‘Doctor Strange 2’: Oscar-worthy for visual effects, sound and music

The horror genre is one of the most undervalued art forms in the critical accolades space. However, dive into the superhero factor, like Marvel’s latest entry, Sam Raimi’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and you have a product that will indeed generate divisive discussion and reaction.

To release it early, the anticipated sequel isn’t a contender to enter the history books like the previous two superhero feature films that managed to make the cut, “Black Panther” (2018) and “Joker” (2019). Of the entire MCU canon that began with “Iron Man” (2008), the next chapter in Dr. Stephen Strange’s story sits comfortably in the middle of the pact, arguably surpassing his predecessor. While I thoroughly enjoyed most of its offerings and recognize the release as one of Marvel’s most ambitious swings, there will be plenty that fail to make it through.

It seems that musicals and horror movies are the two genres entering a consumer market with their backs already against the wall because they have inherent biases. You often hear people say, “I don’t like horror movies” or “I hate musicals,” and getting them to see a new take on the genre usually doesn’t create a following. Despite this, the horror medium has been criminally ignored in craft racing. It should be a typical default selection in races, like makeup, hairstyle, and sound. However, time and time again, they are ignored by the most awarded prestige films.

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While the Academy can proudly stand by its decision to award films like Jonathan Demme’s classic “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), one of only three films in history to win the “Big Five — picture, director, actor (Anthony Hopkins), actress (Jodie Foster) and adapted screenplay (Ted Tally) — very few can receive the momentary consideration for the “dignity” of the accolades. It’s worth noting that Academy members aren’t the only ones to blame for this, as critics and journalists often act as gatekeepers to what is or isn’t an “Oscar-worthy” feature film. “.

Qualifying phrases such as “clever” or “surprisingly clever” should be used as a prefix to give moviegoers permission to revere a film and “consider” it for year-end awards and top 10 lists.

Raimi has been a tireless lover of horror while also focusing on embracing new and creative minds, such as producing the live-action short “You’re Dead Hélène” this past awards season. In addition, we need Raimi to make films to broaden the cinematic palettes of Hollywood and moviegoers. Six horror films have been nominated for best picture in 94 years, depending on your classification of the medium – ‘The Exorcist’ (1973), ‘Jaws’ (1975), ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991), ‘The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Black Swan” (2010) and “Get Out” (2017).

Looking for appropriate comparisons to the “Doctor Strange” sequel, classics like David Cronenberg’s “The Fly” (1986) come to mind with its gruesome body horror and disturbing imagery. Although this film won an Oscar for best makeup, Raimi’s film relies more on CGI for its scariest moments and may face a tougher time to make the shortlist, depending on the film. evolution of the field of competition.

The definition of what constitutes “horror” has been hotly debated for decades, as have the designations of “science fiction”. (Would you count “The Shape of Water” in this discussion?) One thing is clear, despite billions and billions of dollars in box office receipts, Marvel has mostly found room for adoption in the movie categories. visual effects, which “Multiverse of Madness” is likely to consider once again, while also perhaps playing for the soundtrack.

Previous Oscar nominations and wins for Marvel Studios have been:

  • “Iron Man” (2008) – sound editing
  • “Iron Man 2” (2010) – visual effects
  • “The Avengers” (2012) – visual effects
  • “Iron Man 3” (2013) – visual effects
  • “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) – make-up and hairstyle and visual effects
  • “Doctor Strange” (2016) – visual effects
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017) – visual effects
  • “Black Panther” (2018) – Best Picture, Production Design (won), Costume Design (won), Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Original Score (won) and Original Song
  • “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) – visual effects
  • “Avengers: Endgame” (2019) – visual effects
  • “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (2021) – visual effects
  • “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021) – visual effects (co-production with Sony Pictures)

Where we should be so lucky is if composer (and criminally late for an Oscar statuette) Danny Elfman can replicate Ludwig Göransson’s remarkable achievement on “Black Panther.” Elfman’s work on “Doctor Strange 2” is among his most indelible career releases behind his masterpieces such as “Batman” (1989), “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) and “Big Fish” (2003). His aural arrangements, which only heighten the fear and tension of some of the film’s most pivotal and gruesome scenes, are sublime, and the hope is that the musical branch doesn’t suffer from short-term memory loss. term over the next seven months.

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Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and MCU newcomer Xochitl Gomez all show up with their A-game, creating individual moments that fans will love. The Saturn Awards are set to have a field day with the cast.

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The mix of tones may seem inconsistent to some. Still, screenwriter and Emmy winner Michael Waldron (“Rick and Morty”) strikes a comfortable balance that lays the groundwork for an exciting future for the MCU under the umbrella of a terrifying narrative. Horror excelled when mixed with other genres. Ridley Scott’s “Alien” (1979) and James Cameron’s “Aliens” (1986) bring terror to science fiction, allowing latitude to embrace a new kind of Oscar-worthy acting turn of Sigourney Weaver. They both received visual effects nominations, while the sequel walked away with the sound editing statuette and a deserved nod for Weaver in Best Actress.

Tim Burton’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (1999) brings the filmmaker’s signature style to a period piece, unafraid to embrace the lighter moments with amusing one-liners from its frontman Johnny Depp. The black comedy won the Oscar for production design (then called “art direction”), with two more accolades for cinematography and costumes.

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will generate passion, likely feelings of disappointment and unfamiliarity, and maybe even a scream or two while watching. In the world of “for your consideration,” every movie should be considered for the Oscars, especially when craftsmen like these bring the goods.

The film hits theaters on May 6.

Briana R. Cross