Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.
A few weeks back, Spiderman: No Way Home began a campaign for Best Picture and everyone lost their collective minds. Some people were filled with a white hot rage to think that superheroes could even be mentioned with the Oscar and others angry that a comic book movie couldn’t be mentioned in such a supreme club. Meanwhile, instead of picking a camp, it’s interesting to explore a more important general question: What does Best Picture mean?
Most people would want to keep this simple and say that the Best Picture means the best film of that year but that argument turns subjective even when a majority votes on it and therefore it seems it should be examined further.
It should still obviously be a film of high quality that entertains and engages the audience, which are once again difficult measures. However, there is magic behind the Best Picture that most technical awards can’t touch as it envelopes so many avenues. It should be the movie that represents the year and the culture, reaching a mass audience. This is not to say Spiderman or any other Box Office winner should win or be nominated, but that type of film should be kept in mind.
Often the winner for Best Picture falls in the camp of a really well made film that was underseen, like last year’s winner Nomadland or they could be something average and audience pleasing like Green Book but then there is that rare true Best Picture that crosses the section of audience beloved and well crafted like The Departed, Parasite, Titanic, and even No Country for Old Men
This year’s Best Picture race has come down to two front runners similar to this particular dichotomy; The Power of the Dog and Belfast. The Power of the Dog is an example of the well done film that is probably out of touch with the masses, while Belfast is an example of the well made crowd pleaser. However there are many other crowd pleasers that are of high quality as well such as CODA and Dune and even though quality is subjective it seems to have been expressed by the masses.
So will Spiderman win or be nominated for Best Picture? Most likely not. Should Spiderman win or be nominated for Best Picture? Probably not. However it’s important to look at more than just quality when it comes to Best Picture it’s not just about the quality of the movie but how much you can talk about them among friends and family who may not be into films as much.