Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther seems to be a film that nobody can stop talking about. Despite being over 13 months since the movie first aired, this Marvel movie is still doing rounds. It first rose to fame when fans and critics alike praised Black Panther for its socio-cultural influence on the modern world. It went on to gross 1.3 billion dollars worldwide. Finally, when it was nominated for best picture, people knew that this film was something else. So after months of the film doing rounds at the awards ceremonies, all the hype finally came to an end today, at the Oscars. The event saw multiple Black Panther Oscar wins.
If you’re a hardcore Marvel fan who’s watching the Oscars just for a chance to see Black Panther win Best Picture, I’m sorry to let you down, because Green Book won that. But don’t worry. Black Panther did take something away from the Oscars. They took away three golden statues for awards that they more or less deserved. The first was for Best Costume Design, for Ruth E. Carter, who just became the first African-American woman to bag the award in this category. “Marvel may have made the first Black superhero, but through Costume Design, we turned him into an African king,” she said, as she accepted her award.
The second Black Panther Oscar was almost a no-brainer, as the movie was pretty much a shoo-in for Best Production Design. There was not one other film that released this year that had an equal production value to Black Panther (only First Man holds a candle). Hannah Bleacher, who happens to also be the first African-American woman to win in this category, gave an emotional acceptance speech, saying, “My best is good enough”. Seriously though, even if you aren’t a Marvel fan, you have to marvel (I’m not sorry) at how this one film was able to bring so much new talent into the limelight.
The third Black Panther Oscar win was probably the most tightly contested. Ludwig Goransson ended up winning the award for Best Original Score, but to be fair, it could have gone any one of three ways, with Alexandre Desplat (Isle of Dogs) and Marc Shaiman (Mary Poppins Returns) both equally deserving. Still, take nothing away from the win. Mr. Goransson had the arduous task of mixing African tribal beats, to the normal Marvel themes we’re so accustomed to, and the outcome was a perfect fusion of culture, and best of all, it was engaging.
I think this is a great outcome for the Oscars, and the three wins definitely mean a lot to the superhero genre. So don’t be sad that the film didn’t win Best Picture, the very fact that it was nominated means the Academy are willing to take Blockbusters more seriously. I’m sure we can expect many more superhero/comic-book films to et nominated in the near future, and who knows, maybe even bag Best Picture one of these days.