Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, John C. Reilly
Synopsis (From IMDB): The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.
Why It Could Succeed:
Sacha Baron Cohen has had great success with his two previous comedy endeavors, Borat and Bruno. Both movies were a box office success and Borat earned Cohen and his writing partners an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s unlikely for that to happen with this film, but I’m sure nobody was able to foresee the Oscar nomination Borat received prior to its release.
Audiences seem to enjoy Cohen’s dirty, offensive, crazy over-the-top humor. He draws them in because he says a lot of the things we think but don’t say out loud because well, we have morals. But Cohen does have a great comedic sense and never fails to get people laughing.
When I first saw the teaser trailer for The Dictator I thought it would be a complete mess, then a second, better trailer was released and previewed the film in a completely different light, making it look halfway decent and actually funny. In the numerous theaters I’ve been to where they have played that trailer, the theater breaks out into a riot of laughter, so that’s a good sign for success.
Why It Could Fail:
Cohen has been pushing this movie since the trailers were released, almost making his whole character and film seem extremely annoying. Cohen is all about transforming into his crazy characters, but all of his public stunts haven’t exactly left a good impression. He’s all about shock factor and all of his stunts have done just that, shock people. But if he would have just promoted the movie like any other actor then maybe audiences would be more willing to see his film. I think after his Oscar stunt many have lost respect for the comical actor because it’s almost like he’s desperate for the publicity.
Also, while many love Cohen, some are tired of his outrageous characters. Honestly, I will see The Dictator because I know I’ll most likely enjoy it, like I did Bruno and Borat the first time around, but I’m tired of Cohen making a mockery of his career. And I can’t be the only person who feels this way. I’m aching for Cohen to grow out of this “I’m so funny” stage and do better work. If I didn’t love film so much and have the desire to watch everything, I would probably boycott this film based on how annoyed I am with Cohen’s ridiculous publicity stunts.
In all seriousness, this film really has no shot at any Academy Award nominations. Let’s just say The Dictator turns out to be a phenomenal film, far better than Borat and makes it all the way to the Academy Awards, the only nomination it has a shot at receiving is a Screenplay nomination. The only chance Cohen ever has in receiving an acting nomination is if he continues to do the work he has been doing outside his own creations. Cohen is a talented actor with the potential to be great, but I wish he would leave his shenanigans at the door and do good work instead of making a fool of himself. Granted, I watch the movies he personally makes but I watch them once and never revisit them because each film is purely based on shock value. Back to the film at hand, if the film does receive any acting recognition it’ll be at the Golden Globes. That’s it.
This film was released on May 16th, 2012 and is being distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Best Original Screenplay
Tags: Anna Faris, Awards Profile, Ben Kinglsey, Comedy, John C. Reilly, Larry Charles, sacha baron cohen, The Dictator