Do genre flicks get overlooked during awards season? Check out the latest Ask the Critic question and post your own

By Owen Gleiberman
Updated February 11, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Do genre flicks get overlooked during awards season?

Do you think that genre flicks get unfairly overlooked during awards season? —Josh
Yes, and they always have been. If you go back 20, 30, or 40 years and check out the typical slate of Best Picture nominees, you’d have to look awfully hard to find a suspense thriller, a science-fiction fantasy, or a high-speed action film. As for the Academy’s prejudice against comedy (the belief that if we’re laughing, it can’t be Art), that’s as famous and well chronicled as it is long-standing. What makes the situation so noteworthy in our era is that genre movies, as much or more than ever, are the films people overwhelmingly go to. A couple of years ago, the Oscar success of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King looked as if it might be breaking down that anti-genre prejudice, but old habits die hard. To anyone in the Academy who would like to argue that The 40 Year-Old Virgin or Batman Begins is superior to Good Night, and Good Luck…good luck.

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