Offbeat superhero blockbuster Deadpool surprisingly joins the likes of critically acclaimed musical La La Land and the Meryl Streep-starring Florence Foster Jenkins to compete for the Golden Globe awards in Hollywood tonight.
The rude comic book blockbuster took Hollywood by storm almost a year ago, grossing almost $800 million worldwide at the box office. Just as surprisingly, Deadpool has crashed the awards race with Golden Globes nomination for Best Picture, Comedy or Musical, and star Ryan Reynolds in contention for Best Actor.
Reynolds won Best Entertainer of the Year at the Critics Choice Awards last month, while the film also picked up a prestigious Writers Guild nomination for top adapted screenplay earlier this week.
Deadpool‘s official Twitter account picked up on the unexpectedness of the film being an awards contender, tweeting: “Looks like foul language and violence DO pay off after all. Huge thanks to the #WritersGuildAwards for the nomination!”
How did such a profane blockbuster get itself in the running among all those wannabe profound films? It seems like the same reason Deadpool was perceived as a blockbuster gamble and spent so long in development hell: its idiosyncratic crude sensibility.
Scott Feinberg, Awards Columnist at the Hollywood Reporter, tells Heat Street: “When it came out, Deadpool did have people remarking its screenplay was very impressive in relation to most other comic book superhero movies, and there was some hope it would be remembered later in the year.
“But most pundits, including me, were skeptical about that happening.” He added: “It’s being considered for awards at a time when people are hungry for escapism, so the idea of a superhero coming in and saving the day and who can make people laugh comes at a time when people feel the day needs to be saved and they want to laugh. It’s a welcome thing.
“In the same way that La La Land is so different, the biggest advantage Deadpool has is that it’s so different from anything being considered this year for awards and that allows it to stand apart.”
As for the movie’s Golden Globe chances, Feinberg says don’t rule them out: “It could win. I think Ryan Reynolds is going to lose to the other Ryan [Gosling in La La Land] but I wouldn’t be shocked if he or Hugh Grant pulled it off tonight.”
Oscars recognition is a remote prospect, though. Feinberg says: “It’s unlikely but not impossible. It faces stiff odds…the Oscars are still associated with serious films that have gravitas, and while there are occasionally exceptions, there’s usually some real subtext, as with Mad Max: Fury Road and The Dark Knight, that allows them to argue they’re not just escapism but socially relevant substantial movies. I think that’s a harder argument to make with Deadpool.”
Other Hollywood columnists are more dismissive of Deadpool. “No, I don’t think it’s got a chance at the Golden Globes—it’s an awful film,” says Jeffrey Wells, who writes the popular Hollywood Elsewhere blog. “I’m amazed and I think a lot of other people are. It’s so genre-y and aimed at the cheap seats.
“There’s no accounting for taste. The more interesting question is why the original director [Tim Miller], who was integral to the success of the movie, is not returning for the sequel.”