Superheroes And Awards: A Defense of DEADPOOL’s Golden Globe Nomination

So the Golden Globe nominations came out yesterday and they were… definitely the Golden Globes all right. Look, 2016 has ended up being a great year for film (as most are, if we’re being honest), so when these nominations come out there are always going to be movies we are upset didn’t make the cut. So while it is a bummer that Arrival didn’t get into Best Picture (Drama), this is still an show that will be honoring Hell or High Water, Hacksaw Ridge, and Moonlight. On the Comedy/Musical side, the juggernaut that is La La Land picked up seven nominations and this is really just a pit stop as it dances towards Oscar glory

There were plenty of surprises too. While most looked to Michael Shannon to pick up a supporting nod for his role in Nocturnal Animals, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) ended up going with the extremely unexpected nomination for Aaron Taylor-Johnson for his role in Tom Ford’s “errotic thriller” (I stole that phrase from the marketing, wanted to try it out myself…not really a fan to be honest). Whether it be the directing nod for Mel Gibson or the French film My Life As A Zucchini showing up in the animated category, there as no bigger surprise than that of Deadpool.

deadpool

Now to be clear, Oscar pundits like Kris Tapley were dropping hints that 20th Century Fox and Ryan Reynolds were campaigning pretty hard to get the Merc With A Mouth into the Golden Globes conversation…but nobody thought it would happen! Just take a look at the Gold Derby page for the final predictions right before the nominations were announced. Only three out the sixteen experts thought Deadpool would get nominated. Now I don’t want to brag or nothing but…

(just saying)

In all seriousness, my prediction that the R-rated superhero pic would get nominated didn’t come from any inside knowledge of the HFPA or use of statistics that proved the movie would get in. I just kind of wanted it to happen. It is with that same sense of optimism that I will now go to bat defending the nomination.

There hasn’t been some major backlash to the nomination or anything like that. Honestly, most folks were more upset that The Martian was nominated for Best Comedy/Musical (btw, that was the studio’s decision to pursue category fraud, not the Golden Globes, we can stop ragging on them for that one). So while there haven’t been any think pieces or hot takes belittling the HFPA’s choice, there is a certain sense to brush off this nomination and it’s importance.

Just so we’re all on the same page, the Golden Globes don’t matter, but neither do the American Film Institute (AFI) or the National Board of Review (NBR) or the Oscars for that matter! This is the topic for another blog, but I (and I assume you do as well) think that end-of-the-year accolades are not only fun, but kind of important. Is it up to the 85-90 people in the HFPA to give the final say on what the best comedies in any given year are? Of course not. Is it worth celebrating that a superhero film has been nominated for Best Picture by a major awards body? Yes.

I think it’s great that Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds were invited to the Golden Globe party. One, this is an award where Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist, and the aforementioned The Martian were recognized as “comedies,” so it was great to see an ACTUAL comedy nominated. Especially after last year, you can see how the HFPA wanted to do a little damage control, and nominating a hard-R comedy in their comedy award is a good place to start.

Secondly, while superhero films are currently dominating our megaplexes and the box office, they’ve never broken their genre stigma to be nominated by either the Golden Globes or the Oscars. Now to be clear, there have been plenty of nominations in the below-the-line categories, superhero films are blockbusters, and blockbusters have done pretty great in these categories. Let’s take a look at how superheroes have done at the Oscars (I could include more examples if I expanded this to sci-fi and other genre films, but I’m gonna keep it limited to superhero films):

Best Original Score

Superman (1978)


Best Film Editing

The Dark Knight (2008)

Superman (1978)


Best Production Design

The Dark Knight (2008)

Batman (1989)*


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

The Dark Knight (2008)

Batman Returns (1992)


Best Cinematography

The Dark Knight (2008)

Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Forever (1995)


Best Sound Editing

The Dark Knight (2008)*

Iron Man (2008)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Batman Forever (1995)


Best Sound Mixing

The Dark Knight (2008)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man (2002)

Batman Forever (1995)

Superman (1978)


Best Visual Effects

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Iron Man 3 (2013)

The Avengers (2012)

Iron Man 2 (2010)

The Dark Knight (2008)

Iron Man (2008)

Superman Returns (2006)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)*

Spider-Man (2002)

Batman Returns (1992)

Superman (1978)


deadpool-2

We can add Heath Ledger’s posthumous Best Supporting Actor win as well, but that about covers it when it comes to superheroes at the Oscars. In all reality, the only real shot we had at a superhero film being nominated for Best Picture was in 2008 with The Dark Knight. It was that movie’s exclusion that lead to the Academy broadening the amount of Best Picture nominations from five to ten (which was great honestly, movies like Inception, Toy Story 3 and District 9 were able to get in under the new system). This brings us back to Deadpool.

I’m going to break some internet rules here and elevate the Golden Globes to the same level of the Oscars (I know, I know, just go with it). When we look at the Oscar’s Best Picture and the Golden Globes Best Drama and Best Comedy/Musical nominations, they have never nominated a superhero movie…until now. This is why I’m celebrating Deadpool’s nomination.

Look, I’m not crazy about Deadpool. I think it is a good movie that is the best version of what it was going for (a vulgar action movie with jokes/references geared for the reddit crowd), but I don’t love it. I don’t even think it is the best superhero movie of the year (looking at you Captain America: Civil War). With that in mind, think of these awards like politics. Do you always get the candidate you want? No. Is this a good candidate worth supporting? Yes.

We all know Deadpool won’t win (nor should it, I mean, just look at the competition), but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a nomination like this when we get one. I know there were probably some better movies more deserving a spot in this group, and I’m not knocking them at all. Even with some of the exclusions in mind, Deadpool was the perfect opportunity to honor a real comedy and break a superhero’s curse, I’m just glad the Globes took that opportunity.


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