ByAaron Hubbard, writer at Creators.co
Opinions, theories, and facts regarding movies, comics, and games.
Aaron Hubbard

A Brief Look at the Last 5 Years of Academy Awards

Best Picture

  • 2009 - The Hurt Locker
  • 2010 - The King's Speech
  • 2011 - The Artist
  • 2012 - Argo
  • 2013 - 12 Years a Slave

Best Director

  • 2009 - Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • 2010 - Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
  • 2011 - Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
  • 2012 - Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  • 2013 - Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • 2009 - Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • 2010 - Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
  • 2011 - Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
  • 2012 - Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
  • 2013 - Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyer's Club)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • 2009 - Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • 2010 - Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
  • 2011 - Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
  • 2012 - Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • 2013 - Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Best Cinematography

  • 2009 - Avatar (Mauro Fiore)
  • 2010 - Inception (Wally Pfister)
  • 2011 - Hugo (Robert Richardson)
  • 2012 - Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda)
  • 2013 - Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)

Where are the Superheroes?

Bane even wants to know
Bane even wants to know

For a long while now, I've been contemplating the superhero movie genre. It is, by far, my favorite type of film. I have just always loved superheroes, ever since I was a kid. But one thing I had to ask myself growing up was: "Are superheroes really just for kids?" because as I began to read more and more comics, I was seeing that the stories and the characters inside these comics and graphic novels had deep and meaningful substance to them.

From the pages of Ultimate X-Men
From the pages of Ultimate X-Men

I began to realize that that same substance that was in comics was not being translated to film. The films had been continuously pumped out several times a year but it never felt like there was any heart put into the films for the most part. For a long while, it just felt like the superhero movies that were coming out were nothing more than a huge marketing scheme to sell more merchandise. Those deep and meaningful stories weren't being accurately portrayed in film, or at least nowhere close to how the comics portray them.

These are the reasons why big, prestigious events like the Academy Awards never really honored superhero movies.

Could you imagine the emotions there?
Could you imagine the emotions there?

That is until 2008's The Dark Knight came along and Heath Ledger, who played the Joker, was given an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

But the only problem I have with him being awarded this is the fact that it was awarded posthumously, meaning after he passed away. I'm not saying that Heath Ledger wasn't deserving of the award, his performance was excellent and has left its mark on cinematic history, but I hope that he wasn't given the award just because of his unfortunate departure from this life. I feel he deserved the award but would he have received it had he remained alive? I haven't seen an award like this - or any of the ones listed in the beginning of this article - given out to anyone affiliated with a superhero film, and I know there are very many talented actors who performed excellently in their comic book-originated roles.

I'm going to list of a few of the movies that deserved more Academy Award-recognition than what they got:

Batman Begins, Iron Man, The Dark Knight
Batman Begins, Iron Man, The Dark Knight
  • Batman Begins
  • Iron Man
  • The Dark Knight (besides the posthumous award to Heath Ledger)
  • The Avengers
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, CA:TWS
The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, CA:TWS

I'm sure there are others that some would like to see get recognition at the Academy Awards and I'm sure there will be many more movies coming out in the next few years that will be worth the recognition and more than likely won't get it. These are the movies that I've predicted to be 7 Movies That Could Revolutionize the Superhero Genre.

Why Do Superhero Movies Deserve Recognition?

Maybe Deadpool will get the first superhero Oscar!
Maybe Deadpool will get the first superhero Oscar!

To summarize up the whole article. We have to ask ourselves: Why do superhero movies deserve more recognition at the Academy Awards? Well, it's because superhero movies are no longer just superhero movies. The superhero aspect to these films put out by Marvel and DC is just a sub-genre definition. Yes, these movies star superheroes with super-powers doing super-heroic things, but they're so much more than that.

Look at films like The Dark Knight. I wouldn't describe that movie as just a "superhero" movie, it's a crime-drama at its core.

Batman in The Dark Knight
Batman in The Dark Knight

What about Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Is that just a superhero movie? No. It's got a great blend of political thriller and espionage.

These superhero films are growing beyond the little box that egotisitcal, elitist film critics put them in. These are characters that have true depth and rich histories. It's no different than seeing a book adapted to the big screen. At the core if it all, they're just really good stories that are being told. I fear we just judge them because the traditional, original medium by which they've been introduced to the world.

I think that right now, people are too concerned about the subject material, rather than how the story is being told. Just because the film is based on a true story or just because something happens to have controversial subject matter doesn't mean it should be a shoe-in for a nomination. Is the story actually directed well, acted well, filmed well, etc.

I hope that people become more open-minded concerning superhero movies and that they can accept the movies without having a preconceived notion of them being childish or without emotional dramatic depth.

Conclusion

What are your guys' thoughts on the subject of superhero movies and their sadly scarce involvement in the Academy Awards? Do you feel like the powers in charge are underestimating superhero films? Do you think that superhero movies have a place at the Academy Awards? Let me know in the comments and don't forget to vote in the poll!

Poll

Do you feel superhero movies are wrongfully shunned from the Academy Awards?

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