Should The Avengers Be at the Oscars?

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Should The Avengers Be at the Oscars?

Do genre films deserve a Best Picture nod?

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Damnit, don't do this to yourself, Bob.

We had EXACTLY the same conversation about this very subject last year with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, a film that I definitely agree should have been nominated for Best Picture, at the very least to honor the achievement in filmmaking history that was the completion of the Potter franchise. What did we get for it? Absolutely nothing. Zip. Zero. No Harry Potter movie has won a single Oscar.

I am all for the attempt to gain the Academy's respect for genre films, as the "old white male" sensibilities of the Academy are really getting on my nerves, and this sense of snobbishness is holding back genre films from proper cultural approval. But, we have to take baby steps with this. There is no way in one thousand years that the Academy is going to let The Avengers get within a 10-foot radius of the Best Picture podium. It goes against everything that their "traditional" cultural sensibilities want to be up there. I loved the Avengers, deeply, and I'm hoping beyond hope that Joss Whedon might get a screenplay nod for it, but I am harboring no unrealistic expectations for a Best Picture nod. If any genre film this year gets a Best Picture nod, I'm putting my chips on The Dark Knight Rises, both because it falls much more in line with the Academy's sensibilities, and it could be considered as an "apology" for the Dark Knight snub debacle in 2008. They clearly seem to realize that they made a mistake there, as they changed the entire format of the Best Picture nominees as a result of it, whether they admit that or not.

Do I think genre films deserve spots up on the Oscar podium? Of course I do. Do I think that that attitude is going to change this year? No, especially after we all got burned on the Harry Potter stuff from last year. Do I think that The Avengers is going to get a Best Picture nod? Of course not. Surprises are always possible (remember Sigourney Weaver's Best Actress nomination for Aliens? Well-deserved and awesome), but I'm not holding my breath.

Dark Knight Rises will probably get one, but not The Avengers.

Should there be a second page to this? The last paragraph feels cut off mid flow.

Probably not Best Picture. Almost certainly Best Special Effects, possibly best costumes. I don't know enough about things like sound editing to have an opinion on those categories.

In agreement with what has been said so far. I enjoyed The Avengers, but I don't see it getting a Best Picture nod. It's too early to tell for one: lots of time for better movies to come out. And had it not been for the banter between the characters, the movie would have just been so-so. If the Academy does decide to give it some attention, it will probably be in the screenplay category, since that (in my opinion) is really what put the movie over the edge.

No.

Sorry, but for all its billion dollar box office and witty dialogue, The Avengers is just another popcorn movie. An entertaining one, true, but nothing more. And there's too much coming out between now and the end of the year for it to stand a chance at the kind of recognition you're talking about.

In the Superhero genre, we've got The Dark Knight Rises. And I'm sorry, but that's got expectations above and beyond anything people had for The Avengers. The Dark Knight itself absolutely knocked it out of the park, being a superhero film that genuinely deserved the Oscar recognition it got. If TDKR lives up to the expectations of fans (and let's be honest, if there's one director who's pretty good at living up to the hype, it's Christopher Nolan), then that will be the superhero film to watch at next year's Oscars.

There's the new Bond film, Skyfall. And while Bond films have never traditionally been Oscar material, this one's got a few things going for it. One, it's a continuation of the narrative heavy, surprisingly emotion Daniel Craig reboot that started with Casino Royale. Two, it's being directed by Sam Mendes, who the Academy fucking adore. If Mendes manages to create a Bond film that combines Hollywood thrills with his signature intelligent style, then expect something very special indeed. And expect the Academy to respond.

Lastly, there's this little thing called The Hobbit. Which is a prequel to The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Which won about a million Oscars during its run. And it's being directed by Peter Jackson, and made by the same folks who made the LOTR films. Again, if it lives up to expectations, expect this film to be a big fucking deal at the Academy Awards.

And this is all ignoring one thing: Hollywood tends to avoid big blockbuster types when it comes to Best Film and Best Director gongs. Blockbusters that win these awards are the exception, rather than the rule. Because for the most part, blockbusters rely more on spectacle than they do on story, and Best Film nominees tend to go the opposite route. If any of the three mentioned above get a nod, it will be because they're big budget films that still manage to have real narrative depth and emotional content. And sorry Bob, but for all you go on about genre films being a maligned artform, most comic book movies/genre movies in general have all the narrative depth and emotional content of a used handkerchief.

The Avengers is no different. It's entertaining, sure, but Academy Awards are supposed to be awarded to films that go beyond being merely entertaining, and are actually thought-provoking and emotional. The Dark Knight managed to provoke thought in how it contrasted comic-book theatrics with the urban reality of gang crime. The Return Of The King managed to balance both big budget spectacle with well done introspection on the toll of war. The Avengers... was about CGI dudes in rubber costumes beating each other up.

Sorry Bob, but maybe you need to lay off the viagra a bit? This hard-on you've got for the Avengers is now threatening to poke people's eyes out...

You know, a part of me thinks that the big awards shows should just drop the 'Best Picture' award altogether. Bob's right, there are some movies and some genres that you really can't compare side by side, so why do it? I know it's nice to have one award that serves as the 'big event' at the end of each show, but I would prefer that to be something like a lifetime achievement award for someone well respected in the industry. There's already a separate award for best animation, so why can't there be one for 'best comedy', or 'best action' etc, whilst just dropping the notion that any one movie from these vastly disparate genres has to be considered the best? That way, all genres and styles get fairly represented as having the same level of legitimacy as each-other, less good movies lose out as they'll be a far bigger pool of total nominees, and it also makes it easier on the academy to pick who wins, as they'll only ever be comparing movies of similar sensibilities.

Should the Avengers be at the Oscars? If by "at the Oscars" you mean "parking cars for Oscar attendees," then yes. There was nothing extraordinary about Avengers other than its length. Two plus hours of gravitas-crushing one liners, industry average special effects, and a plot with more holes in it than Dick Cheney's driver do not add up to anything even remotely Oscar-worthy.

bigdork:
Probably not Best Picture. Almost certainly Best Special Effects, possibly best costumes. I don't know enough about things like sound editing to have an opinion on those categories.

Actually, as much as I loved the effects in The Avengers, I just went to the midnight premiere of Prometheus, and HOLY SHIT. If that film doesn't sweep the technical awards, something is seriously wrong with the Academy's brains. That was one of the most visually and auditorially arresting movies I've seen in a long time.

Best Costumes, though, I can totally agree with.

Those old scat-heads, give an Oscar to something that's that popular? Not a chance in hell. They despise fantasy. Three tries just to get on the board with Lord of the Rings? Eight movies and not a single Oscar for something as decade-spanning as Harry Potter?

Don't get your hopes up. The Avengers was good, great, even, but not nearly pretentious enough to get an Oscar.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
No.

Sorry, but for all its billion dollar box office and witty dialogue, The Avengers is just another popcorn movie. An entertaining one, true, but nothing more. And there's too much coming out between now and the end of the year for it to stand a chance at the kind of recognition you're talking about.

In the Superhero genre, we've got The Dark Knight Rises. And I'm sorry, but that's got expectations above and beyond anything people had for The Avengers. The Dark Knight itself absolutely knocked it out of the park, being a superhero film that genuinely deserved the Oscar recognition it got. If TDKR lives up to the expectations of fans (and let's be honest, if there's one director who's pretty good at living up to the hype, it's Christopher Nolan), then that will be the superhero film to watch at next year's Oscars.

There's the new Bond film, Skyfall. And while Bond films have never traditionally been Oscar material, this one's got a few things going for it. One, it's a continuation of the narrative heavy, surprisingly emotion Daniel Craig reboot that started with Casino Royale. Two, it's being directed by Sam Mendes, who the Academy fucking adore. If Mendes manages to create a Bond film that combines Hollywood thrills with his signature intelligent style, then expect something very special indeed. And expect the Academy to respond.

Lastly, there's this little thing called The Hobbit. Which is a prequel to The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Which won about a million Oscars during its run. And it's being directed by Peter Jackson, and made by the same folks who made the LOTR films. Again, if it lives up to expectations, expect this film to be a big fucking deal at the Academy Awards.

And this is all ignoring one thing: Hollywood tends to avoid big blockbuster types when it comes to Best Film and Best Director gongs. Blockbusters that win these awards are the exception, rather than the rule. Because for the most part, blockbusters rely more on spectacle than they do on story, and Best Film nominees tend to go the opposite route. If any of the three mentioned above get a nod, it will be because they're big budget films that still manage to have real narrative depth and emotional content. And sorry Bob, but for all you go on about genre films being a maligned artform, most comic book movies/genre movies in general have all the narrative depth and emotional content of a used handkerchief.

The Avengers is no different. It's entertaining, sure, but Academy Awards are supposed to be awarded to films that go beyond being merely entertaining, and are actually thought-provoking and emotional. The Dark Knight managed to provoke thought in how it contrasted comic-book theatrics with the urban reality of gang crime. The Return Of The King managed to balance both big budget spectacle with well done introspection on the toll of war. The Avengers... was about CGI dudes in rubber costumes beating each other up.

Sorry Bob, but maybe you need to lay off the viagra a bit? This hard-on you've got for the Avengers is now threatening to poke people's eyes out...

See, this is exactly the kind of attitude that some of us thinks need to change. The one that can't see past the film and that it is "just entertaining" and instead look at what an achievement this "popcorn movie" really is. How much actual effort went into it and how well it succeeded on every level that it was trying to accomplish something on, not to mention being a landmark in film history for trying and succeeding in adapting comic-book style continuity. If you can pull a "toll of war" message out of Return of the King, then surely we can all pull a message about "traditional one-man heroism in today's day and age" out of The Avengers.

Not saying it should get a spot mind you (lots of movies coming out before the Oscars, though even with the ones you mentioned there will be room for more), but snubbing it off because it is "a popcorn flick" is just narrowing your view and holding the awards back from seeing the big picture in my book.

metaldemoni:
Should the Avengers be at the Oscars? If by "at the Oscars" you mean "parking cars for Oscar attendees," then yes. There was nothing extraordinary about Avengers other than its length. Two plus hours of gravitas-crushing one liners, industry average special effects, and a plot with more holes in it than Dick Cheney's driver do not add up to anything even remotely Oscar-worthy.

Name 1 concrete plot-hole in The Avengers please.

Maybe if it had a gay-rights subplot, or something about Jewish people being oppressed, it would be given a pass in the "Is it suitably pretentious?"

Otherwise no, not pretentious enough.

Definitely not. It's not the type of movie that gets Oscar awards, but that's a good thing in my opinion.

There need to be new categories created for the Oscars.

The Avengers deserves some recognition.

Maxtro:
There need to be new categories created for the Oscars.

Because you want to see how long an awards show can go on?

OT: There probably should be an "exceptional achievement" Oscar for movies like Harry Potter and the Avengers, where there is no justifiable reason to give them one of the main awards, but the movie achieved something unique or a milestone in cinema.

At the very least, they can toss a few technical awards in the Avenger's direction...

The Gentleman:

Maxtro:
There need to be new categories created for the Oscars.

Because you want to see how long an awards show can go on?

OT: There probably should be an "exceptional achievement" Oscar for movies like Harry Potter and the Avengers, where there is no justifiable reason to give them one of the main awards, but the movie achieved something unique or a milestone in cinema.

At the very least, they can toss a few technical awards in the Avenger's direction...

There have been special achievement oscars in the past. The most famous example was Shirley Temple giving Walt Disney 7 tiny oscars for the first feature length animated movie (Snow White). They fell out of favor some time ago.

I think it should get a nomination. We know it will not win best picture because there are other films that will deserve the award more, but it's a good way to kill the us vs them of the awards since the awards are seeming less about the movies most people see and more of an elitist retreat.

Plus I see it as a bit of a Star Wars moment. Yes there were sci fi films before Star Wars, but Star Wars found a way to make sci fi into a cultural event that resonated with people long after so many Oscar winners are forgotten. Avengers took the idea of the super hero film and turned it into something more.

But I think other people are right that if the Oscars really want to resonate with the general public again they have to go with more than just Best Picture, Best Actor, and then loads and loads of technical awards. The show would be far more interesting with Best Comedy and Best Action film than Best Costuming or Best Sound Editing.

For once, I agree entirely with Bob.

The Oscars ignore a number of quality films and snub quality productions solely to maintain their image problem; it's narcissism plain and simple, and that is something they CANNOT sweep under the "It's the Academy's Opinion" rug.

My problem with all of this is not with the Academy's Final opinion of what is called "The Best Artistic Film", it's with how their snubbing of genre films conflicts with their alleged premise: That the Oscars are about rewarding the highest achievements that FILM (meaning ALL FILM) has accomplished that year.
So how can you claim that when you're disqualifying any genre BEFORE YOU EVEN GET TO personal opinions/merits of a given film. It doesn't matter if it's disqualified by default.

That's like saying "Even though the Constitution says any legal US Citizen can run for President, we say that you can't run unless you're a Democrat or a Republican."

...wait.

Silverspetz:

metaldemoni:
Should the Avengers be at the Oscars? If by "at the Oscars" you mean "parking cars for Oscar attendees," then yes. There was nothing extraordinary about Avengers other than its length. Two plus hours of gravitas-crushing one liners, industry average special effects, and a plot with more holes in it than Dick Cheney's driver do not add up to anything even remotely Oscar-worthy.

Name 1 concrete plot-hole in The Avengers please.

Loki's tricked Thor before with that whole clone thing. Yet, somehow he didn't think the Hulk was a big enough threat to use on him, even though he was counting on the Hulk to take down the entire superhero team. Plus he apparently decided to never get up and walk away at any point.

Everyone keeps pointing their guns at Bruce Banner, even after he just gets done telling them he put a gun in his mouth and the Hulk just spit the bullet out. That one really ground my gears.

If Bruce Banner's always mad, why isn't he always the Hulk. (face it, they wanted to give him something cool to say, but it doesn't make any sense)

How come Fury didn't dispatch any of those soldiers he's got all over the carrier with some experimental weapons Agent Coulson had? Even if they just had the one weapon, those elite soldiers would probably have been at least as helpful as the girl with a pistol and the guy with a bow.

There's four, people can probably come up with more.

At most, I see it getting a token nomination for best picture with no hope of winning. However, I see it being in plenty of other, less glamorous categories. I think it has a shot at those. Only time will tell and regardless, it's done its job of entertaining the public and making and imperial assload of money.

irishda:
Loki's tricked Thor before with that whole clone thing. Yet, somehow he didn't think the Hulk was a big enough threat to use on him, even though he was counting on the Hulk to take down the entire superhero team. Plus he apparently decided to never get up and walk away at any point.

It's called the "This is why you suck" rant. Villains usually get one, it corresponds to their wildly out-of-control ego, and usually distracts the bad guy long enough for the good-guy to do something. And remember, Loki is a particularly verboise villain.

Everyone keeps pointing their guns at Bruce Banner, even after he just gets done telling them he put a gun in his mouth and the Hulk just spit the bullet out. That one really ground my gears.

Why do they point guns at the Hulk normally? Or any obviously impervious monster/robot/Chuthulu? Because that is all any of them can do, and they're scared. It's not a plot hole, just human nature.

If Bruce Banner's always mad, why isn't he always the Hulk. (face it, they wanted to give him something cool to say, but it doesn't make any sense)

Ok, that one I'll give you. It was just a cool line, and meant nothing. It also wasn't really a plot hole though.

How come Fury didn't dispatch any of those soldiers he's got all over the carrier with some experimental weapons Agent Coulson had? Even if they just had the one weapon, those elite soldiers would probably have been at least as helpful as the girl with a pistol and the guy with a bow.

Mostly because they were trying to keep the helicarrier from crashing? Sure, a number of people tried firing at Loki....they died. Also, there were multiple attacks going on, we never saw everything that was going on.

There's four, people can probably come up with more.

Those weren't plot-holes, please try again.

EDIT: Back to the original topic.....yeah, the Academy has never really been in-touch with reality. They routinely scoff at good and popular movies simply because they aren't in the category of "Art" as defined by 70+ year-old white men. Which is why I never watch them, because the Oscars aren't important, never were. I seriously am waiting for an actor/actress to decline an award simply because they don't give a rat's ass about recognition from out of touch seniors.

My opinion? Why not? Much crappier films get nominated every year. It's gotten to the point where, now a days if the film says "Oscar nominee" in the trailer I skip it because that tells me it's either boring or 'artistic'.

irishda:

Silverspetz:

metaldemoni:
Should the Avengers be at the Oscars? If by "at the Oscars" you mean "parking cars for Oscar attendees," then yes. There was nothing extraordinary about Avengers other than its length. Two plus hours of gravitas-crushing one liners, industry average special effects, and a plot with more holes in it than Dick Cheney's driver do not add up to anything even remotely Oscar-worthy.

Name 1 concrete plot-hole in The Avengers please.

Loki's tricked Thor before with that whole clone thing. Yet, somehow he didn't think the Hulk was a big enough threat to use on him, even though he was counting on the Hulk to take down the entire superhero team. Plus he apparently decided to never get up and walk away at any point.

Everyone keeps pointing their guns at Bruce Banner, even after he just gets done telling them he put a gun in his mouth and the Hulk just spit the bullet out. That one really ground my gears.

If Bruce Banner's always mad, why isn't he always the Hulk. (face it, they wanted to give him something cool to say, but it doesn't make any sense)

How come Fury didn't dispatch any of those soldiers he's got all over the carrier with some experimental weapons Agent Coulson had? Even if they just had the one weapon, those elite soldiers would probably have been at least as helpful as the girl with a pistol and the guy with a bow.

There's four, people can probably come up with more.

1)I'd like to see you try to make a clone of yourself after you got blasted through a window, and yes I think Loki wouldn't make a clone of himself for hulk because to HIM, Hulk doesn't even appear on HIS radar as something dangerous to him.

2)Believe me if the Hulk started to hulk out in front of me I would still try to shoot him for the vague chance that it will at least slow him down. That was a really stupid argument.

3)There are different levels of anger dude. Also hulk comes out because of his heart rate not his anger. So him being always angry would allow him to control his heart rate so it wont go up since his attitude gets left out of the equation.

4)There is something called a prototype. I don't know if you heard that concept before, but I guarantee you it exists.

irishda:

Silverspetz:

metaldemoni:
Should the Avengers be at the Oscars? If by "at the Oscars" you mean "parking cars for Oscar attendees," then yes. There was nothing extraordinary about Avengers other than its length. Two plus hours of gravitas-crushing one liners, industry average special effects, and a plot with more holes in it than Dick Cheney's driver do not add up to anything even remotely Oscar-worthy.

Name 1 concrete plot-hole in The Avengers please.

Loki's tricked Thor before with that whole clone thing. Yet, somehow he didn't think the Hulk was a big enough threat to use on him, even though he was counting on the Hulk to take down the entire superhero team. Plus he apparently decided to never get up and walk away at any point.

Everyone keeps pointing their guns at Bruce Banner, even after he just gets done telling them he put a gun in his mouth and the Hulk just spit the bullet out. That one really ground my gears.

If Bruce Banner's always mad, why isn't he always the Hulk. (face it, they wanted to give him something cool to say, but it doesn't make any sense)

How come Fury didn't dispatch any of those soldiers he's got all over the carrier with some experimental weapons Agent Coulson had? Even if they just had the one weapon, those elite soldiers would probably have been at least as helpful as the girl with a pistol and the guy with a bow.

There's four, people can probably come up with more.

Well, actually, those 'plot-holes' are rather easy to explain.

1. Regarding the Hulk vs. Loki thing, it's not like he had any time to set up some kind of trick like with Thor, Hulk pretty much snuck up on him. Also, Loki didn't seem to think walking away was an option by that point, that he'd 'come too far,' plus the fact that the Other pretty much spelled out for him that they'd make his life hell if he tried to back out.

2. The reason people keep pulling guns on Banner is because The Hulk fucking TERRIFIES them. Of course they won't be thinking straight.

3. The "I'm always angry" line actually make a good deal of sense. One of the defining characteristics of The Hulk is 'The madder he is, the stronger he is.' If he's just a little bit angry all the time, there's no noticeable change(apart from going from looking like Ed Norton to looking like Mark Ruffalo, apparently), but if he's always a bit angry, he's always a bit Hulk, so it becomes simpler to focus the epic-tier asskicking on a specific target.

4. The Destroyer Gun was a prototype, likely their only working super weapon, given they still hadn't figured quite out the Tesseract. Also, it seemed like it took a little while to get warmed up, and it looked kind of heavy and difficult to use, not really ready for a combat situation.

EDIT: Damn, you guys beat me to it.

Several people already beat me to the "point out in full detail why irishda is wrong" race, so I'll just say this, irishda really needs to learn the difference between a plot hole and a nitpick.

I don't feel it was good enough to be nominated for the Oscars. It was a fun, above average superhero movie, but not THAT good!

It makes me laugh to see people talking about whether a fantastic achievement like The Avengers is worthy of being placed in company with the kind of films that win Best Picture at the Oscars.

This is an awards ceremony that passed up The Social Network, Toy Story 3, Inception, True Grit and Black Swan to give the top award to The King's Speech, and the very next year awarded "Best Original Score" to a movie who had sampled half its score from other films (which ordinarily would be a disqualifying offense), and yet people think that they have artistic integrity to sacrifice?

Yeah, right. Even if The Avengers were just another mindless popcorn-blockbuster (which it isn't, not even close, no matter how much j-e-f-f-e-r-s so desperately wants to believe that grim-and-gritty-Batman-stuff is the only superhero material with any kind of artistic merit), it still would be qualified to join the ranks. As it is, with it being a genuinely fantastic movie, well, actually I almost don't want to see it win. It's too fucking good for the Oscars.

Eh are the Oscars taken that seriously? It's all media hype anyway. I kind of put it in line with the US presidential election. It's not a true vote or an actual gauge of the "best".

It's a ridiculously small sample of people who's personal preferences easily influence the decisions. Add to it now the notion that the media and ratings side of it would possibly skew the results and well... Like I said, who cares?

The Avengers was awesome. Out of the movies I've seen this year it's gotta be up near the top. Though that's in my opinion. It was my sort of thing. Any award I offer it wouldn't really be valid to the majority of the world, it'd just be yet another random asshats opinion.

So my real question from this is, "Why do we still care if a movie wins an award?"

If there's any award it deserves, it's Best Editing. I thought the final battle scene was an absolute masterclass in how to keep multiple action threads going. Compare with the hideous mess we see in most action movies (yes, Transformers, I'm mostly looking at you, but also Lucas) and it really is a work of genius. And yes, I'm aware that that's just as much down to the directing and the screenplay, but Editing is a nice way to sum it up - and that's an award that is mostly just thrown away because no one knows what good editing looks like anyway.

Good luck trying to get the academy to see it your way, Bob.

PortalThinker113:
No Harry Potter movie has won a single Oscar.

There's a very simple reason for that: They're not very good films. They're mediocre, ho-hum adaptations of a great series of books that managed to get by on the sheer gargantuan amount of money that WB threw at it. But in their haste to mimic the LotR frenzy, they hired tedious directors to create dull and lifeless phantoms of the books and lost out on their chances for awards that should have been easy grabs.

Oh please Bob get off your Genre ghetto moral high horse. There isn't one any more. Genre movies all but dominate the movie going scene. The Oscars is one of the last bastions of "traditional" and "classic" cinema left. If you don't like the opinions of the academy that's fine but you seem to be rocking a major persecution complex about this whole thing. Why do we care if The Avengers win best picture? If you think the Oscars are so biased why beg for their approval?

It should but we all know it won't.
Best Screenplay
Best Special Effects.
Best Actor
Best Movie
I'd really like to see the Hulk get nominated for best supporting actor.

The problem is that if we are going to argue "popularity with audiences" as a qualifier for Academy awards, does that open the doors to Transformer movies and the like? I'm sure Bob already preempted this question.

It's a question of discriminating tastes vs fairness. Would people take the Academy awards (even) less seriously if crappy genre movies end up beng nominated? What is the point of including the kind of films that no director/actor/industry professional regards as deserving of an oscar? And what if it did happen in the end? I'm concerned we'd end up seeing something like the Spike VGAs, where the most pandering, populist and big budget productions tend to win out against the smaller scale productions; the ones that typically depend on award nominations for public attention.

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