The Oscars have been and always will be divisive.
Not only are the nominations roundly debated, even the eventual winners are usually disputed, and that’s before we get to the controversy over the televised show. Of course, social media has only inflamed and made these arguments even more ferocious.
The 91st Academy Awards has already got one thing right, though, by handing out nominations to Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther, the two most successful films at the 2018 box office.
The Russo Brothers talks the Oscars
OK, Black Panther is doing most of the heavy lifting with its 9 nominations, which includes it being the first ever superhero film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, compared to Avengers: Infinity War’s solitary visual effects nod.
But the Academy Awards’ decision to recognize these Marvel behemoths proves that the Oscars are finally starting to appreciate the genre that has long dominated Hollywood and the worldwide box office.
The Russo Brothers, who directed Avengers: Infinity War, clearly believe that the recognition is overdue and the Academy had no choice but to finally acknowledge these blockbusters.
“It is like a lot of things in society right now with these movies. There is a lot of warring ideas about what stories speak to what people and how they’re executed and what is ‘the best execution.’ But I think all of that is evolving,” Joe Russo tells Metro.
“I think these movies speak to a younger audience. I think these movies speak to a very wide audience. I think the momentum behind them and what the audience sees as the standard of great storytelling is being redefined through these films. I do think that this was a watershed moment. Certainly Nolan’s Dark Knight set the table for all of us. But Black Panther and us getting nominations certainly illustrates that we are now moving in a different direction.”
Avengers: Infinity War will contest against Christopher Robin, First Man, Ready Player One and Solo: A Star Wars Story, while Black Panther is currently fifth favorite for its accolade, ahead of Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice and A Star Is Born, but behind The Favorite, BlacKkKlansman, Green Book and Roma.
That’s hardly surprising. Christoper Nolan’s The Dark Knight is one of only a handful of films based on a comic-book to have won an Academy Award, with Heath Ledger posthumously picking up the Best Supporting Actor and Richard King claiming the Best Achievement in Sound Editing Oscars. The others include Big Hero 6 (Best Animated Feature Film), Batman (Art Direction) Spider-Man 2 (Visual Effects) and Superman (Special Achievement Award).
But while the Russo Brothers would obviously be overjoyed if Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick picked up the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, Anthony is also quick to insist, “We’re all very pleased with the movie. So to a large degree we’ve already gotten our satisfaction.” That’s exactly what $2.048 billion at the box office and a score of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes will do.
The 91st Academy Awards take place on Sunday February 24.
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