Dividing factions on Twitter, The Writers’ Guild of America has nominated the unexpected Deadpool for Best Adapted Screenplay. With the nominations for Fences, Hidden Figures and Nocturnal Animals no one bats an eye. Highly regarded scripts do warrant that. Along comes the Merc With a Mouth and a lot of film Twitter wasn’t having him.
I’ve seen arguments of enjoying Deadpool but thinking it’s not worth the prestige of nomination. There were also corners that were reacting to the announcement with outright guffaw. Whether it’s mere underestimation or looking down upon a superhero flick as less-than, I just don’t get it. I tend to lean towards Drew McWeeny’s opinion.
Anyone grumbling about why the WGA responded to DEADPOOL should look at the opening credits. "Written by THE REAL HEROES HERE." #theyagree
— DrewMcWeeny (@DrewMcWeeny) January 4, 2017
Underdogs Earn Glory
Genre films certainly don’t automatically deserve recognition, that’s not what I’m saying. A good film is a good film. Cinephiles should to be able to differentiate overall quality instead of using genre as reason for exclusion. I’m on board for discussion if someone thinks another script would be a better choice for nomination. The problem is most of the reactions I saw didn’t do that. It’s a pastime to look at superheroes, action and comedy as less-than when it comes to awards season but you’d think as audiences become more savvy to the filmmaking process, they’d also take note of the skills put into those genres.
Traditionally, awards in film have a base in the underdog story. The most unexpected of us striving for our glory moment. The journey of Deadpool becoming a success fits that structure.
The story of this film is so fittingly fourth wall breaking that it bleeds its own underdog story; a project that was put on the back-burner for a decade only to become a bombastic hit once it was finally produced with care. The devotion of the underdog to work hard for the ultimate prize. I mean, it sounds familiar to me:
Let alone, this is the WGA. Deadpool being nominated for Adapted Screenplay shows the respect for effort and result of Reese and Wernick’s work by their peers.
I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
Juvenility and prestige are funny when I place perspective upon them. When someone doesn’t appreciate comics for what they are, the result is usually brushing them off as “for kids.” It’s not surprising that this kind of mentality also roots itself in other mediums. The Oscar is considered the end all be all of awards in film but also excludes “untraditional” genres from its main categories. The WGA highlights the work, holding it in balanced regard. In my perspective that means it isn’t the group that belongs at the kids’ table.
In his appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 explained why film is such an easy target.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. The idea of self-importance allows for easy jabs. Deadpool knew what it wanted to be and I don’t see anything wrong with rewarding having exceeded its goal.