Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Topic Of The Day. For today's topic, in the spirit of awards season, I will delve into what I consider makes a dark horse candidate. One that becomes a major or potential threat to steal the thunder of the main frontrunner. Let's take a look:
To me, one great indication of a dark horse contender is how it does with the various critics circles. If it beats the frontrunner for the Oscars at certain critics prizes, then if it becomes nominated, it could become a threat to steal the thunder of the supposedly undeniable frontrunner.
One example I'll use is the Best Actress category a few years ago where Cate Blanchett won for Blue Jasmine. As the season began and ended, she was the undeniable frontrunner. Yet she didn't win everything or every critics award under the sun. In fact, some of the people who she lost to or won the Best Actress prizes she didn't, since not every critics group goes by a list of nominees, were hardly in the running. One in particular is Brie Larson who won Best Actress at the Gotham Awards, Austin Film Critics Association, and the Detroit Film Critics Society for Short Term 12. There is also Adele Exarchopoulos who tied with Blanchett for Best Actress at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and won at the International Cinephile Society, Utah Film Critics Association, the Indiana Film Journalists Association, and even Best Film at Cannes for Blue Is The Warmest Color. While I think Blanchett was very deserving for her performance, if performances like Adele's and Larson's were in the mix, we might've had an actual race in our hands to make things a bit more exciting. No offense to Judi Dench and Meryl Streep, but they could've stayed home that year since they didn't have much of a chance. Dench, in fact, didn't even come to the ceremony.
There is also the Best Actor race last year. Part of the reason it was a Michael Keaton-Eddie Redmayne battle was because some competitors that beat them in various critics circles, like Tom Hardy, Ralph Fiennes, and Jake Gyllenhaal, weren't nominated. In fact, Gyllenhaal hit every precursor and still got nothing. It's as if they wanted to keep it a two-person battle.
So to me, that is what defines a dark horse contender. I would love to hear what you guys think makes a dark horse so feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!