Oscar 2013: Avenging the Marigold Kingdom Part II
By Tom Houseman and David Mumpower
June 20, 2012
David Mumpower: When we left off in our discussions of the Oscars race to date in 2012, Tom was confusing me with Albus Dumbledore, which is understandable given that I am a wizard of words. If you have not taken the opportunity to read this discussion, please do so by clicking here.
All right, Tommy Boy, let’s continue with the discussion. Previously, I mentioned a litany of summer releases that wound up being Academy Awards contenders. Your rebuttal attempted to dismiss them for being released in June/July, which confuses me in that it is mid-June so this seems like the perfect time to evaluate this year’s contenders. Had you said, “Oh, you mean Brave!”, I would have tipped my cap and moved on with the day.
Instead, you summarily dismissed The Avengers as being unworthy of conversation. The explanation utilized is what caught me off-guard. You indicate that “The Academy clearly found it easy to ignore The Dark Knight”. This is like arguing that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a PG film. While technically correct, you ignore the backstory that led to fundamental change within the industry. In the case of Temple of Doom, its heart-ripping violence (in a literal sense) triggered the creation of an entirely new rating grade, PG-13.
With regards to The Dark Knight, its inexplicable oversight imbued potential viewers with such harsh feelings about The Academy’s voting process that they rebuilt the scoring system from the ground up. The movies considered for the 81st annual Academy Awards played under an entirely different set of rules and a finite limit of five for potential Best Picture nominations. We both realize that The Avengers and all the other 2012 releases under discussion possess more opportunity. There could be double the amount of nominees in the category. Had The Dark Knight been situated similarly, the Academy could have avoided the mistake of nominating The Reader and Milk over a vastly superior movie by simply choosing it as well.
Do I believe that 5% of the Academy, the requisite number now, will list The Avengers as their favorite film of the year? Probably not. Am I ready to dismiss this possibility altogether? Absolutely not. And, slap fighting aside, I did not expect you to do so at this stage. Every movie that has earned $1.4 billion worldwide has been nominated for Best Picture thus far. There is the straw man you were hoping to see, but there is truth as well.
Titanic and Avatar combined for 23 Academy Awards nominations with 14 victories. And just to give you something to think about, Avatar is 83% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes while Titanic is at 88%. The Avengers is at 93%, which leads me to believe that you must be confusing it with the Sean Connery in a Giant Teddy Bear suit film called The Avengers. Otherwise, you would take it more seriously as a mortal lock multi-category nominee. Anyone who summarily dismisses this as a comic book movie is wholly unaware of the movie industry zeitgeist.