If there’s any serious argument to be made against the Academy Awards it’s buried somewhere in their bias against anything that isn’t a straight-up drama. The Academy routinely shuts out science fiction, comedy, and just about anything that doesn’t involve people sitting around and staring, out of the proceedings. Every now and then there’s an Avatar, which pushed its way through almost entirely on the adoration the Academy has for its director, and even then was never really going to win the big prize. The Muppets was the best reviewed movie of 2012 (according to Rotten Tomatoes), for instance, but isn’t represented anywhere outside of a single nomination for Best Song. Things were no different for sci-fi this year than they are any other year, unless you count Tree of Life as science fiction, which you should not.
You can read the full list of Oscar nominees over at our sister site Cinema Blend, where you’ll find that The Artist, the black and white silent movie which almost no one who isn’t a film critic will ever actually buy a ticket to see, is almost certainly a shoe-in to win it all.
This year’s crop of science fiction films were, of course, never in contention for anything. But it might have been nice to see an Attack the Block or Source Code or even a Rise of the Planet of the Apes get some attention in the screenplay or cinematography categories. And at some point, someone really needs to recognize Andy Serkis’s motion capture work as legitimate acting. He was brilliant, as usual, as Caesar in Apes.
But this is the Oscars, where even Star Wars couldn’t win Best Picture and Tron’s groundbreaking digital effects were considered “cheating”.
Instead sci-fi’s only recognition came in the technical categories. Real Steel, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes were nominated for Best Visual Effects. Transformers: Dark of the Moon got a nod in Best Sound Editing and also in Best Sound Mixing. That’s it.
Science Fiction fans hoping for a little recognition will have to wait around for the Saturn Awards. We’ll let you know when they get around to nominating them.