Chadwick Boseman: 'Black Panther' is a Best Picture Oscar, Not a "Popular Oscar"

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After the Academy announced the "outstanding achievement in popular film" category was due to take effect at next February's 91st Academy Awards, we were all wondering if that would deter "Black Panther" and its chances in becoming the first ever Marvel movie nominated for Best Picture.

'Panther' cast and crew have called out the Academy's decision and believe their film is the real deal for the bigger prize, the latest to stand ground is the film's star, Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, who spoke to THR:

"For my money, the only thing that matters is the level of difficulty, I dare any movie to try to compare to the [level of] difficulty of this one.

"We don't know what it [the new prize] is, so I don't know whether to be happy about it or not. What I can say is that there's no campaign [that we are mounting] for 'popular film'; like, if there's a campaign, it's for best picture, and that's all there is to it.

Major awards publicist Strategy PR's Cynthia Swartz was hired by Disney for the 'Panther' campaign and, quite frankly, she has a good shot at making her clients' wishes come to fruition. 'Panther' is not only the year's highest-grossing movie domestically, but one of the best-reviewed movies of the year as well, even though I thought it was just a fairly average, by-the-books Marvel movie. 

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Boseman went on to say that "a good movie is a good movie and clearly it doesn't matter how much money a movie makes in order for it to be 'a good movie' [in the minds of Academy members] because if [it did], the movies that get nominated and win [which have tended in recent years to not be blockbusters] wouldn't get nominated; and if it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter on both sides. We created a world, we created a culture ... we had to create a religion, a spirituality, a politics; we had to create an accent; we had to pull from different cultures to create clothing styles and hair styles. It's very much like a period piece. ... So, as far as that's concerned, I dare any movie to try to compare to the [level of] difficulty of this one. And the fact that so many people liked it — if you just say it's [merely] popular, that's elitist."

Ok, fine. I know there are a lot of 'Panther' fans out there, I know I'm in the minority when it comes to my feelings about the film being just 'ok.' What else can I say? The movie followed the same narrative structure of almost every other Marvel movie, there was no rule-breaking or risk-taking, except for, of course, the all-black cast which did feel refreshing to witness, and, to many, that is more than enough to reward and rave about 'Panther.' Film criticism has very much changed over these last few years, the 'resistance' has taken over the movie industry. Anything for progress, I understand, but aren't we supposed to judge what's on-screen instead of the historic casting surrounding the film?