Is ‘Black Panther' Worthy of a Best Picture Nomination? Of Course Not.



In the next few weeks you will no doubt see a real push by the media to present "Black Panther" as a worthy Best Picture contender. All for the sake of progress and a rabid Disney agenda that is expertly pushing this narrative. Don't bite.
Angel Bassett, who stared in 'Panther' has been quoted as saying "In my mind, it has the Oscar. I think it deserves it," she explained while promoting her upcoming Transformers film, "Bumblebee." Whereas, Collider's Adam Chitwood just wrote an op-ed pleading the case that 'Panther' is worthy of a Picture nomination.
No it's not.
I will first mention the positives that come with the film. Yes, "Black Panther" is a cultural groundbreaker that is as important as many movies released this year in America. I know how significant it is to have the most powerful film franchise, Marvel, finally deliver a superhero movie with an almost entirely black cast at the forefront. I do, I really do. This is a time when a film like "Black Panther" should exist. Think of all the young kids watching this movie who will see themselves as the heroes, capable of doing just about anything that they set their minds in doing. Just for that, I am glad it has become such a resounding billion-dollar success.
However, this film doesn't remotely come close to the tense or cinematic level of, say "The Winter Soldier," a film that drastically changed the mold for Marvel as first and foremost a film inspired by the '70s political thriller, or even "Logan," a movie that tried to distance itself from the banal, predictable narrative structure of the superhero genre by infusing Western-like sensibilities and -- shock -- adult-oriented moral dilemmas. The problem with "Black Panther" was that there simply wasn't all that much excitement to go around. Almost everything you expected in the narrative did happen.
There wasn't anything memorable, no moment that sent your pulse pounding, or your spine tingling. This is a straightforward telling of a story that on paper should not be straightforward at all, or at the very least, safe. Coogler's source material was Ta-Nehisi Coates' more recent "Black Panther" comics and to say he watered it down for the masses would be an understatement. Coates' comics were firmly rooted in Afrofuturism and had a Shakespearian-influence in scope and tone.