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.
One of Canada’s best-known film critics, he spent 10 years on TV as co-host of Reel to Real, and another 10 in education (still writing as a critic) as Director of the Toronto Film School, where he created the curriculum for three programs and taught film history. Film has always been his passion. He has written for magazines such as Toronto Life, Fashion and Hollywood North, been quoted in the Los Angeles and New York Times, as well as the major Toronto dailies. Online he has written for such sites as The Wrap, In Contention, Awards Circuit and The Cinemaholic. His first book Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker, was published in 2010. His second Steven Spielberg: American Film Visionary, a massive volume, has just found a publisher and he’s working on American Film Renaissance – 1967-2018 with Nick Maylor. As a critic, he has had the good fortune to interview directors and stars such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Emma Stone, Jane Fonda, and countless others. As he quips, “Everyone but Jack Nicholson!”