‘Black Panther’ nominated for best picture

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‘Black Panther’ became the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture during the Academy Award announcements Tuesday.

The film will go up against movies such as ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘A Star is Born’ and ‘Vice,’ among other pictures. The film’s nomination for this award marks a huge turning point in the superhero genre.

Released on Feb. 16, 2018, to positive reviews and financial success, ‘Black Panther’ being nominated for such a prestigious award shows people how far superhero films have come.  Previously, such movies were recognized more for their technical achievements rather than their storytelling prowess.

For example, 1978’s ‘Superman’ won an honorary award for its visual effects, same for ‘The Avengers.’  Heath Ledger received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in ‘The Dark Knight,’ but no one expected these superhero movies to be nominated Best Picture, until now.

‘Black Panther’ is one of six Disney co-productions selected for the awards. ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and ‘Christopher Robin’ were chosen for Best Visual Effects, while ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ made the list for Best Costume Design, Best Original Song and Best Original Score.

This year’s nominations featured many surprises. Although a box office success, critically ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ only managed an average of 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Additionally, the film’s original director Bryan Singer has come under fire recently for sexual abuse allegations.

Despite this, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has been nominated in five different categories, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.

‘Roma,’ an independent production released on Netflix, was also selected for Best Picture, Best Foreign Film and Best Original Screenplay, while its star, Yalitza Aparicio, was nominated for Best Actress. ‘Roma’ is Aparicio’s film debut, so to be selected as a candidate for this award is a big deal.

Reactions to the announcements have been mixed. Critics are happy with some of the nominations but are unsure about others.

Spike Lee, an acclaimed director responsible for ‘BlackKklansman,’ was chosen for the Best Director category, the first time this has happened in his career. On the other hand, Bradley Cooper, who starred in and directed ‘A Star is Born,” wasn’t chosen.

Critics felt films such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ didn’t deserve to receive as many nominations as it did, especially for categories like Best Editing and Best Sound Editing. Also, while ‘Black Panther’ was chosen for Best Picture, its director Ryan Coogler was left off the Best Director list.

The last time the Academy Awards did not have a host was in 1989. Thirty years later, history repeats itself as this year’s ceremony will be hosted by a rotating selection of individuals after Kevin Hart had to step back from the job due to coming under fire for old jokes and tweets aimed at the LGBTQ community.

Regardless of one’s thoughts over the selection of movies, there is no denying the list is diverse.  People will have the chance to see what film wins what when the Academy Awards commence on Sunday, Feb. 24.