Does Black Panther deserve the Academy Award for Best Picture? Screenwriter/director and American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis doesn't believe that it does. The author was recently interviewed and he spoke about the entertainment industry at length. Ellis is often out-spoken, which hasn't earned him too many friends in the industry, so he isn't afraid to speak his mind when it comes to just about anything. Though he is not a fan of President Donald Trump, he likes to poke fun of others who speak negatively about the president just to get a rise out of people.
Bret Easton Ellis isn't alone in his beliefs about Black Panther, but most people are just assuming that it won't win. However, the comic book movie was able to take the top honors at the Screen Actors Guild and is showing some promise at the Academy Awards. The interview with Ellis occurred before the nominations were announced. He had this to say.
"No superhero movie has ever gotten a Best Picture nomination. But believe me, Disney is doing everything in its power to make sure this happens. Even though there is no one out here in La La Land I've met who thinks Black Panther is that good as a movie. Yet, as a piece of representation, they are supporting it."
Black Panther hit theaters nearly a year ago and broke a bunch of box office records in the process and getting people into theaters who normally would not sit through a superhero movie. It's currently the highest grossing superhero movie of all time and is looking to take home an Academy Award or two. But for some, the movie simply isn't that good and doesn't deserve all of the praise that it has received. Bret Easton Ellis explains.
"The entertainment press and the studio is selling the notion that Black Panther is a grand piece of cinematic art that cannot be ignored. And this notion is being shoved down our throats and we can only smile in disbelief. Or perhaps understand that this is just the moment we're trapped in. A joke, a hoax. It's all fake news, folks."
Fake news or not, Black Panther isn't going anywhere. In fact, it's only gotten bigger since it was released. Bret Easton Ellis thinks that the praise for the Marvel movie comes from somewhere else entirely and that it doesn't have to do with the strength of the project. Instead, Ellis circles back to representation. You can read his closing thoughts on the matter below.
"Representation is so important to them. And with a huge fatuous inclusivity and diversity push. What the most flattering pose might be in the moment - as if inclusivity and diversity have anything to do with awarding a movie's merits. Yes, this is the culture the Oscars are pushing, and it is rather nauseating."
Black Panther has a real shot at taking home the Academy Award for Best Picture. Some fans will agree and many will disagree, but it appears that Disney and Marvel Studios could make history at the end of this month. Bret Easton Ellis isn't counting on it, but it is a possibility. It will certainly make watching the Academy Awards a bit more interesting this year. The interview with the author was originally conducted by the B.E.E. Podcast.