So Why Can’t Superhero Films Win Oscars?
Published on March 16, 2018
Superhero films and the Oscars don’t necessarily mix. Movies such as Spider-Man 2 and Superman: The Movie have earned millions at the box office and critical acclaim, but this genre generally struggles to nab the big categories at the biggest awards show on earth. These movies are incredibly popular and, some might argue, artistic, so why can’t they win Oscars? We take a look at 5 possible reasons why these films haven’t received any higher honors yet.
More Money, More Problems
Most Oscar-winning films make very little money at the box office. Giving a Best Actor award to an $800 million-grossing film doesn’t sit well with the Academy. The only exception was Heath Ledger winning Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight. “Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight kept us all on edge anxious to see what act of appalling mischief he might commit next,” stated actor Kevin Kline.
Find The Real
The Academy has an easier time swallowing grounded, realistic films than movies involving fantastical, world-destroying villains. Many consider Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy to be the most realistic series of superhero films yet. The Dark Knight itself was even considered a major Oscar snub in the Best Picture category. The film did manage to win two of its eight Oscar nominations.
A Cycle Repeats
Superhero films normally follow the same plot: superhero saves the world from the bad guy. This kind of writing doesn’t persuade the Academy to dig deeper. Logan, however, brought an amazing story that was worthy of its Best Adapted Screenplay nod. “On this film, we really focused on doing something different: a dramatic and character-driven film rather than trying to compete in the arms race of comic-book films,” stated Logan director James Mangold.
A Niche Thing
Superhero films being its own unique genre is a double-edged sword. Several people in the Academy will automatically dismiss them without even watching them for themselves. “Snubbing comic book movies because of their ubiquity is akin to dismissing the Western as matinee fodder,” stated Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo.
Get Off My Lawn
The Academy doesn’t understand superhero films because of its average age bracket. A vast majority of the people involved with voting are over the age of 60. A tiny amount are under the age of 40. Seeing the fast-paced action and colorful costumes might be a bit too much for them.