After sweeping the public and critics alike, the possibility is growing that the third installment of the Spider-Man adventures starring Tom Holland will enter the race for the main statuettes
We analyze here the reasons for its global super success, which has propelled it to eighth place among the most watched films in history
In just over three weeks, the hollywood academy should show the movies Oscar candidates in its 94th edition. Some seem more than guaranteed their presence, especially Kenneth Brannagh’s ‘Belfast’, Jane Campion’s ‘The Power of the Dog’ and Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’. But in recent weeks, and in the stealthy manner of seismic waves prior to a major earthquake, the possibility that Spider-Man: No Way Home Directed by Jon Watts, sneak in on February 7 among the 10 nominees for best film. And not only that: that he ends up striking and takes the golden statuette of Uncle Oscar in the style of what he already did in 2003 ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’, by Peter Jackson.
It is not a ’boutade’ to the joy of the noisy legion of Marvel fans and, especially, of the adventures of the young Spider-Man. The film, like the two previous installments of the saga starring Tom Holland, has not only been a planetary success at the box office, but has received critical acclaim, given to the shimmering vitality of Peter Parker’s adventures in the very folds of the multiverse. Beyond the prejudices about superhero movies, why couldn’t ‘Spider-Man: No way out’ win the Oscar for best picture? Here we try to answer the question -and analyze in passing the global phenomenon which has supposed – in the form of five keys:
Third installment of a great trilogy
‘No way home’ is, we will remember, the third of the films in which the young wall-crawler is played by Holland, after two previous sagas with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield under the net. The character had made his presentation with his new incarnation in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (Anthony and Joe ‘Russo, 2016), before his starring appearance as the lead in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (Jon Watts, 2017) and his reappearance in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ (Jon Watts, 2019). No one would have given a penny for the umpteenth reinvention of Spider-Man, since the character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko seemed fully amortized in the cinema; but Sony and Marvel nailed it: both installments were a fabulous success with the public and, of course, a third installment became inevitable with which to close not only this third cycle, but the previous two, in a big way. perfect symbiosis, almost alchemical, between the present of Marvel and its old memory. “A love letter”, as its executive producer, Amy Pascal, has defined it.
The action of ‘Spider-Man: No way home’ It starts right where ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ ends.: After the identity of Peter Parker is exposed by the villain Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), the life of our spider hero and his charismatic friends MJ (Zendaya) and Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) is literally turned upside down. You will then decide to contact Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to help him hide his identity with magic. But the enchantment goes wrong and will cause a fracture in the multiverse through which various villains who had faced Spider-Man in other alternative realities will enter.
From here on, we will avoid further plot comments to avoid spoilers that spoil the many surprises that fans will find along the way. In any case, no need to carry the superheroic encyclopedia on your back: any layman in the Marvel world, unless he has a stone instead of a heart, will be able to have fun -and move to tears- in this captivating exercise in self-referential cinema which is ‘Spider-Man: No way home’.
The movie has burst the world box office to unimaginable extremes in these times of high volatility and low attendance at movie theaters. Not only is it by far the most successful film of the pandemic era, but it has become the eighth highest grossing in history, with more than 1,500 million dollars raised as of January 10, 2022, ahead of ‘The Avengers’ (2012) and very close to the seventh, ‘The Lion King’ (2019), and the sixth, ‘ Jurassic World’ (2015). Only in Spain, the film has exceeded 16 million euros in revenue in less than a month since its premiere, doubling in the accumulated his immediate pursuers, ‘Fast 9’, ‘Venom 2: There will be slaughter’ and ‘A todo tren: Asturias destination’, which have barely exceeded 8 million.
A public success that, together with the excellent reviews it has received (accumulates 93% of positive votes in Rottentomatoes, the influential website that brings together reviews published in the US), has prompted its responsible company, Sony, to do the rest in its attempt to make it visible among academics in the face of major Oscar nominationsincluding, of course, the best picture. “Academics should vote for our film because it is one of the ten best of the year & rdquor ;, says Tom Rothman, CEO of Sony Pictures, in a report by ‘The Hollywood Reporter’. To this end, the company will spare no effort: academics will be able to see the film from Monday to Thursday in theaters for free, as well as streaming through its own viewing channel. In addition, of course, to the usual campaigns in industry publications requesting the vote of academics.
— Will Mavity (@mavericksmovies) January 3, 2022
In this sense, the astute bosses of Sony and Marvel set their sights on ‘The return of the King’, tremendous closing of the trilogy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ that in 2003 took the 11 Oscars to which it was opting, including the one for best film and director for Peter Jackson. “That was a celebration and culmination of the incredible work that was done on that trilogy. In our case, it’s a celebration of our last Spider-Man trilogy and the previous two & rdquor ;, he observes Kevin Feige, President and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Studios. “It is essential that the Academy does not lose its connection with the quality commercial cinema” adds Rothman. And that is what it is, above all, ‘Spider-Man: No way home’: an effective destructive weapon against prejudices and the condescension that usually surround superhero movies.
To the (good) taste of the public
At a time when the disinterest of the public, especially that of the new generations, for the Oscar ceremony is increasing, with television audiences shrinking, nothing would have a more rejuvenating effect than the burst of vitality of the two protagonists of ‘Spider Man: No way home’Tom Holland and Zendaya, brilliant youth idols who, as if that were not enough claim, have confirmed that they maintain a sentimental relationship. Lozania and beauty for times of affliction.
directors like Martin Scorsese They have long been vilifying Marvel and lamenting the death of the old cinema, or at least its mutation into something more trivial. “The cinema no longer exists. The cinema I grew up with and the one I still make no longer exists&rdquor ;, laments the director of ‘One of ours’, nostalgic for a time that will never return. Scorsese is absolutely right, and the proof of this is that an exaltation of classic cinema like the wonderful ‘West Side Story’ of Spielberg has succumbed by technical KO in his fight at the box office with ‘Spider-Man: No way home’.
The cinema that today continues to attract the public to theaters is, in effect, commercial to the bone, based on infallible success formulas, fundamentally franchises, ‘remakes’ and revisions. And Watts’ film responds to that profile like a glove. But Sony and Marvel have been able to read the tastes of the public that continues to go to the movies even in times of pandemic and, defying prejudices about the genre, has offered a splendid entertainment product, endowed with frenetic rhythm, charismatic characters, moral depth, sincere emotion and self-tributes that take away the hiccups. Whether or not you are interested in the Marvel vibe, whether or not you are attracted to the concerns of superheroes.
Bad precedents, but less
Make no mistake: precedents are not good. For now, this week has been left out of the nominations for the BAFTA awards. And superhero cinema, despite its overwhelming sense of entertainment and its amazing box office capacity, is not usually present at the Oscar ceremonies except in the technical categories (visual effects or sound editing), production design or animation. Even so, some doors have opened in the last five years: in 2018, ‘Black Panther’, by Ryan Coogler, made history by becoming the first title in the genre to compete for an Oscar for Best Picture, the same year that ‘Spider-Man: A new universe’, by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, broke seven years of Disney’s overwhelming dominance in the animation category.
Separate box deserves ‘Joker’ by Todd Phillips, with its two Oscars and its 11 nominations in 2019, including, of course, the best film and direction. But this approach to Batman’s nemesis was, in truth, an almost political film, premeditatedly surly and dark, located light years away from the festive standards of superhero cinema and, of course, from ‘Spider-Man: No way home’. In any case, the Marvel or DC universes, with their endless catalog of heroes and villains on the warpath, have fortunately ceased to be foreign bodies at the great Hollywood party.