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Did Guardians of the Galaxy deserve to win Best Picture?

Are the Oscars too out of touch?

ON SUNDAY, BRADLEY Cooper failed to win his Oscars category for the third year running. Cooper was nominated for his turn in American Sniper, but lost to Eddie Redmayne.

Cooper’s loss inspired a Reddit user to write this post, which has since gone massively viral.

The user referenced the violence in the film, as well as the “bigger political issues at play” within the film, but praised Cooper for imbuing his performance with pathos.

The kicker?

He wasn’t talking about Cooper’s turn as Chris Kyle in American Sniper — he was referring to Cooper’s unforgettable performance as  Rocket Racoon in Guardians of the Galaxy.

rocket Source: Cheezburger

And while this author may have been only half-serious, there are a lot of people out there who believe that Guardians of the Galaxy deserved more recognition this awards season.

And they kind of have a point.

Out of touch

guardians Source: Guardians of the Galaxy/Facebook

Last year, Guardians of the Galaxy was the second highest-grossing film in the United States. earning over $333 million. (Its worldwide box office tally stands at $774 million.)

The film also managed to achieve the rare feat of complimenting its box office success with significant critical acclaim. Guardians of the Galaxy received glowing reviews and its critical rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes stands at 91%.

Despite phenomenal box office success and positive reviews, it only received Oscar nominations in two technical categories – Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

It failed to win either.

And many see the Academy’s failure to nominate a film that resonated with both audiences and critics as a sign that it is hopelessly out of touch with the mainstream.

Let’s compare Birdman to Guardians of the Galaxy.

In the United States, the film has screened in just 976 venues and its box office takings currently stand at $77 million worldwide — just 10% of what Guardians of the Galaxy earned.

In fact, there were people who had never heard of the specialty release before Sunday night.

Time for recognition?

So, is it time that the film industry stopped looking down on superhero films?

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn seems to think so.

In a lengthy Facebook post published on Monday, the director attributed the film’s poor Oscars performance to elitism.

Whatever the case, the truth is, popular fare in any medium has always been snubbed by the self-appointed elite. I’ve already won more awards than I ever expected for Guardians. What bothers me slightly is that many people assume because you make big films that you put less love, care, and thought into them then people do who make independent films or who make what are considered more serious Hollywood films.

He also challenged the stereotype that superhero films are “dumb” or that they aren’t labours of love.

If you think people who make superhero movies are dumb, come out and say we’re dumb. But if you, as an independent filmmaker or a “serious” filmmaker, think you put more love into your characters than the Russo Brothers do Captain America, or Joss Whedon does the Hulk, or I do a talking raccoon, you are simply mistaken.

Some agree that the Oscars ought to make an effort to nominate populist fare.

But there are still those that believe the Oscars should not be determined by box office figures.

Either way, one thing is for certain – this year’s Oscar telecast dipped to a six-year low, something that many are attributing to the lack of mainstream films among the nominees.

Perhaps something to bear in mind next year, Academy.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments.

Guardians of the Galaxy director had some harsh words about yesterday’s Oscar nominations >

The 11 most Irish reactions to last night’s Oscar ceremony >

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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