Why ‘Wonder Woman’ Deserves Oscar Recognition

Kim Taylor-Foster
Movies DC
Movies DC

With the news that Warner Bros is planning a campaign to win Wonder Woman some Oscar glory, it’s timely to look at exactly why Wonder Woman deserves it. So in case you are in any doubt, here are FANDOM’s reasons why Wonder Woman should clean up at the Academy Awards.

It’s Time To Recognise Comic-Book Movies

Comic-book movies have long been ignored by the Academy. Perhaps it’s because they feel that they’re too ‘popcorn’; too much about entertainment for the masses to be considered genuine Oscar contenders. But there are greater and lesser entries in all genres – and just because a film falls into the superhero movie category, it doesn’t mean it’s not brilliantly made or has a lot to say about humanity, or the world.

In fact, Wonder Woman does all of these. A fantasy film is arguably more efficient at exploring resonant themes as other movies – since it can go places other films can’t. And Wonder Woman tackles its themes brilliantly (more on these later) at the same time as providing cinemagoers with perfectly pitched, high-octane entertainment. And there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way.

Patty Jenkins is a Masterful Director

Wonder Woman
Patty Jenkins directs Gal Gadot in an island scene

With acclaimed Aileen Wuornos biopic Monster under her belt plus a batch of accomplished forays into TV series such as Entourage and The Killing, Jenkins has already proved herself. She even elicited an Oscar-winning performance from Charlize Theron in Monster so has already had a taste of Oscar success, albeit vicariously.

Wonder Woman is Jenkins’ most high profile job to date, however – and she steps right up to the plate. Influenced by Richard Donner’s Superman, Jenkins stuck to her guns, knowing that taking heavy inspiration from the 1978 movie was the right route to take.

“I worked really hard to have that happen,” she told Fandango.

Wonder Woman has been praised for this very reason. It hits all the right notes. Plus, Jenkins knew instinctively to give plenty of weight to Diana’s introduction and time on the island – another aspect of the film widely praised. She knew exactly the right way to tell this story and has virtually single-handedly reinvigorated the DC Extended Universe.

And if you still don’t believe Patty Jenkins has done a great job, just look at those box office receipts. $781 million globally at the box office has made Wonder Woman the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman EVER. People are loving her work and that’s got to say something.

It’s Such an Important Film

The way Wonder Woman represents women is everything

Taking a feminist approach, Jenkins fills the first half of the film with strong women. And in fact, many say that the best part of the film are the scenes on Themyscira when only women are on screen.

But as the film wears on, it gets deeper into issues surrounding women and equality. It looks at the way women are treated and positioned in our patriarchal society, albeit one set in and around 1914 when questionable attitudes towards women were arguably more pronounced. It makes the treatment of Diana at the hands of men ridiculous – and spotlights it for all to see.

When you’ve got Big Brother contestants only just realising as fully grown adults that women are people too, it’s clear there’s still a long way to go towards equality – and Wonder Woman is an extremely important step towards reminding the world that women are so much more than T and A. That cannot be overstated.

The No-Man’s Land Scene

This powerful scene does something you never thought possible – takes the horrors of trench warfare in a very real war and blends them with superhero antics to craft a powerful, moving scene in which Wonder Woman saves people from certain death at the hands of the enemy.

It’s rousing, and yet it’s a scene that could have gone so very badly wrong. It’s testament to all involved, not least Gal Gadot’s authentic portrayal and Patty Jenkins’ solid direction.

Its Message

wonder woman gal gadot chris pine
Love is all you need

By the end of the film, Diana has discovered what love is, and although she knows that humans are flawed, it’s love that makes her want to save humanity. And ultimately, love is the answer to so many of our troubles in the real world – love one another and hatred, and war, is eradicated. It’s idealistic, sure – but it’s true. It’s a pertinent message for troubled times, making Wonder Woman both relevant and stirring, and so very worthy of reward.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.