Saturday, November 05, 2005

Steve Martin finally gets an Oscar nod

You say, "Finally? I thought Steve Martin was an Oscar host, not Oscar bait."

But don't forget the 1980s, when Martin delivered two performances that (aside from being critically praised) won prizes that are usually good predictors of Oscar nods. The perfs were in All of Me in '84 and Roxanne in '87. Martin was nominated for a Golden Globe for each, won best actor from the National Society of Film Critics for each, won best actor from the New York Film Critics Circle for the first, and best actor from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation and a screenplay award from the Writers Guild of America for the second. Yet no Oscar nom either year.

There's that tiresome (but true) adage that the Academy ignores comic work. But now they won't ignore Martin, because all the chips are in place. Shopgirl is no comedy, and Martin not only stars in it but also wrote the screenplay from his own novella. The film has grabbed favorable reviews, has a Lost in Translation vibe, and Martin has wowed the in crowd with his Oscar-hosting abilities. He's beloved by the right people.

An acting nomination? No. But adapted screenplay certainly. I'd even say he's a lock, as long as Buena Vista backs him with a moderate campaign. And if the hollow Lost in Translation can win a screenplay Oscar, Shopgirl can certainly snag a nomination.

Side note: Forget Shopgirl anyway. It's interesting if you want to see a musical score save a movie, but it's nowhere near as good as All of Me. Rent that, save a couple bucks, and have a blast.

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