Best Pictures nominees at the Oscars

Has the academy finally listened to the public?


Picture of the prestigious Oscar award. Photo Courtesy of Libreshot via Google Images.

Maheen Qureshi, Author

On January 22, the Oscar nominees for the 91 Academy Awards were announced and many surprising movies shined in prestigious categories. Most of the time, when nominations come out, the public exclaims the Academy only nominates and awards films that no one has heard of, and this year the tune of the public has changed quite a bit. Although the Oscars did nominate their fair share of “smaller” films, a few movies stood out as box office successes the year prior. Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody both dominated at the box office, becoming widely known amongst adults and teenagers and both of them snagged a Best Picture nominee. This begs the question: is the prestigious award show is finally starting to listen to the public?

The most notable movie which whipped its way to seven nominations is Black Panther, which is the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The Marvel movie was praised as being one of the best films of 2018 and showcased a predominantly black cast. Black Panther was the second highest grossing film last year, making over 1.3 billion dollars in the United States and Canada. According to The Washington Post, Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at measurement firm Comscore, says, “The academy is clearly honoring blockbuster films this year, and is acknowledging their contributions to the art of filmmaking and thus recognizing the level of talent involved.” During the summer of 2018, the academy announced the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film,” but quickly revoked the idea after it received much backlash. Critics slammed the award show, claiming that by introducing this category the academy is saying that higher grossing films are not as impactful as indie films.

Overall, there are eight films nominated for Best Picture this year. The Battlefield Bobcats gave their thoughts on how they feel about the more widely known films getting recognition this year. Senior Allie Shrant says, “I think it’s great for them to nominate more widely known films, and it will also benefit the show. Over the past few years, the ratings for the Oscars has gone down, so nominating these movies that were beloved by the public will maybe cause more people to watch to see if they win.” It still is uncertain if one of the more box office hits will take home the accolade for Best Picture, although now it is up to audiences to see if the academy does continue to give nominations to more widely known movies, or will they revert back to their old ways.