Could 2019 be year of the superhero at the Oscars?

Black Panther - T'Challa And Killmonger

With Oscar nominations for Black Panther, Infinity War, Incredibles 2 and Into the Spider-Verse, could 2019 be the year of the superhero movie?

Marvel and Disney's reign over popular culture in recent years appears to be going from strength to strength with superhero movies only gaining in popularity.

So much so that even the Oscars can't halt the rise of the genre and the numerous nominations for the 91st Academy Awards confirms just that.

No fewer than four superhero films have been nominated for Oscars this year, more than any other year in history. 

Black Panther

A film that came out almost an entire year ago has not only snuck into the Oscars race but it's blown its way onto the awards scene with SEVEN nominations, including Best Picture.

Probably the biggest surprise in the nominations announcement this year, is that Black Panther has been nominated for Best Picture, the first out-and-out superhero film to do so.

On top of that, Black Panther has also picked up nominations in six other categories, in Best Original Score, Original Song, Costume Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Production Design. Impressive acknowledgement for any film, let alone a superhero movie.

2019's Oscar nominations certainly feature a diverse range of films. From BlacKkKlansman and Roma to Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, the sheer variety of films nominated this year has to be applauded. But Black Panther receiving a nomination for Best Picture over Avengers: Infinity War is certainly a decision that will get tongues wagging. 

Black Panther - Title Card

Avengers: Infinity War

On the subject of which... Avengers: Infinity War was the biggest film in the world last year and was the culmination of 10 years of storytelling and world-building in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. It was an unprecedented event in cinematic history as it brought over 20 characters together for one ultimate showdown. And yet it's only picked up the one nomination.

It's a genuine surprise that the biggest movie of 2018, and arguably the last decade, has only picked up one Oscar nomination for all its efforts.

Infinity War's only nomination is for Best Visual Effects, which feels like somewhat of a shun on the film directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. Especially when you consider that Black Panther picked up seven nominations and arguably is the weaker of the two films.

Despite missing out in other categories, Infinity War surely has to be recognised for its bold narrative that somehow manages to cram in over twenty main characters and creates a thrilling story and harrowing climax.  

Avengers: Infinity War - Titan

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The Best Animated Feature category always contains some absolute gems and 2019 is no different with two superhero films being nominated for the Oscar. Up first is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Already an award winner at the Golden Globes, Into the Spider-Verse looks set to take home Oscar gold for it's bold and brilliant new take on the comic book movie.

Every frame of the film looks like it's been torn out of a comic book and plastered over the screen. It's a joy to behold, right down to the little details like thought bubbles and on-screen sound effects that pop-up throughout the film, just like in the pages of comic books.

It's a little disappointing that it hasn't picked up any other nominations for Editing or Sound as it excels in those areas too but you can't have everything. While it has to be the favourite at this early stage, Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs can't be discounted for its gorgeous stop-motion animation just yet.

Spider Man: Into The Spider-Verse: Forest

Incredibles 2

Finally we come to Pixar's usual entry in Best Animated Feature. The Disney-owned studio have had unrivalled success in this category for many years, including last year's win for the delightful Coco. However, their contender this year, Incredibles 2, has some tough competition.

The long-awaited sequel to 2004's The Incredibles left fans of the series overjoyed at the continuation of the story after a 14-year gap between movies, with many believing the sequel to be superior to its predecessor.

Thanks to the non-stop march of technology, Incredibles 2, definitely has the edge over it's older film-sibling in that it looks superb.

Where the film falters in terms of this year's awards though, is that Pixar have been using this same animation style for several years now, making it more likely that other films in the Best Animated Feature category will be taking home the Oscar this year. But we'll have to wait and see.

Incredibles 21

Regardless of which films succeed in their quest for Oscar glory, it's safe to say that superhero movie fans will be thrilled to see the genre earning such high praise in the industry. 

What has been seen as money-making cash cow in recent years, the superhero genre has defied all critics with the sheer number of nominations earned for the 91st Academy Awards. 

The question that now remains is will any of the superhero movies actually win? 

A general view of Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War Screening at The Fox Theatre on April 26, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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