Variety laments the continuing outrage of the Academy snubbing performances in superhero-esque films. but maybe this year the pain will end.
Oscar’s biases are nothing new. Unfortunately, they’re increasingly out of step with the reality that some of the finest acting in American movies — and, for that matter, some of the most artful filmmaking — can be found in the realms of what might be uncharitably described as “fanboy cinema.” In a year that saw a surfeit of memorable performances in superhero pictures — Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart and Gary Oldman in “The Dark Knight,” Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow in “Iron Man,” Charlize Theron in “Hancock” — it may be time for the Academy to start taking this work as seriously as the actors and filmmakers have.
Credit for this phenomenon must go in part to the recent infusion of indie directing talent into the studio ranks. From their earliest projects, helmers such as Christopher Nolan, Sam Raimi, Bryan Singer, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro demonstrated formidable filmmaking chops and a sometimes down-and-dirty enthusiasm for B-movie thrills — qualities they’ve maintained even as their ambitions, reputations and production budgets have soared.
Personally, we would like to see a nomination for Stan Lee for his lifetime body of work in such roles as Hot Dog Guy, Milwaukee Man Drinking From Bottle, Willie Lumpkin, and his devastating turn as Old Man at Crossing in DAREDEVIL.