2018 Awards Profile: The Russo Brothers’ ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ From Walt Disney Studios

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Welcome to the 2018 Awards Profile series, where we talk about films coming to a theater near you at some point this year (at least at this time of writing). We will analyze the potential for these films to be players for the Academy Awards, and while many of these have the potential to be recognized, many will not, either by quality or being pushed back to the following year. For the next few weeks, we will bring you a film every Monday through Friday to talk about their awards hopes and analyze the film’s chances for success. If you have a suggestion, please include it in the comments below. If you missed a movie, click on the tag or category Awards Profile.

FILM: “Avengers: Infinity War”
PRODUCER: Kevin Feige

DIRECTOR: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
WRITER: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

CAST: Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr.; Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Mackie, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista, Leticia Wright, Tom Hiddleston, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Benecio del Toro, Cobie Smulders, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Florence Kasumba, Terry Notary, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Stan Lee

SYNOPSIS (FROM IMDB): The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCCEED:

After “Black Panther’s” whopping financial success, the galaxy is no longer the limit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This spring, all eyes will be on Josh Brolin’s Thanos as he invades Earth to claim the last of the Infinity Stones. More so, audiences will be clutching their breath to see which of our heroes can withstand the scourge of destruction…and who among them will fall in its wake. The Academy, in particular, might take a vested interested considering it could upset “Avatar” as the highest grossing film in history. Sure, no Marvel film — or for that matter, superhero movie — has ever been up for a “Best Picture” Academy Award. However, the pop culture significance of this culmination of a decade of films and comic book lore could break that genre bias barrier.

“Black Panther” will be the key to unlocking this sacred zone of reverence. Many critics and pundits believe the film could make a run for the upper division categories at the Oscars. “Avengers: Infinity War” could come along for the ride, especially since it potentially marks the final involvement for some hugely respected actors in the industry. Look for Chris Evans to get the biggest acting buzz if the year’s crop is less competitive this season.

Finally, with several nominations and no wins, “Avengers: Infinity War” could become the first MCU film to nab a “Visual Effects” Oscar. It was close with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but the prize usually goes to candidates with wider nomination pull. This looks to be a weaker lineup unless “Solo: A Star Wars Story” bedazzles. Furthermore, if “Black Panther” has one Achilles’ heel, it’s the VFX, which have been pointed out by several critics to be per the lackluster course. This is where “Avengers: Infinity War” can surge ahead, especially since Thanos is such a motion-capture marvel on his own.

WHY IT MIGHT NOT SUCCEED:

Character and storytelling context is far too big a previewing requirement for the Academy to fulfill. Consuming 18 films and over 40 hours of content is difficult enough for the casual moviegoer. Most voters will pay attention to the technical accomplishments but will turn their focus to other fare that isn’t destined to sweep the MTV Movie Awards. Even if “Avengers: Infinity War” surpasses James Cameron’s “Avatar” as the highest grossing movie of all-time, the Academy isn’t in the business of rewarding audience patronage. They are more invested in the personal works of their peers.

On the acting side, “Avengers: Infinity War” might be its own worst enemy. It’ll be difficult for Disney to mount a proper campaign when there are a plethora of star avenues to take considering its prestige ensemble. There’s also the giant elephant in the room that hasn’t been taken into account, but a panther is probably the better animal metaphor. Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” will deservedly suck up all the Oscar buzz, though that plants the Russo Bros film well outside the sphere of influence. The best “Avengers: Infinity War” can hope for is reminding every one of the groundbreaking resonance it’s February older sibling stirred.

AWARDS POTENTIAL:

  • Best Picture
  • Supporting Actor — Chris Evans
  • Adapted Screenplay
  • Sound Editing
  • Sound Mixing
  • Film Editing
  • Original Score
  • Visual Effects
  • Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Production Design
  • Cinematography

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!

CHECK OUT THE FIRST OFFICIAL SET OF
YEAR-IN-ADVANCE OSCAR PREDICTIONS
AND SEE WHERE “AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR” RANKS!