Does 'Iron Man' deserve an Oscar?

Ironman_lI went to see Iron Man this weekend, and liked it a lot more than I expected. One big reason? It didn’t have just laughs and comic-geek thrills, but real, first-rate, non-F/X… acting! When Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, pulls Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts out onto the dancefloor for a little dipping and cooing, the rom-com byplay is superb.

Which made me connect a few movie-industry dots. Hey, remember the whining about the last Oscar telecast, with its low-wattage star vehicles and lower ratings, and all the hand-wringing the media, including EW, did over how to improve the Oscars? Here’s a thought. Hey, Hollywood and the Motion Picture Academy: Take a closer squint at the big summer movies. Take them, ahem, seriously. As far as I’m concerned, Downey’s performance should go on any short list that anyone draws up of potential Oscar nominees.

Oh, and another thought. Iron Man at my multiplex was preceded by a trailer for The Dark Knight. And if Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is as good as these clips suggest — and my brain starts popping every time I see his deliriously committed, smeared-makeup personification of pure, nut-job Evilness — then we’ve got a potential Best Supporting Actor nominee that will be much more than just a sentimental gesture to a cherished, departed actor.         

Iron Man and The Dark Knight as Oscar-worthy — think about it… seriously.

addCredit(“Robert Downey, Jr; Zade Rosenthal”)

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  • Allison

    I too went to see Iron Man this weekend and I think Downey’s acting is superb. Out of the Best Acting nominees I saw only 3 performances and had no desire to see the rest. Downey’s transformation from snarky womanizer to soft hearted defender is fabulous. Academy take notice!

  • Jim

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I agree with this sentiment. The Bourne Ultimatum should have been nominated last year, Casino Royale in 2006 and Batman Begins in 2005.

  • kim in kentucky

    Johnny Depp got nominated for the first Pirates — so maybe they will seriously consider Downey!

  • charlotte

    I took my sons to see Iron Man. I did not expect to like it as well as I did. It was different than a lot of the comic book movies we are use to seeing. Downey made the movie. His performance was great. Loved him!!

  • Futureosophy

    Sure for something no doubt, but the roll out of films to come is too great and the season to early to start buzzing. Let’s not forget their is an aging Harrison Ford who’s all but retired about to hit the screen.
    http://www.futureosophy.blogspot.com

  • Steve Mulder

    Two words, Robert Downey! He nailed both roles, Stark and Iron Man. Great acting, directing and EFX. Very faithful to the comic book. A sequel is a certainty. Oh, and did you catch Stan Lee as HEF?

  • Chris

    I always knew they should have nominated The Lord of the Rings Part I and II, but they did not, and all 3 movies were the same quality. The fans are not too far away from the truth. The Academy failed with the Oscar that Denzel got from Traning Day when John Q was a far superior movie and he should have got the Oscar for his out of this world performance. Buy the academy gave it for acting as a bad guy, which to me was not anything out of the norm. But that is how the academy is. So I hope that if Iron Man deserves it, gets nominated and let it be.

  • Ceballos

    Unfortunately, Johnny Depp’s nomination for “Pirates” seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
    I would also like to see some of the summer blockbusters and bigger movies in general get some Oscar love, not so much because it might make more people watch the Oscars, but because there is some genuinely brilliant work shining through all the spectacle.
    I 100% agree with Jim that “Bourne Ultimatum”, “Casino Royale” and “Batman Begins” deserved some Oscar noms in major categories. Back in the day, movies like “Jaws”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Fugitive” could get nominated for Best Picture.
    I don’t know if I’d nominate “Iron Man” for “Best Picture”, but if, at the end of the year, it stands up as one of the stronger movies, I’d love to see it get a nod over the token British period piece, or token quirky indie.
    Also, Downey Jr. WAS fantastic and award-worthy playing every aspect of Stark.

  • RP

    Ken Tucker you speak the truth (as well as the previous commentors).
    If only the Academy were “taking this seriously”! A nomination for Iron Man and The Dark Knight would be beyond awesome.

  • Catherine

    There shouldn’t be exception, a movie is a movie, but the academy (and don’t get me wrong, I did love some movie nominated at the Oscar) seems to be sucking all the fun from the Oscar!!! Generally, it seems the more depressing a movie is, the more chance it has to be nominated! In my humble opinion, Batman Begins was excellent, and so was Iron Man, pure fun, entertainment, story telling and acting that should be recognize!! (And I have this crush on Robert Downey Jr. since a long time, but that is getting off of the subject…)

  • Jackie

    I AGREE I AGREE!!
    Along with having the Oscar Ballot-Caster people watch movies, they should also read EW/EW.com!!!! The Oscars would be sooooooo much better!!

  • Tiffany

    Robert Downey, Jr. should get more respect from the Academy. So does Christian Bale, I have like them both since the beginning of time, but since they are both still constantly working, I really don’t think that either cares about that stuff.
    Here is what the academy has boiled down to, the nominations equals more theatre expansions, therefore more money, whether the movies are worth the hype or not, people will go see them at least once to make up their minds. You academy voters, you devils you!

  • LisaMama

    Robert Downey and Gywneth Paltrow were fantastic in Iron Man. I agree that Matt Damon deserves an award for the Bourne films, too. The guy was brilliant.

  • Broadway Baby

    Ken Tucker for President! (Ceballos as running mate)

  • Al Fredo

    Absolutely it should, but not sure it will – even if deserved. I see more recognition likely being given for acting performances than for the movie itself, which is too bad because there is inevitable overbias for the traditional Academy darlings in lieu of the the occasional action movie that warrants best picture consideration. Along the same lines, the same should hold true for animation. I personally thought Ratatoille was the best picture last year. But that’s probably blasphemy.

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