Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: No Way Home would like to achieve something that typically doesn’t happen, becoming the highest-grossing movie of the year that also earns a Best Picture nomination. Marvel’s Black Panther and the James Cameron sci-fi thriller Avatar are the two most recent examples of films that accomplished both, though financial success usually doesn’t translate to awards success. No Way Home can crack through the superhero ceiling in February, when Oscar nominations are revealed, but the movie will not contend for any BAFTA awards, thanks to a technicality that is keeping it out of that competition.
The BAFTAs apparently made it clear that any movie seeking eligibility had to make itself available to voting members on a portal called BAFTA View, so that it could be offered to all members prior to Round One of voting. Deadline reports that Sony Pictures Entertainment did not submit the film to BAFTA’s online viewing site, so it failed to meet the criteria for eligibility.
The rules are the rules, and Sony definitely needed to get Spider-Man: No Way Home onto BAFTA View if it wanted the superhero blockbuster to compete against likely nominees such as Belfast, The Power of the Dog, or West Side Story. At the same time, this is a technicality that is keeping No Way Home out of contention, and it’s not that the BAFTAs looked at the film and deemed it unworthy. Which should keep the flame of hope alive in the hearts of any Spider-Man fans who’d like to see the webslinger earning critical acclaim in addition to all of his financial successes at box office.
It’s unusual that Sony didn’t make sure it had completed all of the necessary components to keep Spider-Man: No Way Home eligible for a BAFTA. During the run up to the Academy Awards, every individual award that one can compete for helps sustain momentum in the Oscar race. And Sony is taking out For Your Consideration ads on behalf of Spider-Man: No Way Home in the Hollywood trades, meaning they are serious about competing this year. Missing out on the BAFTAs because of a rules violation seems odd.
The Academy Awards will announce their complete list of nominations on February 8, and we will see if Spider-Man: No Way Home is a contender, or will just have to be happy as the box office juggernaut it has been since opening in theaters on December 17. Personally, I’d love to see the movie earn a Best Picture nomination, even though I doubt it has much of a chance to win. Just getting into the conversation is a step in the right direction. And if you ask me, Spider-Man: No Way Home is the best movie released last year. So yeah, nominate it.