Not too long ago, Disney put up their awards consideration pages for the films they hope will land some nominations from the Oscars, Golden Globes and other important Hollywood organizations. When it came to Avengers: Endgame, the usual ambition was there for Best Picture, Best Director, and a slew of technical awards. But there was one surprising exclusion.
Robert Downey Jr. previously confirmed that he opted not to campaign for any acting awards for his farewell performance as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. This was surprising to fans since his final turn as the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist and superhero felt like a performance that may have been worthy of at least a nomination. It appears Disney agreed and whether or not Downey intends to campaign for an Oscar, they’re going to do it for him. Robert Downey Jr. is included in the addition of consideration for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories that feature several other Avengers: Endgame cast members too.
Here’s Disney’s updated list of hopeful nominees that will be up for awards consideration this season:
As you can see, none of the Avengers: Endgame cast members were put up in the lead actor or lead actress categories. That makes perfect sense since the ensemble cast is so big that they all have a pretty even amount of screentime. Plus, the competition will likely be less fierce in those categories. However, just because Disney is putting forth these names for nominations doesn’t mean that any of them have a good chance at landing a nomination. But let’s talk about which ones could possibly be contenders.
Not to be disrespectful to any of these actors and actresses, but right out of the gate, I don’t think there’s any chance that Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson, Zoe Saldana, or Gwyneth Paltrow will be getting nominations. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all great in their respective roles, and each has a solid emotional beat in the movie, but none of them feel like Oscar worthy performances as a whole. Plus, Ruffalo and Brolin have the disadvantage of playing motion capture characters, and the Academy still hasn’t figured out how to properly register those performances alongside traditional roles on film.
Somewhat more likely but still almost certainly not getting Oscar nominations are Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner. Though the two share some of the most touching and heartwrenching moments in Endgame, Renner is currently dealing with some peculiar personal issues and likely won’t be at the forefront of any Oscar campaigning. Furthermore, if Scarlett Johansson is going to get any Oscar nominations this year, it will probably be for Jojo Rabbit or Marriage Story.
However, there are four Avengers: Endgame cast members that I could see being worthy of a nomination, even if they’re still unlikely to end up with one. Robert Downey Jr. is one of them for obvious reasons, but I think we’re all forgetting just how great Chris Hemsworth is in this movie. He shows an incredible range of emotion as a superhero suffering from PTSD, often turning his emotions on a dime, and I would be psyched if he ended up earning at least a nomination. Meanwhile, both Chris Evans and Karen Gillan turned in admirable performances. The latter has a surprisingly integral and emotional character arc in this movie, and the former continues to be the backbone of this entire franchise. Either one of them could have enough standout moments to land a nomination, but I’m not sure
Of course, the Oscars are very competitive, and they’re not always about who really gave the best performance. Furthermore, The Academy hasn’t fully embraced superhero movies as being award worthy just yet. That tradition wavered a bit for Black Panther, but that felt like a unique circumstance in which the achievement for bringing such a culturally diverse superhero movie to the table was likely what drew voters to support the movie.
Then again, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ended up getting some awards love and sweeping every award it was nominated for, largely in support of the overall achievement of the entire trilogy from Peter Jackson. Perhaps something similar could happen here as a way of paying tribute to the success of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ll find out over the next few months.
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