A few days ago, Black Panther officially became the first comic book movie to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination. It’s kinda crazy when you think about it. Even if you put aside the significance of these films in today’s pop culture, it’s still mind blowing how little recognition they get during awards season, particularly the Oscars, technical categories aside. How is it that Bohemian Rhapsody got a Best Picture nomination, but not Avengers: Infinity War, when the latter is more acclaimed (both by critics and casual audiences) than the former?
Well, it looks like Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins shares a similar sentiment. In a chat with Yahoo Entertainment, Patty Jenkins expressed her confusion as to why only specific “type” of movies receive recognition from The Academy.
“I never understood why any type of movie is more likely than another [to be nominated]. This art form has so many people doing great work in all different genres. I think it’s great that a superhero film was finally nominated, and I’m particularly happy that it was Black Panther.”
The Wonder Woman director also mentioned that some of the best acting performances she has ever seen has actually been in comic book movies. Patty Jenkins, mind you, is the director of Monster, the based-on-a-true-story crime-drama starring Charlize Theron that received massive awards season buzz back in 2004/2005 — Charlize Theron ended up winning the Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar that year.
“The emotional performances given by an actor in an action movie is something that I don’t think that people understand how incredible it is. Gal gave a tour-de-force performance, but she’s in a wire in front of a green screen, acting against no one! This is what actors have to be able to do in a movie like Wonder Woman or Black Panther, and it changes your understanding of what’s spectacular. Some of the best acting I’ve ever seen has actually happened in these kinds of movies.”
Many were hopeful that Wonder Woman would receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination at the 2018 Academy Awards, only to be let down. Jenkins too did not receive a Best Director nomination. However, Logan received a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay, perhaps the best recognition a comic book movie has received at the Oscars since Heath Ledger’s nomination and posthumous win in 2009. That said, things are looking more hopeful after Black Panther‘s nomination. While nobody really expects it to win, many are hoping it will open the doors wide open for other comic book movies to receive nominations in the years to come.
Jenkins is currently working on the sequel to Wonder Woman — Wonder Woman 1984 — which is set to grace the big screens in the summer of 2020.