Ever since Wonder Woman released in June to massive critical acclaim, the movie has been hailed as the first solid contender for the Best Picture category at the #Oscars since 2008's #Batman film The Dark Knight. The snubbing of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight in 2008 led to such strong uproar that the Academy was forced to widen its slot of five Best Picture nominees to 10 in an effort to be more inclusive to more blockbuster films. Since then though, the Academy has not nominated a single comic book film in any major category. That all can change when the nominees for the 90th Oscars 2018 are announced.
The Success Of Wonder Woman
No one needed Wonder Woman to succeed as much as #DC comics did. The company's three previous attempts at building a cohesive, interconnected comic book superhero universe much like Marvel's #MCU fell into disarray when two of its most highly anticipated films were marred by bad reviews and less than stellar box office performance. So, the burden was on the Princess of Themyscira long before her film hit the screens.
Unbeknownst to #DC at the time, Warner Bros. had hit the jackpot in hiring Monster director Patty Jenkins to direct the feature film. In an unprecedented move, DC passed the reigns of one of its most iconic characters to a woman. The rest is (rather became) history.
From its very first week Wonder Woman flew past expectations of both the critics and fans as well as the box office. The film, which was originally intended to start its weekend with a $65 million haul instead came in at $103 million. From then it was one record break after another. Wonder Woman became the highest grossing superheroine movie ever, domestically and internationally. It became the highest grossing #DCEU movie within Northern America and became the highest grossing DC movie not involving Superman or Batman internationally. It became the highest grossing film ever to be directed by a woman.
Jenkins's Wonder Woman Was A True Superhero
What was so special about Wonder Woman you ask? For starters, Patty Jenkins's adaption of the popular comic book character was the first comic book film adaption of a female heroine that didn't sexualize the character, instead focusing on the finer points of the character and the story in general. Jenkins wasn't afraid to make a character that was depicted as a goddess and human. In doing so, she managed to make Diana a true superhero.
Many DC fans (including yours truly) never really much liked Wonder Woman as opposed to other characters of the DC Universe simply because many writers (in comic books and DCAU) couldn't find the right balance for Diana. Either she was too sexualized or too masculine (sometimes even both), and it sometimes felt like Diana Prince was so interested in war that she didn't have a caring bone in her body.
However, Patty Jenkins truly understood the character and brilliantly merged the character's caring, kind soul with her badass, tough-as-nails exterior, leading to perhaps the best hero on screen since Christopher Reeve's Superman. The movie is distinct for embodying the spirit of superheroes that we've often read about in the comics but somehow have not seen translated onto the big screen.
Why Wonder Woman Needs To Be Nominated At The Oscars
The movie isn't just responsible for single handedly turning the DCEU's reputation around by managing to become the biggest (and the best) movie of the summer. Unlike the other #DCEU and Marvel movies, Wonder Woman is the perfect blend of action, comedy, romance and super heroics. It's a movie with a crisp script, great acting, mind-blowing action scenes and a stunning score. Despite its CGI heavy third act, it's almost old fashioned in its take of good versus evil, which in itself is both charming and refreshing.
More importantly though, #WonderWoman has dispelled all notions that women cannot rule the box office. In fact, it is credited solely for breaking the proverbial glass ceiling and instilling confidence in people that women oriented and helmed films can do just as well, if not better, at the box office. Wonder Woman has liberated women from the shackles of being reduced to sidekicks, not just on the screen, but in real life. Just for that Wonder Woman rightfully deserves a slot in the Best Picture category.
Then there's the cultural significance of this movie. The countless reports of women being reduced to tears after seeing it for the first time just goes to show how powerful the film was. This didn't happen because it was a solo superheroine movie, it didn't happen because people loved Wonder Woman more than any other comic book character. It resonated so strongly because it was an exceptional superhero movie, a film that miraculously captured the essence of what superhero films and comic books in general were about.
In a way, Wonder Woman captured the spirit of the Golden Age comics, when the world was a brighter place for both DC and Marvel. Unlike nearly every superhero these days, the fate of the world didn't rest on Diana's shoulders; rather, she was trying to eradicate war itself from society.
What sets Wonder Woman apart from the scores of films being produced about #superheroes isn't just its unusual choice of heroes, it's how magnificently the film manages to be something more than just a superhero movie. It'd be foolish to assume that the success of Wonder Woman rides solely on it being the first good female superhero movie. Sure, it's a factor, but as Variety noted, Wonder Woman's audiences weren't that of a typical superhero movie. It's the only superhero film to have an even number of women and men sitting in its audience, all of which belong to an older demographic than a usual film of its genre.
To most people, Wonder Woman represented change — and it truly was. Patty Jenkins film is about that poignant No Man's Land Scene where a woman decides to step forward when no man dares. It's about hope and is light years away from the gritty world of DC or the comical nonsense of Marvel. It's a reprieve from the harsh realities of today and yet somehow manages to be a reflection of the world that we live in. More importantly, it makes us feel, and isn't that what great art is all about?
Wonder Woman is a rare superhero movie. The Amazon warrior has already done the good she came to do: She's shattered perceptions and broken the mold. Although that alone should grant it a spot on the list, Wonder Woman is also a darn good film and still deserves a shot at the golden statuette. Time will tell when the nominations are announced come January 23, 2018.
What do YOU think? Does Wonder Woman deserve a Best Picture nod? Comment below!