Marvel – Oscars History

While the question of the “Oscar worthiness” of Marvel films has been hotly debated amongst film buffs and Academy Award-winning directors alike, their presence amongst film discourse is inescapable. Love them or hate them, it’s hard to deny that Marvel films are an integral part of modern cinema. Though they may not have always faired well at the Oscars historically, with only one film ever having won before, many Marvel films have been able to boast at least one nomination. 

In honor of Thor: Love and Thunder releasing this week, let’s take a look at the categories for which Marvel movies have managed to secure an Oscar nomination or win. 

Surprisingly, only two Marvel films have been nominated for Oscars, Iron Man (2009) and Black Panther (2018), in this category. However, neither won. 

While I personally find it upsetting that Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) gets to call itself an Oscar-nominated film, it is the sole Marvel movie to be nominated for Best Makeup and Hair Styling, most likely due to its impressive prosthetic work. 

While only one Marvel film has been nominated for Costume Design, it can also pride itself on being a winner.  Legendary costume designer Ruth E. Carter took home the Oscar for Best Costume Design for her stunning work in Black Panther (2018). 

Black Panther (2018) was nominated for both Best Original Song and Best Score. While it only took home Best Score, we at least were treated to a performance of “All the Stars” at the 2019 Academy Awards. 

Black Panther (2018) is the sole Marvel movie to ever win an Oscar, and it rounded out its three wins at the 2019 Academy Awards with an Oscar for Best Production Design. 

Surprisingly, Black Panther (2018) is the only Marvel film to have ever been nominated for sound mixing, although it lost to Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). 

Black Panther (2018) made history as the first-ever Marvel film to be nominated for Best Picture, most likely due to its cultural impact, and its ability to transcend genre and “blockbuster” molds. It currently remains the only Marvel film to be nominated in this category. 

Of all the Oscar categories, the most popular amongst Marvel movies by far is the Best Visual Effects category. Eleven Marvel movies have been nominated in this category, although none have won.
The nominated films include: 
Iron Man 2 (2011)
The Avengers (2012)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2015)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 (2017)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: End Game (2019)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

With several contenders eligible this year (including Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Morbius, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), it will be interesting to see how Marvel will stack up at this year’s Oscars. Personally, I’m already rooting for a Taika Waititi nomination for Best Director (granted, I’m always rooting for Taika Waititi). 

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