Awards Profile: Trainwreck


Welcome to the 2015 Awards Profiles series.  For the next two months, every day (except for Saturday), we will bring you a run down of a future 2015 film that we see as a potential awards vehicle for next year’s Academy Awards.  This is all speculative since with just about all these films, we haven’t seen a frame yet.  Nonetheless, we venture on.  If you miss a film, then click on the tag “2015 Awards Profile.”

Directed by: Judd Apatow
Written by: Amy Schumer
Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, Dave Attell, John Cena, and Randall Park
Synopsis: Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.

Why It Could Succeed:

Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer, looks more like Bridesmaidtrainwrecks than The Grand Budapest Hotel on the surface, but based on reports out of SXSW, there may be more to this film than meets the eye. The cast includes Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, fellow Akronite LeBron James, and previous Breakthrough Champ, Brie Larson – a list that Schumer could wind up on if early reviews are to be believed (Inside Amy Schumer fans will argue she’s already broken through).

For Trainwreck to find its way into a Best Picture lineup, it’s going to need more than just a few slapstick moments (think: Bridesmaids). It’s going to need a whole lot of heart and a tangible and complete story to go with it.

Why It Might Not Succeed:

Comedy is (one of) the proverbial red-headed stepchild when it comes to the Academy’s Best Picture selections. And before you argue that last year’s winner, Birdman, was a comedy, let’s just call a spade a spade and declare that a thoroughbred comedy – the likes of which Birdman is not – hasn’t won Best Picture since Annie Hall (1977).

schumerIn that time, however, there have been true comedies that edged their way into a Best Picture nomination, including last year’s aforementioned The Grand Budapest Hotel. We can go back through the decades, but each year presents an opportunity to split hairs around what truly is a comedy (e.g., Silver Linings Playbook, Midnight in Paris, etc.).

The early buzz is very promising, no doubt. And though I’d love to believe a comedy as cheeky-looking as Trainwreck stands a chance at a Best Picture nod, it would take the Academy a little more than going back to a straight ten films for me to think this one has even an outside shot of getting much love come awards season.

We’re a long way out though, and anything is possible I suppose.

Oscar Potential:

Original Screenplay (Amy Schumer)

View more on Trainwreck here.