and director Rob Marshall. The photos are sweet: lots of hugging, schmoozing, and big smiles. And they couldn’t have had better timing.
See photos from tonight’s special screening of #MaryPoppinsReturns hosted by @BlakeLively and @VancityReynolds. pic.twitter.com/0z6ypQrtJh— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) January 11, 2019
It’s Oscar nomination crunch time. Academy voting opened on Monday, and closes next Monday, so this is a crucial time for visibility for anybody who wants to have their work be in contention. This is why the Globes — in spite of some questionable choices — are such a meaningful platform if you win, since it puts you at top of mind for Academy voters. Earlier this week, Emily did not get a BAFTA nomination from her home crowd for a movie that would presumably be catnip for the British audience. It was widely considered to be a shocker of a snub. She didn’t win at the Globes either, and while she was incredibly charming, disarming and savvy at the Palm Springs Awards Gala a little over a week ago, lifting up her on-screen children on-stage, her Mary Poppins Returns Oscar campaign needed a boost. So, why not get a lift (and some great new pictures) from famous friends Ryan and Blake?
According to experts, Emily’s on the bubble for an Oscar nod this year. She was honoured twice at the SAGs for Mary Poppins Returns and A Quiet Place, and at the Globes and the Critics’ Choice, but both of those awards shows have an expanded list of nominees. Tapping into the popularity of Blunt-Krasinski Inc. could be just what Emily needs to make the Academy’s list of five, and Disney seems to be very aware of that.
Disney posted the photos to their official social channels before Ryan and Blake did the same, to help them circulate before the weekend. In fact, as of this writing, Ryan and Blake have not yet shared photos from the event themselves, though Blake posted about her outfit, and Ryan did “like” a tweet from Disney’s President of Marketing, Asad Ayaz, thanking them for hosting the event.
Emily’s friendship with Ryan and Blake is far from private —she even gave Blake a shout out in her 73 Questions with Vogue video — but what does this endorsement mean for her awards season momentum. Along with, say, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Blake and Ryan are among the most popular couples in Hollywood especially on red carpet cache? And now their bond is being leveraged into great PR for her film, and performance, exactly when Emily needs it most, if a nomination is her goal. And it certainly appears to be what the studio is angling for.
Mike Myers, Harry Connick Jr., and Ryan’s Deadpool love interest Morena Baccarin and her partner Ben McKenzie attended the screening too, and were photographed at the event. You can check out those pictures here. About a month ago, I wrote about how Chris Pratt hosted a screening of A Quiet Place with John Krasinski, its chances at cracking the Best Picture race, and how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have also publicly endorsed the couple by either walking red carpets, or writing about their work this year.
I also wrote:
"Who else will Ben and Matt recruit to join Team Blunt? How long will it be until Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds rejoin the chorus? I’m giving it an over-under of three weeks."
Turns out it was about four weeks, not three.
This lean-in to Emily’s likability only increases her profile for the traditional Academy voter. She and John have covered an industry trade (The Hollywood Reporter) right before the holidays, talking about their personal (and professional) love story, nabbed another VOGUE cover in character, and has continued her charm offensive throughout awards season with just the right thumbs-up and famous friends. Duana and Lainey just discussed Blunt-Krasinski Inc. on the latest episode of Show Your Work. But now the question is… will their work, and these backings from couples or stars who are just as influential or popular, if not more, lead to results? The result being… Emily’s first Oscar nomination?