Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just that, a force. The movie has steamrolled the box office, bringing in a billion dollars worldwide in a record twelve days; and is already just $215 million shy of eclipsing Avatar as the all-time highest grossing film in the U.S. But box office numbers are one thing, awards are another. So does The Force Awakens deserve an Oscar nomination? What seemed like a wild idea before the movie was released has picked up steam recently, as a lot of people are buying into the idea that the newest tale from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away deserves some love from the Academy, but does it really? Or is everyone just getting swept up in Star Wars mania?
I would argue that The Force Awakens definitely deserves an Oscar nomination. Lots of them in fact, but especially the big one: Best Picture. Think about it. When people look back on 2015, what movie is going to come into their minds first? Spotlight? Carol? Don't be silly. This was a Star Wars year, and the Academy Awards will be missing the boat if they don't honor the movie. If you're still not convinced that The Force Awakens deserves an Oscar nomination, here are eight reasons why you're wrong.
It goes without saying that any movie nominated for a Best Picture Oscar has to be critically acclaimed. Well, The Force Awakens sits at a whopping 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes based on a ridiculous 306 reviews. That's a higher rating than presumptive Oscar favorites The Big Short, The Revenant, Creed, and The Martian — all while enduring considerably more reviews than any of them.
Star Wars' Legacy
Star Wars, which was released in 1977, earned 11 Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. And although it didn't win the big prize (Annie Hall received that honor), the film did take home seven statues. So there's clearly some precedent for Star Wars at the Oscars, meaning the Academy needn't worry about sullying its reputation by nominating The Force Awakens.
Avatar Got A Nom
If you want to argue that sci-fi films can't garner nominations like they did when the first Star Wars was released, just look at Avatar. The 2009 sci-fi epic was not only nominated for Best Picture, it was even considered the favorite for the prize in some circles before losing to The Hurt Locker. Since a lot of Avatar's recognition revolved around its money-making prowess (its the highest grossing film ever), doesn't it make sense to show The Force Awakens, the first film to seriously threaten Avatar's title, the same treatment?
It's A Phenomenon
Everybody is watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens . Everybody is talking about TFA. It's the biggest film of the year by far, so how can it not be recognized at the biggest film awards ceremony of the year? The Oscars have a reputation for hating on blockbusters in favor of films that maybe eight people have seen, but a movie as big as The Force Awakens simply can't be ignored.
Wherever The Force Awakens falls in your own personal ranking of the Star Wars films, I don't think there's any doubt that the movie features the best acting in the franchise. Everyone in the amazing cast brings their A-game, and there isn't an eye-rolling line delivery to be found. This increase in quality deserves to be acknowledged, as it nudges The Force Awakens from a simple popcorn film into the serious cinema column.
The Below The Line Performances
If the movie doesn't get a Best Picture nomination, which it totally should, then it should at least clean up in other categories. John Williams delivers the goods on the score, proving once again that he's the only person who should be allowed to make music for movies, and the special effects department blew it out of the water with their expert blending of practical effects and CGI.
It Missed Its Chance At Other Awards Shows
The Force Awakens has zero nominations from the Golden Globes this year, but it's the film's own fault. Disney made the decision not to screen the film in advance for the press in an attempt to suppress spoilers from getting out, a real solid for the fans. But in doing so, the film missed the cutoff for the Globes. Given that the movie would have likely cleaned up at the ceremony, Oscar should reward the movie for putting its fans above industry glory.
It Will Make Things Interesting
Interest and ratings have fallen for the Oscars in recent years, and I can't think of a better way to recruit eyeballs to the show than by including the year's biggest film. It may be a cynical way of looking at things, but Hollywood is a cutthroat business after all.
As you can see, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is destined for greatness, just like Rey. But whether the Oscars recognize that and nominate the film, or turn to the Dark Side and snub it, remains to be seen.
Images: Disney/Lucasfilm; giphy.com