While It’s Great That Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse Is An Oscar Nominee, It Deserved To Be In A Few Other Categories

 Miles Morales.
Miles Morales.

The 2024 Oscar nominations are in, and many of the great films from the past year have earned some major nods. Among them is the critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which was nominated in a pretty obvious category. As a fan of the movie, I’m so pleased that it managed to score a nod. However, there’s still a discussion to be had here, in my humble opinion. In a perfect world, the massive sequel should currently be in a few more notable categories. So, at the risk of wasting time, let’s talk this out.

What Oscar Category Was Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse Nominated In?

You’re probably able to guess the category that Across the Spider-Verse did manage to swing into. The film received a nomination for Best Animated Feature. Considering the other prizes the flick has raked in so far this awards season, this turn of events isn’t all that shocking. It’s already won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Animated Feature and taken home the same honor from the Astra Film and Creative Arts Awards. Additionally, the Spidey flick was also named one of the Top 10 Films of the Year by the American Film Institute (AFI).

The film is in good company, too, as Elemental and Nimona (another one of 2023’s best films) are in the category as well. Another massive title that’s in the lineup is Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron (which some would say should win over Spider-Verse). Honestly, the race will probably come down to Miyazki’s latest work and the superhero film. While I’d love to see Spidey take home the gold, I honestly wouldn’t be mad if the anime film were to score the victory.

What I’m still having a somewhat hard time accepting, however, is that the Phil Lord and Chris Miller-produced flick was only recognized by the Academy in one area. So what else should it have been honored for? I’m so glad you asked.

There Are Three Other Categories That Across The Spider-Verse Should Be Included In

One of the best aspects of the movie is the music, which was masterfully orchestrated by Daniel Pemberton of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Steve Jobs fame. Not one note ever feels out of place throughout this multiversal tale, which is why the film deserved a nomination for Best Original Score. There are so many moments in which the music elevates the narrative, like during a more action-oriented moment like Miles Morales’ escape from the Spider-Society’s headquarters. The score is also more than effective during the quieter segments, and the tender conversation between Miles and his mother, Rio, is a prime example of that.

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A Best Adapted Screenplay nod would’ve also been fitting, given how tight the script is. The dialogue is as sharp and affecting as that of 2018’s Into the Spider-Verse. Yet I’d argue that Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Dave Callaham deserve credit for just how mature a story this is. There are some deep themes at play here – some that even move into more existential concepts. In the wrong writers’ hands, this could’ve been a messy story, but the three scribes more than managed to control the chaos, making them very deserving of an Oscar nod.

And, finally, Across the Spider-Verse deserved a Best Picture nomination. This is more than an animated superhero movie, folks. Yes, it gives you the thrills and chills that come with the genre, but it also provides a deeply complex story about flawed individuals. That’s not unlike other Best Pictures nominees like Barbie, Poor Things or The Holdovers. On top of that, there’s just a lot of fine filmmaking at work, from the stellar voice acting and impeccable animation to the stellar music and sweet visual effects. While the movie may end on a cliffhanger (that some find disappointing), this is truly a complete piece of work from a movie-making standpoint.

The thought of the movie being left out of these categories does sting a bit. However, I do remain grateful that it at least picked up Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. I’ll be watching intently to see if it can follow in the footsteps of its 2018 predecessor and nab the gold statue.

You’ll be able to find out who wins when the 96th Academy Awards air on Sunday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. In the meantime, stream Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse using a Netflix subscription.