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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Batman receive multiple Oscar nominations

The Oscars

The nominees for the 2023 Academy Awards was announced today and it was a mix of blockbusters and smaller films. While Marvel and DC were shut out from the “Best Picture”, Angela Bassett has been nominated for “Actress in a Supporting Role” for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Bassett wasn’t the only nomination for comic films though. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Batman have been nominated in multiple categories including the expected technical, costume, and makeup categories.

Everything Everywhere All at Once led with 11 nominations followed by All Quiet on the Western Front and The Banshees of Inisherin which tied with nine. Black Panther: Wakwanda Forever received five nominations while The Batman received three.

Check out the list of nominees below and congrats to everyone. The Academy Awards are set to take place on Sunday, March 12.


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Malte Grunert, Producer
  • “Avatar: The Way of Water,” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers
  • “Elvis,” Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss, Producers
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang, Producers
  • “The Fabelmans,” Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, Producers
  • “Tár,” Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert, Producers
  • “Top Gun: Maverick,” Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer, Producers
  • “Triangle of Sadness,” Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, Producers
  • “Women Talking,” Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Frances McDormand, Producers


  • Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
  • Hong Chau, “The Whale”
  • Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  • Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
  • Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”


  • Brendan Gleeson, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  • Brian Tyree Henry, “Causeway”
  • Judd Hirsch, “The Fabelmans”
  • Barry Keoghan, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  • Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany) 
  • “Argentina, 1985” (Argentina) 
  • “Close” (Belgium)
  • “EO” (Poland) 
  • “The Quiet Girl” (Ireland) 


  • “The Elephant Whisperers,” Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga
  • “Haulout,” Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev
  • “How Do You Measure a Year?” Jay Rosenblatt
  • “The Martha Mitchell Effect,” Anne Alvergue and Beth Levison
  • “Stranger at the Gate,” Joshua Seftel and Conall Jones


  • “All That Breathes,” Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer
  • “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin and Yoni Golijov
  • “Fire of Love,” Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman
  • “A House Made of Splinters,” Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström
  • “Navalny,” Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris


  • “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman,” Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and BloodPop
  • “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson; Lyric by Tems and Ryan Coogler
  • “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR,” Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose  
  • “This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski; Lyric by Ryan Lott and David Byrne 


  • “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley
  • “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan and Paul Mezey
  • “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” Joel Crawford and Mark Swift
  • “The Sea Beast,” Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger
  • “Turning Red,” Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Screenplay by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell
  • “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” Written by Rian Johnson
  • “Living,” Written by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • “Top Gun: Maverick,” Screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks
  • “Women Talking,” Screenplay by Sarah Polley


  • “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Written by Martin McDonagh
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
  • “The Fabelmans,” Written by Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner
  • “Tár,” Written by Todd Field
  • “Triangle of Sadness,” Written by Ruben Östlund


  • Austin Butler, “Elvis”
  • Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  • Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”
  • Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”
  • Bill Nighy, “Living”


  • Cate Blanchett, “Tár”
  • Ana de Armas, “Blonde”
  • Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie”
  • Michelle Williams, “The Fabelmans”
  • Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”


  • Martin McDonagh, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  • Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
  • Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”
  • Todd Field, “Tár”
  • Ruben Ostlund, “Triangle of Sadness”


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Production Design: Christian M. Goldbeck; Set Decoration: Ernestine Hipper
  • “Avatar: The Way of Water,” Production Design: Dylan Cole and Ben Procter; Set Decoration: Vanessa Cole
  • “Babylon,” Production Design: Florencia Martin; Set Decoration: Anthony Carlino
  • “Elvis,” Production Design: Catherine Martin and Karen Murphy; Set Decoration: Bev Dunn
  • “The Fabelmans,” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front”, James Friend
  • “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” Darius Khondji
  • “Elvis,” Mandy Walker
  • “Empire of Light,” Roger Deakins
  • “Tár,” Florian Hoffmeister


  • “Babylon”
  • “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
  • “Elvis”
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
  • “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front”
  • “Avatar: The Way of Water”
  • “The Batman”
  • “Elvis”
  • “Top Gun: Maverick”


  • “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud
  • “The Flying Sailor,” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
  • “Ice Merchants,” João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano
  • “My Year of Dicks,” Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon
  • “An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It,” Lachlan Pendragon


  • “An Irish Goodbye”
  • “Ivalu”
  • “Le Pupille”
  • “Night Ride”
  • “The Red Suitcase”


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front”
  • “Babylon”
  • “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
  • “The Fabelmans”


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank and Kamil Jafar
  • “Avatar: The Way of Water,” Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett
  • “The Batman,” Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands and Dominic Tuohy
  • “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White and Dan Sudick
  • “Top Gun: Maverick,” Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson and Scott R. Fisher


  • “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
  • “Elvis,” Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Paul Rogers
  • “Tár,” Monika Willi
  • “Top Gun: Maverick,” Eddie Hamilton


  • “All Quiet on the Western Front”
  • “The Batman”
  • “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
  • “Elvis”
  • “The Whale”

The Oscar Nominees Have Been Announced


The nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards were announced today with some ground breaking nominations.

70 women received 76 nominations, a record for a year. Emerald Fennell and Chloé Zhao were nominated in the directing category with Zhao the first woman of color to be nominated in the category.

Mank, Netflix’s drama about the development of the screenplay for Citizen Kane led the nominees with 10 nods.

This year’s ceremony will air Sunday, April 25 on ABC.

Check out below for the full list of nominations.


  • “The Father”
  • “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • “Mank”
  • “Minari”
  • “Nomadland”
  • “Promising Young Woman”
  • “Sound of Metal”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7″


  • Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
  • Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
  • Olivia Colman, “The Father”
  • Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
  • Youn Yuh-jung, “Minari”


  • Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
  • Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
  • Lakeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”


  • “Another Round” – Denmark
  • “Better Days” – Hong Kong
  • “Collective” – Romania
  • “The Man Who Sold His Skin” – Tunisia
  • “Qu Vadis, Aida?” – Bosnia and Herzegovina


  • “Colette”
  • “A Concerto Is a Conversation”
  • “Do Not Split”
  • “Hunger Ward”
  • “A Love Song For Latasha”


  • “Collective”
  • “Crip Camp”
  • “The Mole Agent”
  • “My Octopus Teacher”
  • “Time”


  • “Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • “Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”
  • “lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)”
  • “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami…”


  • “Onward”
  • “Over the Moon”
  • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
  • “Soul”
  • “Wolfwalkers”


  • “Borat Subsequent MovieFilm”
  • “The Father”
  • “Nomadland”
  • “One Night in Miami”
  • “The White Tiger”


  • “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • “Minari”
  • “Promising Young Woman”
  • “Sound of Metal”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”


  • Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
  • Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
  • Gary Oldman, “Mank”
  • Steven Yeun, “Minari”


  • Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
  • Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
  • Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
  • Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”


  • Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”
  • David Fincher, “Mank”
  • Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
  • Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”
  • Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”


  • “The Father”
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • “Mank”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Tenet”


  • Sean Bobbitt, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • Erik Messerschmidt, “Mank”
  • Dariusz Wolski, “News of the World”
  • Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”
  • Phedon Papamichael , “The Trial of the Chicago 7”


  • “Emma”
  • “Ma Rainey’s Blackbottom”
  • “Mank”
  • “Mulan”
  • “Pinocchio”


  • “Greyhound”
  • “Mank”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Soul”
  • “Sound of Metal”


  • “Burrow”
  • “Genius Loci”
  • “If Anything Happens I Love You”
  • “Opera”
  • “Yes-People”


  • “Feeling Through”
  • “The Letter Room”
  • “The Present”
  • “Two Distant Strangers”
  • “White Eye”


  • “Da 5 Bloods”
  • “Mank”
  • “Minari”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Soul”


  • “Love and Monsters”
  • “The Midnight Sky”
  • “Mulan”
  • “The One and Only Ivan”
  • “Tenet”


  • “The Father”
  • “Nomadland”
  • “Promising Young Woman”
  • “Sound of Metal”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”


  • “Emma”
  • “Hillbilly Elegy”
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • “Mank”
  • “Pinocchio”

Joker Nabs a Leading 11 Oscar Nominations, Avengers: Endgame Nominated for 1. Lion Forge Animation Gets Its First.


The nominees for the 92nd annual Academy Awards have been announced. Joker has an impressive amount of nominations with 11 total including “Best Picture,” “Best Director,” and “Lead Actor.” That amount leads the pack of nominated films.

The film goes into the race with a good chance of nabbing “Lead Actor,” which Joaquin Phoenix has already been winning numerous awards for, and “Original Score,” which Hildur Guðnadóttir has also been bringing in the wins.

The Warner Bros. film wasn’t the only comic adaptation to get a nomination. Marvel StudiosAvengers: Endgame received one nomination for “Visual Effects.”

But, there’s one more comic-related nomination. Hair Love is nominated for “Animated Short.” The film by Matthew A. Cherry was the first project for Lion Forge Animation, the studio under Polarity the parent company of comic companies Lion Forge and Oni Press. The short played along The Angry Birds Movie 2 and started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 that raised almost $300,000.

The Academy Awards will air live Feb. 6 on ABC. Check out below for the full list of nominees:

Best Picture:

  • “Ford v Ferrari”
  • “The Irishman”
  • “Jojo Rabbit”
  • “Joker”
  • “Little Women”
  • “Marriage Story”
  • “1917”
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • “Parasite”

Lead Actor:

  • Antonio Banderas “Pain and Glory”
  • Leonardo DiCaprio “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Adam Driver “Marriage Story”
  • Joaquin Phoenix “Joker”
  • Jonathan Pryce “The Two Popes”

Lead Actress:

  • Cynthia Erivo “Harriet”
  • Scarlett Johansson “Marriage Story”
  • Saoirse Ronan “Little Women”
  • Charlize Theron “Bombshell”
  • Renee Zellweger “Judy”

Supporting Actor:

  • Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
  • Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
  • Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
  • Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
  • Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Supporting Actress:

  • Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
  • Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
  • Scarlett Johannson, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
  • Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”


  • Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
  • Todd Phillips, “Joker”
  • Sam Mendes, “1917”
  • Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Animated Feature:

  • “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” Dean DeBlois
  • “I Lost My Body” Jeremy Clapin
  • “Klaus” Sergio Pablos
  • “Missing Link” Chris Butler
  • “Toy Story 4” Josh Cooley

Animated Short:

  • “Dcera,” Daria Kashcheeva
  • “Hair Love,” Matthew A. Cherry
  • “Kitbull,” Rosana Sullivan
  • “Memorable,” Bruno Collet
  • “Sister,” Siqi Song

Adapted Screenplay:

  • “The Irishman,” Steven Zaillian
  • “Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi
  • “Joker,” Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
  • “Just Mercy” Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham
  • “Little Women,” Greta Gerwig
  • “The Two Popes,” Anthony McCarten

Original Screenplay:

  • “Knives Out,” Rian Johnson
  • “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach
  • “1917,” Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino
  • “Parasite,” Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han


  • “The Irishman,” Rodrigo Prieto
  • “Joker,” Lawrence Sher
  • “The Lighthouse,” Jarin Blaschke
  • “1917,” Roger Deakins
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Robert Richardson

Best Documentary Feature:

  • “American Factory,” Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar
  • “The Cave,” Feras Fayyad
  • “The Edge of Democracy,” Petra Costa
  • “For Sama,” Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
  • “Honeyland,” Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov

Best Documentary Short Subject:

  • “In the Absence”
  • “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone,” Carol Dysinger
  • “Life Overtakes Me,” Kristine Samuelson, John Haptas
  • “St. Louis Superman”
  • “Walk Run Cha-Cha,” Laura Nix

Best Live Action Short Film:

  • “Brotherhood,” Meryam Joobeur
  • “Nefta Football Club,” Yves Piat
  • “The Neighbors’ Window,” Marshall Curry
  • “Saria,” Bryan Buckley
  • “A Sister,” Delphine Girard

Best International Feature Film:

  • “Corpus Christi,” Jan Komasa
  • “Honeyland,” Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
  • “Les Miserables,” Ladj Ly
  • “Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodovar
  • “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho

Film Editing:

  • “Ford v Ferrari,” Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland
  • “The Irishman,” Thelma Schoonmaker
  • “Jojo Rabbit,” Tom Eagles
  • “Joker,” Jeff Groth
  • “Parasite,” Jinmo Yang

Sound Editing:

  • “Ford v Ferrari,” Don Sylvester
  • “Joker,” Alan Robert Murray
  • “1917,” Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Wylie Stateman
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of SkyWalker,” Matthew Wood, David Acord

Sound Mixing:

  • “Ad Astra”
  • “Ford v Ferrari”
  • “Joker”
  • “1917”
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Production Design:

  • “The Irishman,” Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
  • “Jojo Rabbit,” Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova
  • “1917,” Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh
  • “Parasite,” Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee

Original Score:

  • “Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir
  • “Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Marriage Story,”Randy Newman
  • “1917,” Thomas Newman
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” John Williams*“The King,” Nicholas Britell

Original Song:

  • “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”
  • “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
  • “I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”
  • “Into the Unknown,” “Frozen 2”
  • “Stand Up,” “Harriet”

Makeup and Hair:

  • “Bombshell”
  • “Joker”
  • “Judy”
  • “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
  • “1917”

Costume Design:

  • ”The Irishman,” Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson
  • “Jojo Rabbit,” Mayes C. Rubeo
  • “Joker,” Mark Bridges
  • “Little Women,” Jacqueline Durran
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Arianne Phillips

Visual Effects:

  • “Avengers Endgame”
  • “The Irishman”
  • “1917”
  • “The Lion King”
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

It was a Great Night at the Oscars for Black Panther and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Black Panther

Black Panther can call itself an Oscar winning film… a multiple winning Oscar film.

Ruth Carter won for “Costume Design.” The film also won for “Production Design” with Hannah Beachler being honored for production design and Jay Hary being honored for set decoration. The film’s third win of the night was “Original Score” for Ludwig Goransson‘s work.

Black Panther tied with Roma and Green Book for the second most Oscar wins for the night tied. Bohemian Rhapsody won 4 times.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

It was a Marvel night with Sony‘s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse taking home best “Animated Feature Film” with Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord, and Christopher Miller sharing the award.

But, Marvel didn’t win for everthing. Avengers: Infinity War lost to First Man for “Visual Effects.” Black Panther also lost out to Green Book for “Best Picture.”

Check out below for Tweets from the show including quotes from the winners.

Bad News for Geeks: The Oscar for Achievement in Popular Film

And the Award for the Worst Idea for Awards Shows 2018 goes to. . .  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announcing an award for “outstanding achievement in popular film.”

It’s stupid, it’s pandering, it’s condescending, and also potentially racist.

On first glance, geeks might rejoice! “Finally, a category that will reward the movies I love — Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park!”

Well yes. And no.

The Academy is correct in identifying that fewer and fewer people are watching The Oscars every year. But this won’t help with that– at all. Yes, please, add more categories and ones that will represent the best in pop geek cinema. In fact, I identified five such ideas earlier this year. I quote myself:

“Most of the Best Picture nominations have made less than $100 million. NONE of the top 10 grossing movies of 2017 are nominated for Best Picture or Best Director. While we should in no way conflate box office with artistic merit, … it’s no wonder the public tunes out– because the Oscars celebrate what Hollywood likes in its movies, but not necessarily the rest of the country. In fact, of the top twenty best performing films of 2017, you only have two that received Best Picture / Best Director nominations — Dunkirk (16th) and Get Out (18th).”

My personal favorites of 2017 included blockbusters and artsy movies. While I would never expect to see Atomic Blonde nominated for Best Picture (it was also only a minor box office success), I am surprised that amazing films like Coco and Your Name are not. (Note: I am talking about the time-travel-starcrossed lovers anime Your Name and not Call Me By Your Name). But why are they not nominated as Best Picture?

Because they are animated films, and animation has its own separate category. Films like Zootopia, Inside Out, and The Incredibles deserve Oscar buzz. But they will never get it because they are stuck in the same situation we are about to put “popular” films in. This is the same problem documentaries have– films like Man on Wire, The Act of Killing, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, or 13th should all be considered amongst the best films of their respective years. Ditto for foreign language films.

The Academy should be asking, “Is how we choose Best Picture, Director, Writer and Actor nominees maybe not considering a whole slew of great films because our voting population is mainly old, white men who are susceptible to lobbying/bribery/marketing from the major studios and bullies/abusers like the Weinsteins?” Instead they’re saying, “Maybe if we nominate one of these superhero movies it will get these rubes off their tractors and turnip trucks.”

In the wake of controversies like #OscarsSoWhite, they are trying to increase the diversity of what films they consider, but this will ultimately backfire. Let’s be 100% real — if this category had existed last year, Get Out would’ve been in it. How do we know this? Because at the Golden Globes, it was nominated in the “Musicals and Comedy” slate.

It’s not hard to posit that the following conversation took place:

A: “They’re going to call us racist if Black Panther isn’t nominated for Best Picture.”
B: “Well, what if we designed a new category it can be sure to win, so we don’t have to worry about it?”
C: “Yes! A separate, but equal, award for. . . best popular movie or something.”

Or maybe the answer is just make sure the people voting are given the option to, you know, vote for Black Panther. And maybe extend your voting to enough people to make sure it can happen. And you don’t have to pander. You don’t have to condescend. But that, of course, would require you to make Hollywood less of an old-boys-club run by suits looking at spreadsheets. The key is having a younger, more racially diverse, more equal in terms of gender ratios group of voters, which means having more of those people making the films we love. But nah, let’s just make a popularity award.

This is not at all to poo-poo “popular” movies. I will fight you why Captain America: Civil War was the best movie of 2016 (and Captain America: Winter Soldier the best of 2014). Of the 100+ films I’ve seen and reviewed this year here on Graphic Policy and elsewhere, Black Panther has so far received my highest score. It shouldn’t be nominated for an award because it’s “popular”– it should be nominated because it’s a damn fine movie. Again, I will fight anyone who says differently. I love nothing more than sit down and obsessively talk about the minutae of Ryan Coogler or Rian Johnson’s work.

Do I want The Last Jedi to be nominated for Best Picture? Sure! The original Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture and should’ve won against Annie Hall, and Rian Johnson’s masterpiece is in that same echelon of great Star Wars movies. (Yes, @ me if you must, because I will die on this hill and am happy to block tons of trolls on Twitter)

But what I don’t want is every year or so for a Star Wars film to get a participation trophy because it made so much money. It doesn’t need a popularity award– it just made a billion dollars! It’s @#$%ing Star Wars — one of the most culturally ubiquitous things on the planet. That’s enough. If you’re going to reward it for its cinematic achievement, then do so. But don’t do it because you think it will get more eyes on a tv broadcast. (SPOILER ALERT: It won’t.) That path leads to the Dark Side. . . and the Star Wars Holiday Special.

What it will do is ghettoize great films just because they are popular.

Let’s play this out. This year’s nominees will likely include Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2, Mary Poppins Returns. . . yes, those are all Disney films. Add in Deadpool 2 as a soon-to-be-Disney property. Anyone see a problem with this? First, if you’re literally any other film, why even bother? Second, remember that the Oscars telecast is on ABC. If this category — even just for this year — is just an extended commercial for Disney’s corporate holdings, then, again, why even bother?

The biggest tragedy will be if groundbreaking genre films like Sorry to Bother You, Hereditary, or A Quiet Place get relegated to this category.  Again — 100%– Get Out would have been in this category last year. So would Logan and likely Wonder Woman. We shouldn’t be content with this, but instead demand that real artistic work be taken seriously and not dismissed out of hand as though “Best” and “Popular” are largely mutually exclusive categories. Both James Mangold and Patty Jenkins deserved to be nominated as Best Director and their films nominated for Best Picture. Instead, we get Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Darkest Hour. 

It’s precisely that kind of bullshit that makes people not tune in. Another movie about Dunkirk? (and the absolute worst of the three released in 2017!) And a misguided discussion about forgiveness that completely misses the mark, especially when it comes to issues of race? Yeah, no. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Ghettoizing Get Out, Logan, The Last Jedi, and Wonder Woman into a “popular movies” category wouldn’t fix that.

Apologies for using the word ghettoize. I do not do so lightly. I do so in the literal sense of segregating people based on outward characteristics in order to provide them with substandard services.

While The Academy would like to be more diverse, this category will serve as a “runner up” category to keep films like Black Panther, Sorry to Bother You, A Wrinkle in Time, Crazy Rich Asians AND their filmmakers away from the podium.

That’s not fair, and it’s not ok. I made a joke earlier about a “separate, but equal, category.” That’s what this is. As long as it exists as a consolation prize while “real” art gets nominated for Best Picture, it will serve to “other” deserving filmmakers.

While this will be good news that early next year we can stop remembering that the only recent movie based on a comic book to win an Oscar is Suicide Squad (executive produced by supervillain Treasury Secretary and therefore fifth in line for the presidency Steve Mnuchin!) that is likely the only good thing about this situation. Sure, Ryan Coogler might get to accept an Oscar, but he deserves to be in the same category as Spielberg and Scorcese.

5 Ways the Oscars Can Improve

Well, for the first time in several years, the Academy Awards nominations are out and not head-scratchingly out of touch. While Wonder Womana hit both critically and at the box office, was strangely completely shut out, most of the nominations actually reflect some of the best work this year, with Get Out and The Shape of Water (two of my personal favorites) receiving multiple nominations. We’ll have to wait to talk about Three Billboards another day, but tl;dr– it’s a good movie, but perhaps not as deserving as the multiple nominations it deserves.

I’m still mad that we’ll give an award to Gary Oldman wearing a fatsuit as Winston Churchill but not Andy Serkis wearing digital makeup as Caesar, but at least we’re seeing a diverse (and deserving!) group of nominees.

I was especially happy to see Get Out, Lady Bird, The Big Sick, and Mudbound get nominations. While in the Best Director category I’d rather replace Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson with… I dunno– Patty Jenkins, Rian Johnson, Denis Villanueve, Kathryn Bigelow, but that’s just personal taste. 

It’s so odd that it’s 2018 and this is the first time a woman has been nominated for cinematography. And while Rachel Morrison‘s work on Mudbound is definitely worthy of nomination, it’s supremely unfortunate she is competing against what may be Roger Deakins‘ best work ever — and that’s saying something for the prolific master with his 14th nomination.

So, all in all, Oscars? Not bad.


Let’s face it: the Oscars kind of suck. But in admitting this truth, we can recognize the ways the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences needs to adapt, improve, and revitalize their relevance.

The biggest problem with the Academy Awards is they don’t really award the best in the film industry. The voting is so political– and not political in terms of awarding diversity or political as in reflecting our actual politics. But Academy voters generally have seemed more focused on rewarding current less good films from those who were snubbed in the past that it then snubs those working on the bleeding edge of film today.  Hence, this is likely Deakins’ year– not only because of the masterwork that is BladeRunner2049, but also for all of his other works.

They took a giant step forward last year in awarding Best Picture to Moonlight and recognizing Barry Jenkins‘ excellent work in it. Despite that, there is still Hollywood’s diversity problem– and yes, this is a system-wide problem that is directly reflected in the Academy’s voting.

While on both of these complaints there is some improvement, but just because Guillermo Del Toro, Jordan Peele, and Greta Gerwig are nominated this year, let’s not kid ourselves that they’ve fixed the problem. This is, however, a giant step forward. But Greta Gerwig is only the fifth female director ever nominated. Jordan Peele is also only the fifth black director ever nominated. And Del Toro’s nomination is only the fifth time a Latino has been nominated– and three of those were for Alejandro Iñárritu.

Still? Progress.

Also, things have just changed with movies. We need to simultaneously bemoan the fact that fewer members of the public enjoy seeing groundbreaking cinema, while also recognizing the artistry that goes into making a Last Jedi or Logan or Wonder Woman.

Most of the Best Picture nominations have made less than $100 million. NONE of the top 10 grossing movies of 2017 are nominated for Best Picture or Best Director. While we should in no way conflate box office with artistic merit (C’mon– my favorite movie of 2017 was a complete flop) but it’s no wonder the public tunes out– because the Oscars celebrate what Hollywood likes in its movies, but not necessarily the rest of the country. In fact, of the top twenty best performing films of 2017, you only have two that received Best Picture / Best Director nominations — Dunkirk (16th) and Get Out (18th).

But let’s focus less on what is wrong and more on what we can do to make it right. Here are five simple ideas, including three new awards, that would revitalize the Oscars and make them more meaningful. And for each one I’ll look across dimensions to Earth-2, where these already exist, to give you some ideas of past winners and this year’s nominees.


Think of it like the award for “Best Makeup.” Instead of putting people in masks and prosthetics, modern movie makers are covering some of our best actors in tiny dots and green spandex to create digital characters just as real as any actor on screen. And every year they keep getting better. This award should go to the actor(s) creating the characters as well as the animators themselves, and should be for both traditional animated films as well as live-action films with digital characters. And because sometimes more than one actor is contributing to the amazing work here, films and their producers can nominate a single actor or multiple for consideration, as well as the VFX/animation teams responsible.

Yes, this is how we get Andy Serkis the Oscars he already deserves but will never receive. It was salt in a wound to see Serkis announcing the awards this year– you knew he wouldn’t be nominated. But it would also be a way to recognize animation and voice-over work in a film like Toy Story where animators are capturing actors’ facial performances to inform their animation. Likewise we should recognize excellent puppetry work and practical creature effects, or in combination with digital effects like this year’s Yoda cameo in The Last Jedi or Doug Jones’ performance as the creature in The Shape of Water.

And because these types of performances are most often used in big budget blockbusters, it’s a great way to get people involved in watching an awards show where they actually have seen some of the top films. Let’s start the Oscar campaign now for Gypsy Danger in Pacific Rim 2, shall we?

Past winners:
2017 – Guy Henry, Ingvild Deila, Alan Tudyk and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2016 – Lupita Nyong’o and Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2015 – Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Guardians of the Galaxy
2014 – Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, Nick Thurston, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, Doc Shaw, Judy Greer, Lee Ross and Rise of the Planet of the Apes

2018 nominees:
Andy Serkis, Steve Zahn, Nick Thurston, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary and War for the Planet of the Apes
Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor and Coco
Mark Ruffalo, Taika Waititi and Thor: Ragnarok
Doug Jones and The Shape of Water
Liam Neeson and A Monster Calls


Sometimes no single actor is worthy of an award, but the rich alchemy of what a director brings together means everyone deserves some accolades. And because no one seems to be able to decide what is a leading and what is a supporting role anymore, this offers some flexibility, as well as the opportunity to reward multiple supporting actors for their fine work.

This would help the Oscars’ diversity problem, as there simply aren’t enough leading roles for people of color, but they very often inhabit secondary roles, but maybe not the ones who get Best Supporting Actor/Actress nods.

Also, given the star-studded casts of our blockbusters, this is also an opportunity to reward a film along the lines of The Fellowship of the Ring or a film like last year’s Moonlight  where three different actors play the same character and it’s next to impossible to choose which one is better than the others.

Past winners:
2017: Moonlight
2016: Spotlight
2015: Selma
2014: The Wolf of Wall St

2018 nominees:
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Get Out

The Shape of Water
The Post


Think of it like the Grammy for “Best New Artist.” Since the Oscars so often neglect groundbreaking work from up-and-coming directors and screenwriters, let’s award some of the new blood in the same way a lot of film festivals do.

And rather than being too strict on the rules, broadly define the category as any sort of “Breakthrough” film. It could be a director known for independent work who finally saw some mainstream success (so this wasn’t technically their first film.) Or it might be their first film.

Oh, and to make it especially fun, it can be awarded to the writer OR director (or both), as well as the producers in the same way Best Picture rewards the entire film.

Past winners:
2017: Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
2016: Alfonso Gómez-Rejón and Jesse Andrew – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
2015: Ava DuVernay – Selma
2014: Ryan Coogler – Fruitvale Station

2018 nominees:
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Kumail Najiani and Emily Gordon – The Big Sick
David Leitch – Atomic Blonde
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Trey Edward Shults – It Comes at Night


Perhaps the biggest snubs every year are the animated features that don’t end up nominated for Best Picture. This is more a change of mindset than anything else, but it is ridiculous that in the history of the Academy Awards, only three animated films have ever been nominated for Best Picture.

While this was supposed to have been ameliorated by including a new category for Best Animated Feature (and the expansion of Best Picture nominees from 5 to as many as 10), it’s still incredibly hard for a movie to be recognized as the achievement it is. The same is true for documentaries, where no documentary film has ever been nominated.

Especially where in the last few years we had some of the best animated films we’ve had in a long time, it’s time for members of the Academy to start voting for animated films for Best Picture. It’s an even bigger hill to climb for anime — voters need to start recognizing films made by Japanese studios other than Ghibli, especially given the stellar quality of films like Your Name. 

Past inclusions:
2017: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Zootopia
2016: Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep
2015: The Lego Movie, The Boxtrolls
2014: Frozen

2018 inclusions:
Your Name


It’s unclear why the Academy chooses the number of Best Picture nominees it does. But considering their use of “IRV” or instant-runoff voting, films are ranked by the voters and then the winner is truly the consensus winner.

Considering that point, it’s completely odd that the Academy would choose to honor ten films, but not ten directors. When Selma is nominated for Best Picture, but Ava DuVernay is not (and Bennett Miller is? Two years later, does anyone remember Foxcatcher? Didn’t think so. . .Again, another example of the Academy trying to award mediocre work in exchange for snubbing Bennett’s previous excellent work on Capote and Moneyball) it raises some very serious eyebrows.

Why not celebrate ten directors? The same reason why you wouldn’t want a full slate of ten films for Best Picture. Which is no reason at all. So stop doing it.

Cast a wider net, celebrate more people and their contributions, and you’ll find diversity (and brilliance, and cutting-edge work) celebrated more often and the Academy honoring grey-haired white men only when they truly deserve it.

Best Director additions:
Denis Villanueve – BladeRunner 2049
Patty Jenkins – Wonder Woman
Kathryn Bigelow – Detroit
James Mangold – Logan
Edgar Wright – Baby Driver

Best Picture addition

Logan and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Get Oscar Nominations

This morning, the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards were announced. While Wonder Woman and Patrick Stewart were snubbed, two comic film adaptations were nominated.

Logan received a nomination for “Adapted Screenplay” where it was the first superhero movie to do so. It’ll compete with Call Me by Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Molly’s Game, and Mudbound.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was nominated for “Visual Effects” where it’s competing with Blade Runner 2049, Kong: Skull Island, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and War for the Planet of the Apes.

Check out the full list of nominees below.

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Paul Thomas Anderson “Phantom Thread”
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

“A Fantastic Woman”
“The Insult”
“On Body and Soul”
“The Square”

“Edith + Eddie”
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405”
“Knife Skills”
“Traffic Stop”

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”
“Faces Places”
“Last Men in Aleppo”
“Strong Island”

“Mighty River,” “Mudbound”
“Mystery of Love,” “Call Me by Your Name”
“Remember Me,” “Coco”
“Stand Up For Something,” “Marshall”
“This is Me,” “Greatest Showman”

“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

“The Boss Baby”
“The Breadwinner”
“Loving Vincent”

“Call Me by Your Name”
“The Disaster Artist”
“Molly’s Game”

“The Big Sick”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

“Beauty and the Beast”
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Darkest Hour”
“The Shape of Water”

“Blade Runner 2049”
“Darkest Hour”
“The Shape of Water”

“Beauty and the Beast”
“Darkest Hour”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape of Water”
“Victoria and Abdul”

“Baby Driver”
“Blade Runner 2049”
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

“Baby Driver”
“Blade Runner 2049”
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

“Dear Basketball”
“Garden Party”
“Negative Space”
“Revolting Rhymes”

“DeKalb Elementary”
“The Eleven O’Clock”
“My Nephew Emmett”
“The Silent Child”
“Watu Wote/All of Us”

“Blade Runner 2049”
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”
“Kong: Skull Island”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”

“Baby Driver”
“I, Tonya”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

“Darkest Hour”
“Victoria and Abdul”

Big Hero 6 Wins for Best Animated Film

big hero 6Disney and Marvel aught to be happy tonight, as Big Hero 6 won at the Oscars for “Best Animated Film.” The film had some decent competition including The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, and The Tales of the Princess Kaguya.

The film is loosely based on a Marvel comic series created by the Man of Action team.

The category had some controversy as The Lego Movie was skipped in the category, though it was well reviewed and was one of the top grossing films of 2014.

Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Zoe Saldana presented the Oscar. Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli accepted the award — a first Oscar for each of the men — and thanked Disney’s John Lasseter, calling him the “best boss in the world.”

The film continues to earn, bringing in an additional $553,000 in its 16th week at the box office. The film has earned $220.2 million domestically, and globally $546.2 million. The movie’s blu-ray/dvd release is this week, so it’ll be interesting to see if its earnings drop the following weekend, or if Oscar gold will give it a boost.



Big Hero 6, Guardians, X-Men, and Cap all Get Oscar Nods

hr_Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_46The nomination for this year’s Oscars were announced this morning, and there was a lot of Marvel movies on the list, though none of the nominations were shocking.

The highest profile nomination was Big Hero 6, the animated film based on the Marvel comic, but done by Disney. That movie was nominated for best “Animated Feature Film.” It will go against The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, and The Tales of the Princess Kaguya. Shockingly, The Lego Movie which was one of the highest grossing films of the year and loved was snubbed in the category, it did pick up one nod in “Music – Original Song.” Especially since Song of the Sea is yet to be released.

Guardians of the Galaxy received two nominations. The first of which was for “Makeup and Hairstyling.” For that category the film is up against Foxcatcher and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

“Visual Effects” is where most of the “comic” films got nominated. Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: Winter Solider, and X-Men: Days of Future Past all got nominations in this category. Also nominated was Interstellar and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

You can catch the full list of nominees here, and congrats to everyone!

The Oscars will air live on February 22nd on ABC.

Why Andrew Garfield Wasn’t at the Oscars

Andrew GarfieldLeading up to the Oscars, it was teased that actor Andrew Garfield, who plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man and its upcoming sequel, would be presenting a segment about heroes and inducting a new hero to the group. Come Oscar day, Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, hosted the segment and there was no induction of anyone. No information about why Garfield didn’t do it, or who this mysterious hero was, was given.

The New York Post’s Page Six stepped in today claiming that Garfield didn’t like the segment so threw a temper tantrum and refused to do it. The super hero induction was supposed to involve Batkid in a segment for Make a Wish.

Of course the internet went batshit with this news casting Garfield as a villain. But, according to all of those involved, this rumor wasn’t in fact true at all.

In statements to Huffington Post and Academy spokesman said:

Due to the nature of a live show, hard decisions sometimes must be made which require the Academy to cut segments due to the logistics of production. Andrew Garfield understood that his segment had to be omitted, and he drove to Disneyland on Monday to spend time with 5-year-old Miles Scott (Batkid) and his family.

Andrew Garfield’s representative Rupert Fowler released a statement about the situation to Huffington Post as well:

In full collaboration with the Academy and the show writer, Andrew prepared a segment for the Oscars to honor Miles Scott as the true hero that he is. As some point overnight on Saturday / Sunday morning, it was decided by those running the show that the segment didn’t work in the ceremony. They decided to pull it — Andrew and Miles were equally upset. The producers arranged for Miles and his family to visit Disneyland on Monday and Andrew drove down to visit them and to bring Miles a personal gift. Andrew did the right thing for Batkid and anyone saying otherwise is flat out lying.

Sadly, Huffington Post felt this merited an Update as opposed to a full Retraction, cause you know the whole made up part would maybe merit that.

Garfield has been seen shooting hoops with local kids while filming the latest Spider-Man movie… so I tend to believe the Academy’s take on it, though it doesn’t explain why Garfield still didn’t present the segment.

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