Will a Superhero Movie Ever Win an Oscar?
aka Will a Superhero Movie Ever Win (another) (non-technical) Oscar?
The Superhero Movie has never really been thought of as Oscar material, it’s simple, light material without any depth or expert filmmaking involved. It’s easy to poke fun at a superhero movie because there are so many that win Razzies rather than Oscars, like Catwoman. But filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Bryan Singer can elevate typical superhero fare to something much more great. In fact, The Incredibles is the only superhero movie to win an award, but in the smaller animated category, Christopher Nolan is the only one out there that brought a non-technical win for Heath Ledger as the Joker in the Dark Knight in a live action movie, though several years earlier Warren Beatty brought on a nomination for Al Pacino in his comic strip adaptation of Dick Tracy.
It’s easy to call out the Academy and their elderly members, the average age of an Oscar voting member is 62. And yet, there have been popular sci-fi or fantasy movies that make it into the Best Picture finalists. The original Star Wars was nominated, so was Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. All three Lord of the Rings movies were nominated, and Return of the King won. Of course these movies make up a very tiny percentage of the overall Best Picture nominees. Even as the academy opened up the nominees for Best Picture above 5 movies, there has only been Avatar and District 9 as popular sci-fi movies nominated for Best Picture.
So what does the future hold? There’s no question at all that superhero movies are becoming more prolific. I mean all you have to do is check out my list of superhero movies sorted by date to see that in the 80’s and 90’s there are only one to six movies each year, and when you get to the 2010’s there’s over a dozen movies out each year. Not only that, but the quality for some of the best ones are getting better and better. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has been acclaimed all over the place as three great pieces of filmmaking, especially for the Dark Knight. But this year, Joss Whedon was also hailed both at the box office and by critics with his masterful work on the Avengers, and even with this being a pretty great year for superhero movies with The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and the Amazing Spider-Man the only one that even got a technical nomination was the Avengers for Best Special Effects.
There’s little denying it, I’m much more of a popular movie watcher. In this year’s Oscars I’ve only seen Les Mis out of the big categories, though I am somewhat interested in watching Argo, Django Unchained, and Silver Linings Playbook at some point in time. I did watch and enjoy all of the nominated short films and even wrote a post for it at the Lamb. But for the most part I’m not interested in the ceremony, the awards, or anything else, what I find more interesting is reading how other people react to it, it is one of the most popular movie awards out there, and since I follow a lot of movie sites now, that’s what everyone is talking about right now so I just had to join in, at least in my own way. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.