Well in the words of the loquaciously clever tongued Wade Wilson, “Life is an endless series of train-wrecks with only brief, commercial-like breaks of happiness.” It seems as though when one good thing happens (Deadpool 2 getting the greenlight) something else is subtracted (Deadpool 2 loses director Tim Miller).
However, for now, the Deadpool camp can celebrate the recent Producers Guild of America, PGA, for nominating it for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. “So what does that mean,” you ask? Well the PGA has a long history of being a good predictor for the grandaddy Oscar awards.
Since the Best Picture format change started at the 82nd Academy Awards (coincidently, The Dark Knight Best Picture snub, another comic book movie, has long been claimed to be responsible for the change) the Oscars and the PGA have matched with Best Picture nominees seven out of ten to ten out of ten times each year. What is even better is that Deadpool has not only been welcomed into the top 10 but also it also received a Writers Guild of America nomination for the Zombieland screenwriting duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
So what are its chances? Well with both nominations from the PGA and WGA under its belt, it is pretty safe to say that Deadpool will be called upon on Jan. 24 when Oscar nominations will be announced. Too bad Ryan Reynolds hasn’t received anywhere near enough acting nominations to be considered.
While it may amount to absolutely nothing to most cinemagoers, it means the world to many who attentively update themselves to Oscar prospects. For one, this truly displays a fundamental change within the Academy Awards. I mean, these are the people who passed up the opportunity to award The Social Network, a relevant and brutal character study, for The King’s Speech, a much more conventional biographical British war film that we have seen a thousand times over.
Too be quite honest, Deadpool was not the greatest movie of the year…by far. Ryan Reynolds’ performance was paradisiacal in wit and brilliance, his performance was complemented by a poetically sophomoric and sophisticated screenplay, and the editing was stylishly well-cut. However, the film did conceive a very generic and foreseeable plot that involves love and rescue.
If the film does find itself donning a tuxedo come Oscar night, the importance of its nomination is not necessarily for the film itself, but much more of what it represents. Change!
The superhero genre has typically been reserved for the under the line technical nominations (e.g. visual effects or sound mixing). Although to be quite fair, Deadpool himself did say, “You’re probably thinking, ‘My boyfriend said this was a superhero movie but that guy just turned that other guy into a f*cking kekab!,’ Well, I may be super, but I’m no hero.”
A nomination for Deadpool could mean a variety of things, for one, it paves the way for similar approaches to filmmaking— a smart tongue-in-cheek parody of the superhero genre as well as the Hollywood studios who churn them out in a never-ending cycle of reboots, sequels, and prequels. Hollywood is notoriously known for its lack of sense of humor. In this case, some recognition would be the right move in solidifying the imminent change in the way the Academy Awards looks at the future of movies.
Any movie, if you look hard enough, can maintain the prospects of a typical “Oscar movie.” I mean, even the plot of Green Lantern, with all its disheartening dialogue, followed the same basic story structure of someone with ragged naivety who learns some golden morals through their experiences from beginning to end. It is a plot we have seen countless times in a variety of settings and themes from Marty to The Godfather (yes, I just compared Green Lantern to The Godfather).
Deadpool is no different but at the same time—it is very different. Take a moment to ask yourself: does Wade Wilson actually learn anything? How about after his transition into our favorite red suited anti-hero? He was the overly sarcastic “merc-with-the-mouth” before his eventual mutation healing surgery which turned him into… an overly sarcastic “merc-with-a-mouth” (albeit not as handsome), but he is still the same Wade Wilson.
Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, however. While Deadpool follows a the usual love story formula we have seen in the past and will continue to see in years to come, the way they go about the story as a whole is quite different (nonlinear story sequences and montages— all on top of that fact that it is an R-rated superhero movie which, as you all know, they just do not do enough of).
At the very least, a nomination in a genre that superhero movies do not normally get recognized for would be a grand step in securing a position of importance for superhero movies. While I do agree that there are just way too many superhero movies already (not to mention that they’re all intertwining into more superhero movies), the genre is not going away and it is about time the Academy Awards sees them as movies worth their attention for some serious categories. Not every superhero movie is worthy of a nomination just like not every biographical movie is either. But the if Academy Awards should choose to nominate a comic book movie, Deadpool would probably be the most inspired and talked about decision in Oscar history.
While Deadpool’s best chances at nominations lie in the Best Adapted Screenplay and technical categories, the relevance of a Deadpool Best Picture nomination has never been as dire as it is today.
Do you think Deadpool deserves an Oscar?