At the heart of the Oscars should be that they stand to recognize the best in filmmaking. However, at some point in time, Best Picture came to be defined as a movie which packs a powerful message, but is usually virtually ignored by the majority of filmgoers. With some few notable exceptions, popular movies do not win or even get nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. However, it didn’t always seem to be that way. Star Wars, Jaws, and Raiders of the Lost Ark all managed to garner Best Picture nominations, and it was even back when the Academy only nominated five pictures a year.
One of the things that both fans and critics have praised about Guardians of the Galaxy is that it recaptures the magic of earlier Hollywood action-adventure flicks like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. So why is Guardians of the Galaxy garnering relatively little buzz among the lists of Best Picture Oscar favorites?
Probably, because the film doesn’t fit the mold of what is now considered a film worthy of being nominated for a Best Picture Oscar by the Academy. It’s sci-fi for one thing. And not the real-world NASA type sci-fi of Gravity, but the colorful, over-the-top sci-fi of Star Wars. Even more, because it’s from Marvel, it falls into the label of the superhero genre, which the Academy seems to have deemed unworthy as a whole when it comes to Best Picture.
Here’s the ironic thing. While Guardians of the Galaxy is a bright, fun, colorful action movie, the film does have a message in it. As Gunn so eloquently put it while accepting his Blockbuster award at the Hollywood Film Awards, “Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie about a bunch of outcasts who find a family with each other.”
Yes, buried in Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those messages that the Academy seems to love when it comes in an artsy movie that few watch. Gunn just found a way to deliver his message in a way that actually appealed to mass audiences and had fans turning out in droves. Because people actually heard Gunn’s message, it’s like he’s being penalized.
A movie which delivers a message about oddballs and outcasts coming together, finding acceptance in one another, and accomplishing great things by working together seems to have been outcast in the Best Picture conversations because it’s an oddball in regards to what the Academy normally considers to be Best Picture worthy.
With the possibility of up to ten movies garnering Best Picture nominations, Guardians of the Galaxy deserves to be in that conversation. It shouldn’t be excluded just because it’s in an oddball genre from what the Academy typically nominates.
Also, Best Picture should be about celebrating the art of filmmaking, regardless of subject matter. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those rare films that fires on all cylinders. It isn’t a success just because of one or two great performances or because of a strong script.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a film where every person working on the film did their jobs to create a film that excelled across the board in acting, special effects, story, costume, make-up, and everything else. Guardians of the Galaxy really is a film that shows the best in filmmaking because everyone on the film came together and did their jobs to produce a quality product.
Now, this rant is based on all the Oscar nominee forecasters overlooking Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s still the chance that the Academy could shock the world and include Guardians of the Galaxy when they announce their Best Picture nominees tomorrow.
After all, the WGA recognized the Guardians of the Galaxy script by nominating it for a Best Adapted Screenplay award. Maybe, there’s some hope the Academy will give the film the recognition it deserves. Think about this, James Gunn created a film with a talking raccoon and a tree that says only five words that even Oscar winner Al Pacino praised. Guardians of the Galaxy deserves a Best Picture nomination.