DC Films’ Wonder Woman was a huge cultural phenomenon last year, becoming one of the biggest films commercially and critically of 2017. It was the first female superhero movie in over a decade, and it resonated incredibly well with female audiences. Simply put, it couldn’t have come out at a more relevant time. The praise was so strong, many expected Wonder Woman to have a presence at this year’s Academy Awards. But, alas, the film did not get a single Oscar nomination.
As a result, many criticized the Oscars for snubbing Wonder Woman, spawning much discussion. But this brings up the question: Should the movie have been nominated at the Oscars? We’ll dive into that here.
Before we go any further, let’s not forget that superhero movies very rarely get any major Oscar recognition. Heath Ledger posthumously won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role as Joker in The Dark Knight in 2009, while Suicide Squad won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling last year. This year, Logan is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. But for the most part, superhero movies are just nominated for technical categories, such as Best Visual Effects, if even that.
Based on that, it’s not that surprising Wonder Woman wouldn’t be nominated for major awards either. Sure, the film’s cultural impact is unlike any superhero movie in recent years. But in the eyes of the Academy, that wasn’t enough. And even then, not nominating the film for anything is a bit of a stretch.
In my opinion, Wonder Woman could have easily gotten in for at least one or two categories, like Production Design or Costume Design. Even the original score was pretty amazing. But, as great as it would have been to see Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot nominated for Best Director and Best Actress, respectively, it’s a crowded year for both categories. No matter who was nominated, someone was going to get snubbed. (I’m still bitter about Denis Villeneuve not getting a nod for Blade Runner 2049.)
An argument against Wonder Woman getting Oscar nominations suggests that the film isn’t “good enough.” Obviously, many would disagree about the movie’s quality, but even that doesn’t always equate to Oscar success. I mean, Suicide Squad was one of the most critically panned comic book movies of the decade, and it won an Oscar. Not just nominated, but won. Meanwhile, one of the most praised CBMs of all time doesn’t get a single nomination. I don’t get it either, but it is what it is.
And that leads to my biggest point: A movie doesn’t have to win or even be nominated for Oscars to be good. To me, Wonder Woman was a genuinely great film, and it has the support of millions of fans around the world. It is widely beloved and has broken many box office records. And a sequel is coming out next year. So, it is an indisputable success, and that’s without the Oscar love. To put it plainly, it doesn’t need it to succeed.
Would it have been nice to see Wonder Woman get a nomination or two at the Oscars? Definitely. Does the movie need Oscars to validate its actual quality? Definitely not. And that’s more than okay.
Do you think Wonder Woman should have gotten some attention at the Oscars? Let us know on Twitter at @WatchtowerBabel.