Marvel Studios’ long-delayed but highly anticipated “Black Widow” is finally getting her reverence to critics, garnering positive reviews so far. However, with the Academy returning to 10 nominees guaranteed in Best Picture, and seemingly open to more populist choices in Hollywood, as seen with James Mangold’s “Logan” (2017) mentioned for an adapted screenplay and “Joker” of Todd Phillips (2019) topping the nominations tally in his respective year, could there be any hope for awards for the Avengers first lady? With the raves coming for Florence Pugh, could there be an avenue for actor recognition?

The landscape for the 2021 film year looks dense and robust, as many films that have been pushed back amid the pandemic are targeting huge box office revenues as theaters begin to reopen. As a result, there’s a good chance that Natasha Romanoff’s spinoff story will get lost in the mix of big festival debuts and other populist entries to come, like Marvel’s “Eternals” by award-winning Chloe Zhao. Recently crowned Oscar (“Nomadic Country”).

If we’re looking for doable possibilities to grab attention, the three standard branches that Marvel has found over the years – makeup and hair, sound and visual effects – are on the table. However, if we go beyond that, I think there will be a large contingent of critics who will defend Florence Pugh’s performance as stage thief Yelena Belova. Already “in the Oscars Club” after being nominated for Supporting Actress as March’s younger sister Amy in Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” (2019), her navigation in the MCU is effortless, because she demonstrates incredible acting skills and has wonderful chemistry with co-stars Scarlett Johansson, David Harbor and Rachel Weisz. I would expect his name to pop up in the threads, possibly even making the finalist list for a few regional critics along the way. Still, it will be a big hurdle to overcome on the circuit. The good news for her is that right now this appears to be her only film of the calendar year, as Olivia Wilde, Warner Bros.’s “Don’t Worry Darling” is likely a 2022 arc. So who knows?

For Johansson herself, sending her Black Widow character is genuine and heartfelt, and there will be plenty of champions for her work not only in this entry but in the MCU as a whole over the past decade. After several rebuffs for performances in “Ghost World” (2001), “Lost in Translation” (2003) and “Under the Skin” (2013), she became one of 12 actors to receive two actor names. same year for his performances in “Marriage Story” by Noah Baumbach (2019) and “Jojo Rabbit” by Taika Waititi (2019). However, while this sounds like a good start, I’m not sure there is enough ‘there’ for the interim members of the branch to hang on and want to reward her, especially given the landscape of contenders. come.

Black Widow

For director Cate Shortland, whose gritty imagination for Natasha’s standalone entry was the best approach to the MCU’s end-game, action films struggle to make waves with voters, especially in major categories. Because of this, and its much smaller plot, a suitable storyline probably won’t be in the cards for it.

With luck outside, the film and music branches should give some consideration to DP Gabriel Beristain and composer Lorne Balfe by the end of the year.

As the Academy expands its membership again to 375 industry people, the make-up of the branches is increasingly diverse and we seem to be sitting in a perfect union of old-fashioned Hollywood mindsets and the growing openness to new distinct films. Does that mean “Black Widow” can create the best range of images? Not so fast. In 2009 and 2010, when the Academy expanded the nominees for the best films from five to 10 available entries, we saw a consistent mix of genres and types of films that the Oscars generally did not embrace. There always seems to be a place for a more accessible entry to consumers that does very well at the box office and generates excitement. In those years, it was “The Blind Side” (2009), which won an Oscar for Sandra Bullock and “Inception”, which won three craft awards. With more MCUs to come, including “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and other attention-seeking studios, the film may struggle to stay in the bottom half of members’ ballots so that they fulfill their 10 favorite features.

The accolades list for the 23 films released from Marvel Studios isn’t as long as fans would like. Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” is the only film in the franchise to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Nominated for seven Oscars, he won three for Production Design (first black winner in the category for Hannah Beachler, which she shared with set designer Jay Hart), costume design (first black winner in the category with Ruth E. Carter) and the original score (Ludwig Göransson). For other films that have caught the attention of the Academy – “Iron Man” (2008), “Iron Man 2” (2010), “The Avengers” (2012), “Iron Man 3″ (2013), ” Captain America: The Winter Soldier “(2014),” Guardians of the Galaxy “(2014),” Avengers: Infinity War “(2018) and” Avengers: Endgame “(2019) – love only came in the makeup, sound and visual effects categories, without any of them winning.

“Black Widow” hits theaters and debuts on Disney Plus with Premier Access on July 9.

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