By John H. Foote
To be clear, I do not believe Black Panther is the year’s best film, for me it is not even in the top 10. In fact, to go a step further I do not consider the film the best superhero film ever made, that distinction still belonging to The Dark Knight (2008). Christopher Nolan’s’ second in his trilogy was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning Best Supporting Actor, but to the eternal shame of the Academy they did not nominate either Nolan or the film. I suspect Wonder Woman (2017) came very close to inclusion in the Best Picture category, but just missed out.
Politically, Black Panther solves a lot of problems for the Academy as
Black Panther as Best Picture eliminates many problems within both the Academy and film industry, and could very well power its way toBest Picture.
It Brings Disney That Long Coveted Best Picture Award
Old Walt really wanted
It would Make Super Hero Films Legitimate Art
They are not there yet. Yes, The Dark Knight was an astonishing film, bolstered by a brilliant, unsettling Heath Ledger as The Joker, but its sequel was just ok. Both The Dark Knight, my pick as the best film of 2008, and Wonder Woman were outstanding films, but because each was a massive blockbuster, making hundreds of millions how could they be great films? You see moneymakers in the Academy’s eyes cannot be great films because, after all, what do mainstream audiences know? Oddly some of the top-earning Best Pictures include Gone with the Wind (1939), West Side Story (1961), The Sound Of Music (1965), The Godfather (1972), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Rocky (1976), and Dances with Wolves (1990) to name a few. Most superhero films make staggering amounts of money but are often special effects films. A few have been great movies, but only a few.
It Would Bring an Oscar for Best Picture to a Popular Film
It Might Bring Back Young People to the Oscars
Young people have drifted away from the Academy Awards over the last twenty years. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) was the last blockbuster to win Best Picture and in the years since the Oscars have felt out of touch. In 15 years, the only Best Picture choices I agree with are the aforementioned The Return of the King (2003) and The Departed (2006). They have not even nominated many worthy films.
It Should Help with the Dropping TV Ratings
Popular films nominated should bring back audiences, then cut those stupid musical numbers, just give the awards,
This year could be the greatest for diversity among the nominees. Picture this: both Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman are up for Best Picture, along with Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk and Crazy Rich Asians, all studies set within non-white worlds. Mahershala Ali, Regina King, John David Washington, Michelle Yeoh, and several other actors of
How perfect a scenario is this for the Oscars?
Black Panther wins Best Picture, Spike Lee wins a long-overdue Best Director Award, Regina King wins Best Supporting Actress, and Mahershala Ali wins Best Supporting Actor.
It could happen.
I do not believe Black Panther is the years best film, but it does matter, it is headed for eight to 10 nominations and could just run away with a Best Film.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.