As I sit typing these words, the Academy Awards show for 2022 has just wrapped. (No, we ain’t gonna talk about the slap.) I didn’t watch it. Other than NIGHTMARE ALLEY and DUNE getting nominated for Best Picture, I didn’t care, and I knew neither of those would win. Even on a good year the Oscars only hold a portion of my attention—and by “good year” I mean a year where movies and artists that genuinely deserve recognition are nominated. Usually they aren’t. This year, the Academy’s deliberate snubbing of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME broke the camel’s back for me. Even on good years the Oscars have compromised credibility. This year they had a whole lot of it.
This linked article echoes my own sentiments perfectly: “…it’s very clear that it takes a literal army to get comic book movies made. When award shows like The Oscars or Critics Choice treat them as if they’re not ‘real’ movies, and directors keep lining up to bash them as the downfall of cinema, it’s insulting to all of those people who worked hard to create that art, as well as the millions of fans who spent money enjoying them…you can’t keep pretending these films don’t exist, and more importantly, that they don’t mean something to the people who see them. This obvious snub shines a spotlight on Hollywood’s hypocrisy when it comes to these projects. The industry is happy to cash the checks, but [these movies] will never be given the same status as [other] films.” Damn right.
Granted a billion-dollar profit margin means a lot more than a little shiny statue, so the movies themselves aren’t being hurt by the snobbery. Rather it’s the Oscars being hurt by it. If the Academy wants to survive, it might want to rethink its elitism and do away with its gatekeeper attitude.