With the Oscar nominations having been announced this week, it was a major upset to see the groundbreaking, box office-shaking, no-name-taking silver screen debut of history’s greatest super heroine, Wonder Woman, snubbed by the Academy. Yes, the Oscars have usually shied away from comic book material based upon superheroes. Indie comic adaptations seem to stand a better chance. The exception, of course, being Heath Ledger’s legendary performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight. I think there was no way that wasn’t going to happen. It was a major performance for any character, culled from any source material.
I figured it was a bad sign that the Golden Globe Awards had no time for our Amazon’s golden lasso, as the Oscars usually follow suit. Not to say that Wonder Woman hasn’t won any other film awards. I think it’s
short sighted to dismiss it as a popcorn movie, superhero movie, or any generalization about a complex film worthy of deeper scrutiny. Yes, it was action packed. Yes, it had fun fight scenes and special effects, but Wonder Woman stood on its own as a darn fine movie.
Best Actress. Gal Gadot owned the screen. It was impossible to take your eyes off of her. A relative newbie, she quickly proved that she not only had the acting chops to play such an iconic legend, but she made the role her own and brought just as much charisma in her own way to that of her television counterpart, Lynda Carter.
Best Actor. Chris Pine is rare in that he is one of the few working Hollywood actors that comes off as an old-time movie star – with charm, charisma, likeability, and enough confidence to pull everything off in front of Princess Diana.
Best Supporting Actress. Robin Wright. Seasoned actress Robin Wright made an indelible impact as “Antiope,” the leader of the Amazon army. She brought unparalleled passion and strength to a role that demanded a command of respect with seemingly little effort.
Best Screenplay. Allan Heinberg delivered a near-perfect screenplay, introducing Wonder Woman to man’s wold with a story filled with suspense, intrigue, and emotional investment. He fully fleshed out and made you fall in love with a character most writers didn’t know what to do with for the last few decades.
Best Director. Breaking all kinds of records as the biggest box office opening for a film with a female director, Partty Jenkins is something of a Wonder Woman herself. She made not only a good superhero movie, but she made an amazing movie all around.
Cinematography, musical score, editing, costume design, it’s such an unfortunate turn of events that none of these were considered for Oscar nominations. But as Meryl Streep said, “The reward is in the work.” As long as Wonder Woman is available on Blu-ray and generates a few sequels, I’m good. What does the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences know any way?
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