Why ‘Deadpool’ Will Be Nominated for Best Picture

On January 24th, there’s a good chance that cinephiles across the world will be letting a collective gasp in horror as Deadpool is nominated for Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars. As ridiculous as this might appear to be, the film’s star Ryan Reynolds has embraced this possibility and tweeted out this FYC video.

So before the deluge of tweets start pouring that read “So What! It’s just a video any anyone can make one”, Let’s take a look at the facts.

1. Deadpool is getting massive attention from the award guilds.

While some might be dismissive of awards guilds, they often serve as a pretty good indicator for how the Academy nominations will look when they are announced at the end of January.

a) The Writers Guild of America nominated Deadpool for Best Adaptive Screenplay. The WGA giving attention to a superhero film isn’t that unheard of because in 2015 Guardians of the Galaxy was nominated in the same category. So now some might think “What’s the big deal?” Well, the big deal is that many of the WGA also are Academy voters as well. This means that its at least being discussed among the voters. Now, if Deadpool only received this nomination, then this would be a dead issue, but that hasn’t been the case.

b) The Directors Guild of America nominated Tim Miller (the guy who directed Deadpool) for best direction in their first feature film. He’s going up against Garth Davis (Lion) and Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen) who both directed films that stand a real shot at being in the Best Picture category around Oscar time. This means that members of the DGA are grouping these films together. It’s also worth noting that some DGA members are members of the Academy. As shocking as this was it doesn’t compare to the final nomination.

c) The Producer Guild of America nominated Deadpool as one of its ten best films of 2016. This one is a big one as the PGA carries the most weight with Oscar voters and this announcement happened right in the middle of the voting process as well. Often the PGA nominations are a direct reflection of the Oscar nominations as well. It’s no accident that a day or so after that announcement, Ryan Reynolds tweeted out that video.

Deadpool

2. Deadpool was a game changer

Deadpool was a game changer for not only rated “R” superhero films, but it also made those films mainstream. Audience members are no longer needed to have some degree in comics 101 to understand the story. Deadpool’s narrative was as simplistic as it gets. Here are your good guys and let’s watch the one who’s a real smart-ass in a skin-tight red suit mess up these bad guys. It also approached this genre with a lighter tone that related well with the public.

3. What’s good for one film is good for another

If the Academy is going to acknowledge films like Moonlight that redefine our perception of masculinity and homosexual relationships, then they have to at the very least consider what Deadpool has done for people’s perception of the superhero genre.

4. If the Academy nominate ten films for Best Picture, then how does it not make the cut?

If you sat there (and I have) and wrote down who you think will be in the Academy’s Top 10 films for this year, it’s hard to exclude Deadpool. You would have to think that these are the films that already have a nomination locked in

Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea, Lion, La La Land, Arrival, Fences, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures 

That’s eight films, who would you put in for the other two? Nocturnal Animals? Captain Fantastic? Silence? Personally, I feel that Scorsese’s latest deserves the 9th slot, but after that, it’s a toss up. If the Academy makes Deadpool the 10th nominated film, it can claim that it’s indeed recognizing a diverse group of films.

What do you think? Comment below.

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.

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