This weekend represents one of the best this year. Not only do we have two potential awards players of differing scope, we have a massive blockbuster. The Oscar hopefuls? Well, on the big side, we have Nightmare Alley, while on the smaller side, we have The Tender Bar. As for the blockbusters? That’s of course Spider-Man: No Way Home. Considering how many options are in theaters, it made perfect sense to take these three films and craft an Awards Radar Community post about them. That and the huge box office for the Spider-Man movie might have been a factor. Regardless, we want to hear from you!
First up, we can discuss Nightmare Alley. Guillermo del Toro‘s remake is his take on noir, which should delight his fans. That being said, despite some of the initial raves, the response to this flick has been positive, but not universally so. Does that impact its chances at the Academy Awards? That remains to be seen, but in my review, I urged audiences to not look at it in that manner, or else it’ll impact its effectiveness. In fact, this is some of what I had to say on the matter:
Nightmare Alley represents an epic take on film noir. For some, the bigger, the better. For others, it will seem like an odd marriage. Luckily, in del Toro’s hands, you’re never going to be left in the lurch. An exploration of the monster within us, it’s as bleak a record of humanity as he’s ever attempted, but full of style and his signature playfulness. The less you look at it as prestige and the more you look at it as true noir, the better it will work for you.
Next, we have The Tender Bar. The latest directorial effort from George Clooney, it features some incredibly baity work from Ben Affleck in a supporting role. The awards prospects for the film appear almost exclusively center on his candidacy, which is a bit of a shame. Despite mixed reviews, this coming of age story is an utter delight. Just see my rave review for more:
The Tender Bar is not just Clooney at his most affectionate, but Ben Affleck as well. They clearly love the story, as well as the wise Uncle that Affleck is playing. It’s smart calculus too, since this is one of the most entertaining cinematic characters of 2021. If he’s about to score his first Academy Award nomination for acting (and perhaps even take home the Oscar), it’ll be a worthy character, to say the least.
Finally, we come to Spider-Man: No Way Home. The third installment in Marvel’s Spidey franchise, it really leans into the multiverse for an epic adventure unlike anything else. We’re still speaking in appropriate vagaries, but it goes without saying, this is a blast. My highly positive review from earlier in the week gets into how it stacks up:
Spider-Man: No Way Home continues the strong run for Spidey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While not quite as utterly delightful as Spider-Man: Homecoming, it matches and often exceeds the already strong Spider-Man: Far From Home. A ton happens, with lasting impact for the MCU. While not as overtly optimistic as the prior installments, this hero’s optimism is necessary for the tests on display here. Truly, his entire life has been building up to this. An epic and high stakes Marvel adventure for the character, it’s darker and more serious than the previous two, but also big emotions and several moments that will make your jaw drop.
If you’ve seen any of these films, we want to hear from you!