It has been rumbling like the after-effects of some bad Brazilian barbecue for the last two weeks: a continued push and groundswell of support for 'Bridesmaids' to earn a Best Picture nomination at the 84th annual Academy Awards. Does the Paul Feig-directed comedy -- one of the few original films here in 2011 that connected with both audiences and critics alike -- have enough gas (sorry) in the tank to make it into the rarified air of Oscar nominees? It might!

Over at, nine of the 29 Oscar experts (including, ahem, me) have placed 'Bridesmaids' on their top-ten list of potential nominees. That doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things -- and since there can be anywhere from five to ten nominees this year for Best Picture, the odds are good 'Bridesmaids' won't make the final cut -- but it does showcase a growing movement for the Kristen Wiig-led comedy.

Reasons for the 'Bridesmaids' surge? Well, that SAG nomination for Best Ensemble didn't hurt. Neither does the the cast of beloved actresses, an industry-respected producer and one of the few performances everyone is still talking about in some regard: Melissa McCarthy.

There could be another reason for the 'Bridesmaids' push, too. 'Bridesmaids' has the box-office clout to be the 'Inception' Exception, and -- unlike 'Harry Potter' -- has something extra: relevance in the current cultural landscape. In a year which will be remembered for funny women (from 'Bridesmaids' to 'Bad Teacher' to nearly every show on the NBC Thursday night comedy block), perhaps some Oscar voters will want to embrace the zeitgeist with both arms.

Of course, that's also the biggest issue for 'Bridesmaids': comedy is generally a genre that the Academy has almost willfully overlooked.

"I definitely think there is some sort of bias there," 'Bridesmaids' producer Judd Apatow told Variety. "Most people think a really intense devastating sad movie about a tragic subject is more difficult to make than 'Blazing Saddles.' And the truth is, it's just as hard to make 'Blazing Saddles.' My days would be much shorter if I didn't have to add jokes."

Which is probably why a guy like Stephen Daldry has never made a comedy. For more on the Oscars, head over to
categories Movies