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No, Seriously, the Oscar Might Go to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 6 Reasons Why

Prepare to have your efforts to manage your expectations for Star Wars: The Force Awakens seriously undermined: this movie might be Oscar-worthy.

At least that’s what THR’s awards analyst Scott Feinberg thinks.  Like apparently half of Hollywood, he was at the film’s Los Angeles premiere last night, and he’s not allowed to really share too much of his opinion of the movie.  Not completely at least, since there is a review embargo in place.  He can give us a general “It was amazing!” followed by “And absolutely everyone I talked to at the after-party thought so too!”  However, “Everyone seems to really like it” is not exactly Oscar territory.  Don’t worry.  He offered a little more reasoning than that, which I’ve broken down below:

Star Wars Poster1. The first Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture as well as Director, Screenplay, Supporting Actor.  It was also nominated (and won) in several technical categories, and all the Star Wars movies since then have been well-represented in the technical nominations.  However, at one point Star Wars was considered so new and exciting it warranted a Best Picture nod, and The Force Awakens could enter into that same conversation nearly 40 years later.

2. There can be as many as 10 Best Picture nominees now

3. Occasionally, the Academy does embrace well-made mega-hits instead of focusing solely on little-seen indies and prestige dramas.  That doesn’t mean they’ll actually win (sorry Avatar, the first two Lord of the Rings movies, Inception), but sometimes they do (Titanic, Return of the King).  It’s an honor just to be nominated (oh, wait, sorry about that, The Dark Knight).

4. The anticipation for this movie is so astronomical that if it manages to actually be really good it will seem all the more impressive since we are now so conditioned after the prequels to secretly except to be let down

5. This has been “a year with a lot of movies that many people like, but not a lot of movies that many people love, and the passion that Academy members feel for a film or the people associated with it — as reflected on a preferential ballot — really matters”

My personal favorite of the year so far

The Golden Globes, SAG and Critics Choice awards/nominations have elevated the profiles of traditional Oscar fodder like Trumbo, Carol and Spotlight, but Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t going away and those soon-to-be-released surefire Oscar contenders haven’t been overly embraced by critics (Joy, Concussion, The Hateful Eight, The Revenant).  So, if Mad Max: Fury Road and Creed can be legitimate contenders in a year in which viewers and awards bodies alike have been increasingly immune to obvious Oscar bait, then why couldn’t The Force Awakens be part of the picture if it’s really as good as the reactions from last night’s premiere indicate?

6. Most of those celebrities raving about the movie on Twitter after the premiere are voting members of the Academy, e.g., “might be the best blockbuster since the original… delivers on every level” (doc branch member Brett Morgen) and that it “totally delivers… just wow” (acting branch member Elizabeth Banks) and “Great. Nothing more to say. Just go.” (short films and feature animation branch member Andrew Stanton) and that it’s “a movie that DELIVERS… cried like a baby, whooped like a teen” (acting branch member Rob Lowe).

Ironically, you know who has seen this movie but is not actually a voting member of the Academy?  George Lucas.

Ultimately, though, who really cares if the 7th Star Wars movie gets nominated for a Best Picture award?  Regardless of whether or not that happens, the mere fact that it’s being discussed by someone who’s job it is to be an expert at film/tv awards is a sign that with mere days until Force Awakens‘ release the “It will probably suck just like Phantom Menace” knee-jerk defense probably no longer applies.

Source: THR


  1. Keeping my expectations for Star Wars low is a battle I lost a couple of weeks back. It does seem like the big Oscar bait movies this year have been really lazy in their storytelling. Most of them look like the same tired “inspiring” bios we have seen again and again over the last several years. It would be nice to see good and interesting movies such as Mad Max and Creed get some academy love.

    1. If feels like after last year’s #SoWhiteOscars and the sort of bored reaction to oscar bait like Imitation Game (e.g., he’s great, she’s great, the movie’s good, not amazing) and Theory of Everything (e.g., the actors seem fine enough, Redmayne will get an award just for his physicality, too bad the movie leaves out a lot and is kind of ho-hum), this year a lot of people are just fed up with the same old thing over and over again at Oscar season, especially in a year in which actual big movies like Creed and Mad Max and possibly Star Wars exceeded expectations (well, we’ll have to come back to that last one on Friday). There are probably some people who will never see The Danish Girl or Carol or Trumbo because they just so thoroughly look like they were made to win Oscars. Some voters might be in the mood to instead award crowd-pleasing movies which didn’t appear to be too pre-occupied with their own self-importance. That being said, if you subscribe to that you’ll probably miss out on some really good movies, and the growing consensus seems to be that Spotlight and Carol are truly legit contenders. Either way, this might be the year for some academy love for the non-Oscar bait among us.

  2. I guess I rather get a really great movie the Star Wars fans can rightly rave about than one which is only mediocre but nevertheless gets praised to the heavens….(and no, I am not in a hurry to watch this movie, if I get around to it I wait until the stampede is over).

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