One of the biggest debates among movie fans in 2019 centered around Martin Scorsese's comments about superhero movies and, while Avengers: Endgame might have become the highest-grossing movie of all time, Scorsese secured himself more nominations at the Academy Awards for The Irishman than the Marvel Cinematic Universe earned. While there's no objective measurement of the worth of any piece of art, whether it be a three-hour epic about organized crime or the culmination of a decade of superhero storytelling, those whose interests lean more towards the filmmaker's will surely be excited to see the Academy recognize him for his efforts.
Scorsese himself earned nominations for Best Director for The Irishman, while the Netflix film also earned a nomination for Best Picture, a category in which a film's producers are recognized. The film ultimately earned a total of 10 nominations, but only Scorsese was only specified for two of the awards, while Avengers: Endgame's sole nomination is for Visual Effects, where it will compete with The Irishman.
Interestingly, the comic book film Joker ended up taking more nominations than any other film this year, with a total of 11 nominations. Scorsese is a credited producer on the film, though he has made it clear that he had no personal contributions to the experience, and even admitted he has not seen the finished film and likely never will.
"I saw clips of it," Scorsese revealed to The New York Times. "I know it. So it's like, why do I need to? I get it. It's fine."
It was during press for The Irishman that Scorsese shared innocuous comments about how he has tried to check out superhero films, but hasn't particularly enjoyed them, and that they didn't fall within his definition of "cinema."
"I don't see them. I tried, you know? But that's not cinema," Scorsese revealed to Empire Magazine about comic book films. "Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."
At the time the filmmaker made those comments, his films had earned more Oscars than all superhero films combined, but with Joker poised to take home as many as 11 awards, it could push the total number of Oscars for comic book films, currently at 16, well past Scorsese's total of 24.
Check out the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 9th.
Who do you think will win more Oscars this year? Let us know in the comments below!