With the ninety-first Academy Awards zooming ever closer into vision – albeit still with no host – we’ve asked some of #FilmTwitter‘s top bloggers to explain why their favourite Best Picture nominee should come out on top.
Plain Simple Tom has already spoken up for A Star is Born and you can read Chris’ advocacy of Bohemian Rhapsody here. Now, we present @HCMovieReviews‘ – of hcmoviereviews.wordpress.com – pick: Black Panther!
The eighteenth entry in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe – and third feature film from director Ryan Coogler – Black Panther was one the biggest cinematic events of 2018. It refused to be overshadowed even after the release of Avengers: Infinity War, which came just two months after its release. Early chatter amongst film fans about awards glory for this comic book movie was debated about for months. However, as awards season began and the nominations started to appear it was quickly clear that Black Panther had struck a chord with awards voters as well as audiences.
Black Panther is nominated for an impressive seven Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards, including the prestigious Best Picture gong. This nomination has received a mixed reception from film fans, mainly due to it being the first ever comic book movie to be included in the nominations for this award. Many have stated that it isn’t the best comic book movie ever so it doesn’t deserve its spot. I beg to differ and here’s why.
Amongst the Marvel film’s fellow nominees, Black Panther has grossed the most at the domestic and worldwide box office, comfortably smashing through the one billion dollar mark. Furthermore, it’s arguably the best reviewed film of the eight Best Picture nominees, with the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of all the films: certified fresh by a staggering 97% rating. It is, therefore, fair to say that Black Panther is both a financial success and a film which has garnered critical acclaim. It can be rare for a film nominated – or for that matter a winner of Best Picture – to be both a hit with audiences and critics. This year Black Panther is the strongest example of this and based solely on these figures, let’s not forget its other six nominations either, it’s a worthy winner.
That’s only one way to judge if a film is deserving of becoming the recipient of Best Picture though. Numbers aside, Black Panther still should win. The film itself is excellent and boasts many elements that a Best Picture should have. It features a wonderful cast, who’s work has already been recognised by the Screen Actors Guild, winning the ensemble cast award. Michael B. Jordan’s turn as Killmonger could definitely be considered a snub by the Academy in the Supporting Actor category. Jordan is a more worthy and popular choice than several of those who did receive nominations, further reinforcing the quality of this cast. The story is a superhero narrative but one that is concerned with important themes of politics and cultural history. It’s one of, if not the highest point of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which, in itself, is a collection of films that have collectively changed the comic book genre forever. Indeed, the MCU’s impact on cinema may never be matched. So, what Black Panther has come out of and contributes to is deserved of praise also only strengthening its case for Best Picture.
However, its inclusion alone in the best picture nominees shows further progression from the disconnect that audiences often feel is present in awards season. Viewers can feel that their experiences and opinions of films aren’t represented or relevant in the eventual collection of nominees. Nominating Black Panther showcases the calibre of blockbuster cinema and demonstrates that audiences can have influence and help to shape these awards ceremonies. Furthermore, it makes awards ceremonies like the Oscars far more accessible to a wider range of viewers, hopefully inspiring new generations of fans, critics and film-makers who look to the Oscars as the pinnacle of cinematic success – a debate for another time.
It’s pretty simple. Black Panther deserves to win Best Picture because in its own right it’s a fantastic film. The quality of Coogler’s film-making and his cast and crew is demonstrated by the film’s financial success, its critical acclaim and the further nominations outside this category and academy that it has received. It’s a film which has rich cultural importance and one that will leave a legacy and have longevity beyond its year of release. What other film has united classrooms full of children, comic book fans of all ages and academy voters? All awards season the cast have chanted “Wakanada Forever” but I say “Black Panther Forever”.
Do you agree with Hamish? Read our review here and let us know your thoughts in the comments!