|Left to right: Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart|
This Friday marks the end of an era for many people. What started as an independent film has grown into an international phenomenon that has broken box office records and has popularized vampires for a new generation. However, with director Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, can the series join the pantheon of series finales such as director Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and David Yates' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 as Oscar nominated films that at very least have gotten recognition for the culmination of work over the past few years?
The simple answer is no. The thing that separates Twilight from the Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring films is that it has never come close to being nominated for an Oscar, therefore it stands less of a chance of pulling a surprise nomination. A quick search of statistics website Gold Derby will show that it doesn't even rank among the last place contenders. It also seems more unlikely on the basis that Breaking Dawn - Part 1 earned eight Razzies nomination. This film will have to be really impressive to even make it onto the radar. Of course, the one upswing is that the movie currently holds 64% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Of course, there is some appeal to the Oscars that may pull a surprise upswing. Anna Kendrick was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Up in the Air. Bill Condon won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Gods and Monsters as well as a further nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for the Oscar winning Chicago. This credibility may be enough to gain the series what little chances that it has.
Of course, the biggest issue is the series itself. Vampire movies have never won Best Picture and the subject of teen angst may turn off the Academy's older voters. The audience for these films have been a strictly young audience, and like The Dark Knight Rises, may not be understood by older generations. However, unlike The Dark Knight Rises, Twilight doesn't feature nearly as much craft as Christopher Nolan's vehicle and cannot get the last second dazzling imagery to change the series' legacy.
And finally, the biggest problem is that it cannot even rank among the best films of the year. Argo, The Master, Les Miserables, and even Life of Pi are already leading the pack in almost all fields and with amazing feats of acting, it leads little room for Kristen Stewart to get a Best Actress nomination or Stephanie Meyers' book a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, especially when it also has to compete against favorite Silver Linings Playbook. It just doesn't have the caliber to compete and it is unprecedented that a film following multiple Razzies nominated films can even gain back respect.
Of course, Stephen Daldry managed to get all of his films nominated for Best Picture. Anything can happen. After all, Bill Condon does have an Oscar nomination and that already gets him some credibility. However, a quick search of all of Daldry's films will point out that Daldry at very least has made movies with better reviews than almost all of the Twilight films. At this point, the only thing that we can hope is that Breaking Dawn - Part 2 can maintain its string of positive reviews and earn a somewhat positive conclusion to a franchise that has much been maligned.
Does this film stand a chance? Can we just accept this as Kristen Stewart's paycheck so that she can afford to do riskier projects in the future? Will Bill Condon ever gain back the Academy's respect?