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“Godzilla” won’t contend for a Best Picture nomination…but it should

Godzilla 2014 600x303
Last night I finally saw the reboot of Godzilla at a press screening here in New York and boy oh boy was I blown away. The once campy monster has gotten a serious, Christopher Nolan-esque treatment from up and coming filmmaker Gareth Edwards, and the results are insanely satisfying. Much in the way that Rise of the Planet of the Apes shocked summer audiences a few years ago and became speculated about as a potential awards hopeful, Godzilla should have the same fate. The inherent ridiculousness of a giant lizard stomping around will prevent it from serious contention, but it deserves some consideration at least.

Think of it this way…how cool would it be to see Godzilla as a Best Picture nominee? Especially back when there was a mandatory field of ten Best Picture nominees, a blockbuster like this would have fit right in. Yes, it’s an odd choice, but why not reward an attempt at infusing a little bit of art into what otherwise might have been just a money grab? We’ve seen countless blockbusters underwhelm, so when one overwhelms, I start to dream of it catching on in a big way. There’s no chance it could ever win, and likely would never even come close to a nomination, but folks…it deserves to at least be realistically considered.

With an A list cast that includes Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, and David Strathairn, Seamus McGarvey as the director of photography, and Alexandre Desplat doing the score, the movie is more than just your garden variety creature feature. The flick has some loftier ambitions, and believe it or not, it hits a lot of the time when it reaches for the sky like that. There’s an environmental message, a nuclear war related theme, and some reflections on real life disasters. You don’t always get that in your summer movies, so I at least feel like that’s worthy of some sort of recognition.

Realistically, the film can only hope for some tech citations, but it’s very deserving of those. It should be in play for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects nods, with a nom for Best Original Score not completely out of the question either. Along with those Oscar hopes, look for Edwards to become a go to A-list filmmaker soon, as he’s shown a deft touch at $100 million tentpoles now after debuting with the micro budgeted flick Monsters a few years back. He’s got the goods, no doubt about that.

More than anything else, audiences should be excited for Godzilla. It offers everything you want in summer movie entertainment, along with that little bit extra. If you’re a fan of the monster or just want to be blown away by epic filmmaking, this is one to definitely make a point of seeing. The legendary king of the monsters is honored and honestly given his best cinematic treatment to date. Even if Academy members won’t go out of their way to watch it with an open mind, I hope you do.

Godzilla opens in theaters this weekend…don’t miss it!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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