Archive: October, 2008
Carrie Rickey, Film Critic
"Judging by how often the Academy has nominated a performance in a fantasy epic or a superhero movie over the past 80 years, you'd think that wearing a cape and giving a decent performance were somehow mutually exclusive," writes Justin Chang in a provocative piece handicapping probable Oscar nominations in the Hollywood trade journal Variety. There are exceptions, as he notes. And it must be said that "The Incredibles," one of the best-ever superhero films (although famously cape-less), got nominated, but as it was computer-generated animation, not for acting.
Historically, in the year following an Oscar sweep by a modest-box-office indie (like last year's winner "No Country for Old Men,'), Academy members note the correlation between low box-office and low Oscarcast ratings and nominate more mainstream fare. In 1997, the year following best picture and director wins for "The English Patient," a little movie called "Titanic" rose to dominate the Oscars -- and the television ratings.