…in keeping the Oscar brand at least semi-alive and semi-relevant…if the Academy is interested in embracing at least some movies that really and truly connect with ticket-buyers…then the membership needs to shake itself out of its woke stupor and at the very least (a) nominate Spider-Man: No Way Home for Best Picture as well as (b) Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Remember all the hoo-hah when The Dark Knight wasn’t nominated for Best Picture and people said “this is a prime example of the Academy being out of touch with real audiences”? Well, we’re right back in that situation again, only more so. People deeply admired that Chris Nolan film, but I don’t recall them howling and cheering during the good parts.

If the Academy doesn’t at least recognize that No Way Home has hit the magic spot with audiences like no other film this year, they will deserve to be ignored and forgotten forever. If they ignore No Way Home they will have demonstrated to the audience — the people who still occasionally flirt with the idea of going out to a movie — they will have demonstrated that they don’t fucking get it….that they’re living on their own cloud, in their own little corner of the world.

I understand, of course, that the winner of the Best Picture Oscar will be either Jane Campion‘s The Power of the Dog, easily the grimmest downer among the leading Best Picture contenders, or Kenneth Branagh‘s Belfast, a sentimental period flick that some people love for its kindly family vibes, or perhaps West Side Story or King Richard…one of these will win but if the Academy ignores the cheering in theatres happening right now across the country, it will deserve what happens as a result.

The wokesters have all but killed the lore of movies and the Oscars to boot, and if next March’s Oscar telecast is another Soderbergh-styled thing…forget it, the game will be 100% over.

Critical Drinker, 9:14: “Christmas truly is the time of miracles. When I think about how much I enjoyed No Way Home and what I liked so much about it, I can’t shake the feeling that despite all the flashy action scenes and snarky dialogue, this doesn’t really feel like a current-year Marvel movie. There’s no clumsy social commentary, no divisive political posturing, no overpowered and completely unlikable strong female characters and no mean-spirited deconstruction of legacy heroes and villains.

“There’s something wonderfully old-fashioned about this film and its approach to story-telling. It reminded me of a time when movies united rather than divided people. It reminded me that superhero films are actually allowed to be fun and magical and uplifting…that they can be an escape from the cares and worries of the real world for a few hours…that they can still make people feel good. It’s almost like when you stop trying to push ‘the message’ and just concentrate on telling a good fucking story, people respond to it.

“If anyone in Hollywood still cares about entertaining their audience and making money, they would do very well to follow the example set by No Way Home. I fucking loved it, and I give it a whole-hearted recommendation.”