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Oscar Nod Caps ‘Greek’ Cinderella Story
LOS ANGELES – A year ago, Academy Awards nominations were the last thing on Nia Vardalos’ mind. She was just hoping a few people would go see the low-budget film she wrote and starred in, an old-fashioned little romance called “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
A word-of-mouth blockbuster unlike anything the movie industry has ever seen, the film opened in a few theaters last April and grew into a $240 million sensation as enchanted moviegoers talked it up.
The icing on the wedding cake came Tuesday, when Vardalos earned an Oscar nomination for original screenplay. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” also hit video Tuesday, while still lingering in the top-20 box-office chart at theaters.
“All I’d hoped for is that really we would be released in one theater,” Vardalos said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I thought I could bus my relatives in. You know, where is that theater?
“Now I feel awed √≥ that’s A-W-E-D, and odd, O-D-D √≥ stunned and thrilled and really, really grateful. I feel like I’m in the middle of a miracle.”
Shot on a tiny budget of $5 million, the film is the comical story of a Chicago family that revels in its boisterous Greek heritage and the preparations for the nuptials of an ugly-duckling daughter (Vardalos) to a non-Greek man.
Vardalos based the movie on her upbringing and marriage to a non-Greek.