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Awards Profile: Victor Frankenstein

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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.”

Director: Paul McGuigan

Writer: Max Landis, based on the novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley

Starring: James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, Mark Gatiss

Synopsis: Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.

Why It Might Succeed: Latching onto the alternate perspective approach that Disney have been taking recently, this could be a refreshing interpretation of Mary Shelley‘s frequently-adapted and much beloved Frankenstein. It doesn’t matter what the film is, we always know James McAvoy gives it his all and upgrades a film’s pedigree. There’s lots of potential in the costume, production and especially makeup departments even if the script relies on its gimmicks for juice. Quality of the film doesn’t matter if they threw enough money on the screen. They have Eve Stewart on board as production designer, who was nominated for Les Miserables, The King’s Speech and Topsy-Turvy. However, in a perfect world, this could really connect with a certain niche.

Why It Might Fail: You don’t mess with the classics. A spin on the tale could result in backlash just for existing. Remember I, Frankenstein? Hopefully not. Even so it’s frankly not awards material. Like Horns last year, this looks like a Daniel Radcliffe horror movie made to draw the Halloween crowds. It could easily arrive quietly and leave forgotten. Director Paul McGuigan, who’s been busy with TV since his last notable film Push, doesn’t inspire much confidence, though his resume now includes Sherlock so with the benefit of the doubt he could have gained a couple more compelling skills. Nevertheless, there’s a horror film bias when it comes to awards and this won’t be an exception. Unless of course, it makes $200 million, then we’ll talk. We probably won’t talk.

Awards Speculation: At best Makeup & Hairstyling if they have their own monster, even Kenneth Branagh‘s 1994 Frankenstein scored a nom in that department. Maybe Costume and Production Design, but they’re longshots in sure-to-be crowded fields.

Oscar Potential:

Best Makeup & Hairstyling (generously)