Birds of Prey hit theaters in February 2020, receiving mostly positive reviews from critics and winning over longtime Harley Quinn fans. Now, over a year after its relatively quiet release, the film is back in the news for a pretty exciting reason.
According to the official Academy Awards website, Birds of Prey has been shortlisted for two Oscar nominations. The first is in the “Best Visual Effects” category, which makes perfect sense if you have seen the movie. It looks amazing, and the colors, tone, and overall visual style are super striking and consistent. The second is in the “Makeup and Hairstyling” category. That would also be a big win for the movie, especially because it is clear that a ton of work went into both respecting where these characters came from and making their look and feel unique to this film. Hopefully, that work pays off and the movie scores some very deserved nominations (and wins!)
Historically, the Academy has frowned upon giving genre films the bigger, more prestigious awards such as “Best Picture” or “Best Director,” and that trend absolutely continues here. Still, though, the fact that Birds of Prey is getting any love at all is fantastic. The movie was criminally overlooked by both critics and audiences, and it would not be unfair to claim that it didn’t get a fair shot, either. The pandemic also kicked into high gear roughly a month after Birds of Prey hit theaters, which undoubtedly hurt the film’s performance at the box office. It had so much, too much, working against it, and a ton of people missed out on a fun, action-packed flick that would have surely won them over.
Directed by Cathy Yan and written by Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as The Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Detective Renee Montoya, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, Ali Wong as Ellen Yee, and Ewan McGregor as Black Mask. The cast is absolutely amazing, especially Robbie, Perez, Basco, and McGregor.
DC catches a lot of crap for its approach to its cinematic universe (not entirely unfair, honestly), but Birds of Prey stands tall as one of the franchise’s best, most inspired entries. It is funny, heartfelt, and endearing in pretty much every way it can be, and I predict that it will have considerable staying power. It really is that great. I guess we will just have to wait and see!
No direct sequel to Birds of Prey has been announced, but Cathy Yan has mentioned her desire to return for a sequel that centers around and explores the Harley Quinn/ Poison Ivy dynamic. Unfortunately, it does not look like a sequel will happen, and that’s a shame. Guess we just need to be happy with this one (which isn’t difficult because the movie is fantastic).
If you’re looking for your next Harley Quinn fix, you don’t have much longer to wait. James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is currently scheduled to hit theaters on August 6, 2021.