Why don’t superhero movies get nominated for Oscars?
Hugh Jackman famously broached the topic when he hosted the 2009 Oscars, the year Heath Ledger posthumously won Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Except, it’s not that superhero movies never get nominated. It’s just usually for technical awards like Best Production Design or Best Sound Mixing.
There are rare occasions, however, when superhero movies get to go head-to-head with the big players. Logan, last year’s gritty movie about an aged Wolverine traveling across a near post-apocalyptic America, was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. It lost to Call Me By Your Name.
What people really want to know is why superhero movies are still regarded as second-class pictures in major Oscar categories.
The Lonely Island, a comedy troupe led by Saturday Night Live alum and Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Andy Samberg, explores that exact question in a new video. The trio wrote a predictably hilarious song about some of 2017’s biggest stars — Wonder Woman, Thor and It’s Pennywise, for example — demanding to know why they didn’t receive any Oscar love.
Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder Woman were all critically adored, crushed it at the box office and helped to reimagine what the stale superhero genre can look like with new talent behind the camera. So why did The Post and The Boss Baby get nominated, but not Wonder Woman?
The answer is that genre films, as exciting and wonderful as they are, will never compete with traditional dramas and coming-of-age indies at the Oscars. Get Out, a horror movie with excellent social commentary on race in America, is the closest thing that genre filmmaking had representing it this year in major categories.
But superhero movies don’t need to be nominated for Oscars. We still love watching them, studios are still making truckloads of money producing blockbuster films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to be one of the most dominant forces of good in our lives.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier may not have an Oscar, but we all know it was one of 2014’s best films.