Why The ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Oscar Snub is More Egregious Than You Think…
There may not have been a more obvious misunderstanding of criteria than The Academy foregoing the latest installment of the MCU from consideration for Best Picture; which leads us to discuss why the Spider-Man: No Way Home Oscar Snub is more egregious than you think.
The lauded and beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe has been one of the premier cinematic endeavors throughout history; and that isnt an overstatement.
A decade worth of productions. Multiple trilogies. Entire characters exist- within their own individual character arcs- in one interconnected film universe, only to meet other characters along the way that exist in that same universe; yet independently from them.
The MCU isnt a franchise, it is an entire galactic amalgamation of franchises that work together to forward a greater narrative, while never sacrificing the smaller nuances of the brilliant pursuit of storytelling.
It is very easy to overlook the almost mystical quality of just how these massive productions can not only exceed being human, emotional, and character-driven stories; but how they can build among other human, emotional, and character-driven stories.
We exist in an era that seemingly takes the magic for granted, the film franchise model has so permeated throughout our cultural zeitgeist that we understand sequels and trilogies are just a matter of the industry; we have been trained to be numb to the wonder that is the MCU.
There has been no greater evidence of this fact, than the unfortunate reality of the Academy Awards campaign for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the iconic film had proven to be one of the biggest financial and box office success stories of all time; but that adds to the reality that the Spider-Man: No Way Home Oscar Snub is more egregious than you think.
The shock at the Oscar Snub was widely known; with even veteran comic book and film writer Kevin Smith assuming the film was nominated for Best Picture, only to explode into a small expletive-laden rant after finding out he was wrong.
It was put brilliantly by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who was adamant about his surprise and disappointment, stating
The biggest snub in my opinion, and I am actually angry about this, I’m kind of embarrassed to say is the unforgivable omission of Spider-Man: No Way Home. How did that not get one of the 10 nominations for Best Picture?
There where only 11 movies made this year. Forget the fact that the movie made $750 Million and is still going. This was a great movie. It wasnt in the top ten best movies of the year?
And it is this reality that makes the Spider-Man: No Way Home Oscar Snub such a horrid reality.
In a COVID-19 pandemic that has dealt with two deadly variants, it was Spider-Man: No Way Home that had single-handedly preserved the cinema experience; it was this MCU film that has kept theaters across the country alive.
It is one of the best comic book movies of all time, had succeeded in preserving the theatrical experience as we know it, and has still maintained monetary gain for every theater still showing it, but it didn’t receive a nomination for Best Picture.
That is a reality that should astound anyone who loves films. And it isn’t to say that financial box office numbers or profit are everything, we all know films that make the most money are rarely Oscar-worthy
But Spider-Man: No Way Home was different, because the pandemic for the film to play by different rules.
The pandemic forced audiences to make a choice; brave the deadly virus for the sake of an experience that is quite expensive for people who are financially recovering from a devastating year, or wait and watch the film at home.
Audiences chose to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home, but more importantly, they chose to keep going to see it; and in this day and age, in the middle of this pandemic, that means something.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the culmination of 20 years of the comic book industry’s greatest creation, and it was still an emotionally resonant story that celebrated a character that so many people adore.
It deserved an Oscar nomination, and for it to be snubbed, says a lot more about the agenda of the Academy, than the film itself.