How Marvel’s Oscar Campaign Is Making The Awards Relevant Again | Popgen Tech
Marvel is having an Oscar campaign for its 2022 features, which is sure to generate some interest in the awards show — and possibly save it.
The Academy Awards have been the subject of criticism and controversy for a long time. Whether it’s for not recognizing actors and creators of color for their work or for the constant centering of “Oscar bait” films in other genres, the awards ceremony has generated some pushback each year during almost twenty years. In the coming 2022, Marvel Studios has decided to push the Oscar nomination for all its major films, Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. If these films succeed, it could potentially change the game for the Academy Awards, a move that needs to happen if the ceremony wants to stay relevant.
The Academy Awards were founded in 1927 by a group of filmmakers as a push to take film seriously as an art form rather than a form of entertainment. The first Best Picture ceremony was split between two “Best Picture” categories and saw the award go to both an artistic family drama (sunrise) and a big budget action film, Wings. Since then there has been only one Best Picture, the most high-profile and controversial award of them all. There have been ups and downs throughout the awards ceremony’s history, but audience interest often wanes when high-profile, mainstream films fail to be nominated for this award.
What is the Oscar’s Best Picture Controversy?
The Best Picture controversy peaked in 2008 when The Dark Knight and WALL-E failed to be nominated in favor of a group of lesser-known pictures. This led to a drop in ratings for the ceremony, prompting an expansion to ten categories and the addition of upwards and Avatar in 2009. However, despite this expansion, several high-profile action and animated films have entered since then. The only Marvel Cinematic Universe film nominated so far is Black Panther in 2018, which controversially lost to Green Book. Across Endgame as one of the biggest and best-reviewed films of 2019, it was ignored, like all the other MCU films.
While Marvel ran Oscar campaigns for several films, they were largely ignored, again with the notable exception of Black Panther. 2022 saw three major MCU films dominate the conversation, for better or for worse, and Marvel is once again running a campaign for its features following its success at the People’s Choice Awards. While fans have found a choice of Thor: Love and Thunder amusingly, given its mixed reviews, there must have been worse-reviewed films nominated for Best Picture; nominated in 2011 very strong and very close has only 45 percent on Rotten Tomatoes to Love and Thunder‘s a more respectable 64 percent. For a long time, Best Picture nominees were often less “best movie of the year” and more “the kind of movies Oscar voters want.”
How Marvel Nominees Could Change the Oscar Game
Star Wars was a Best Picture nominee in 1977, but The The Empire is back was overlooked in the 1980s in favor of films like Tess and ordinary people, which most readers have probably never heard of and modern film experts would agree is as important to filmmaking as Empire. Since the 1980s, the Oscars have acquired this reputation, in addition to its poor track record in nominating films produced and starring people of color, female directors, and LGBT and international cinema. If the MCU gets not one but two movies in the running for Best Picture in 2022, it could potentially change the game.
Wakanda Forever, Multiverse of Madness and Love and Thunder Oscar Best Picture nominee clichés can be upended. They feature women, actors and creators of color, and non-traditional resolutions. They are superhero action movies based on comic books and big budget action blockbusters with beautiful visual landscapes and fight scenes. All three films are certainly good, but then again, Oscar’s Best Picture nominees are rarely “most objectively well-made” (whatever that means; shot compositions flawless? Artsy direction? Flawless script?) films of the year , but instead the films the Academy determines are worth a nomination. And if these Marvel movies are anything to go by, they’ll save the awards in the future.