Nov 4, 2021

Black Panther Deserves Oscar Nominations For These Categories

Superhero movies do get nominated for Oscar once in a blue moon.  The technical category of awards are often frequented by popular, massive blockbuster action movies, and superhero movies have won a few trophies in the past. We saw Suicide Squad do it in 2016 for best makeup and hairstyling, while in 2008 The Dark Knight had grabbed the sound editing award. It is the major categories which continue to be a dream for the genre, barring the exception of The Dark Knight which landed Heath Ledger a Best Actor posthumously for his portrayal of the Joker. This year, however, has been different as Logan has secured a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. This landmark nomination might enable Black Panther to step in and land some of the major awards nominations.

In case Black Panther gets a shot at 2019 Academy Awards, what categories do you think the MCU blockbuster will feature in? We have some suggestions.


Creating Wakanda, an imaginary African country which had the world’s most technologically advanced society and remained disconnected from the western world’s influence gives a lot of attention to the costumes. Whether it is the outstanding Black Panther suits worn by T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) or the armor of Dora Milaje or even Shuri’s (Letitia Wright) fashionable drapes, everything highlights the peculiar status of Wakanda and also the individual personas of the characters. Black Panther’s costume designer Ruth E. Carter has been nominated twice in the past for Malcolm X and Amistad. Now her creations for Black Panther are at par if not better than what she did for those two movies. Therefore, it is nearly certain that Black Panther would get nominated, and this certainly is a category where the film has great chances of winning a trophy.


The characteristic Afrofuturistic fashion of Black Panther is made of not just the costumes, but, the movie’s hair and makeup also narrate a story which has never been seen before. The integral nature of Black Panther’s hair and makeup means the film might be nominated for Oscar. It would not only be a great success for Black Panther but, also for the hairstylist Camille Friend who had told Huffington Post about the great deal of research done before the creation of the movie’s hairstyles. Simply put it is much more than just hair styling.

I used a lot of reference books, especially books about Africa,” Friend said. “Basically, I started with resource books, looking at African books and just looking at different tribes and looking at the hair textures, looking at the clothes, looking at the textiles, even looking at the terrain of the country and the color of the earth. All of those things, really, are interesting to me, and even looking at different Eskimos and different Indian cultures — just looking globally at different tribal looks. That’s what I started with.”


Black Panther is also expected to get nominated for production design. Hannah Beachler had a monumental assignment of creating an entirely unique world which even though imaginary, had to have a look and feel that audiences could relate to. At the same time, it all had to depict the fantastic superhero story powerfully. While Vibranium is not real, but, the mission to make Wakanda look real, had a great deal of challenges. Beachler accomplished this by using very little of blue screen, which in itself is worthy of being nominated.

“It was a challenge for us,” Beachler had said sometime back. “For Ryan and I we saw the opportunity to create something with Marvel that they haven’t done. You know, that’s the way I look at how I would utilize the money is I had more of an opportunity to bring place to it. And be more detailed about it. And because it wasn’t a place that existed or had really been defined in any other film — I’m talking about Wakanda — we could really play with that, and we wanted to do a lot of practical builds. We didn’t really want to use a lot of blue screen.”


When we talk about world building and creating Wakanda for Black Panther getting nominated, it is not possible to overlook the Kendrick Lamar/SZA song “All the Stars” as one of the most powerful contenders for the best original song. It is not just as if Lamar wrote a chart-topper, but, he also curated and made the whole soundtrack of the movie by creating a remarkable sound setting for a remarkable film. The fact that Black Panther: The Album is an unusual score, which might come in the way of it getting a nomination in that segment, but, the best song? It is definitely on.


Let’s talk about the big ones now1 In case the Black Panther cinematographer Rachel Morrison fails to make the cut; we will be highly surprised. Morrison has secured a nomination this year for Mudbound, which happens to be the first time ever that a female cinematographer has been nominated for the honor. Since she has already broken the glass ceiling with her work and looking at the incredible work done by her on Black Panther, she has everything going for her second successive Oscar nomination for Black Panther, wherein she brought the superb designs by Beachler to life in the form of Wakanda.


Although it is not expected that Black Panther would get nominated for the best picture, especially taking into account that it released early in the year, but, director Ryan Coogler might still secure a nomination. Coogler has already earned a lot of respect in Hollywood circles with Fruitvale Station and Creed, both of which were loved by critics and Fruitvale Station had won several reputed awards such as the Best First Film at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Now with Black Panther following those two and acknowledging the fact that under his direction Black Panther has gone beyond being an ordinary superhero movie and tackling the cultural representation and other social issues, a Best Director nomination for the film is well deserved.


It would be unfair to complete the list of potential Academy Awards nominations for Black Panther without recommending Michael B. Jordan’s name for his portrayal of Killmonger. Jordan’s performance had the same finesse and nuances that we had seen during Heath Ledger’s Joker portrayal in The Dark Knight. It is true that everyone has performed brilliantly in Black Panther, but, Jordan has not only done outstanding work but, he has given a grand stature to the character. Jordan’s Killmonger is not only a comic book bad guy, but, he is a fully developed being, a genuine portrayal of a living human being, and a superb display of the things that pain and oppression can do to a man. If he gets nominated, there are unlikely to be any other villains who would beat him to the Award.

Black Panther is currently running in theaters. Next up is Avengers: Infinity War on April 27th, Ant-Man, and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, next year and the Avengers 4 on May 3, next year. Spider-Man: Homecoming’s sequel would arrive on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to release in 2020.