Deadpool‘s awards buzz started with a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination from the Writer’s Guild, and was followed with a Best Picture nomination from the PGA Awards. The film’s director, Tim Miller, was even nominated for best first-time director by the DGA. Later, Ryan Reynolds wound up being nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes. He even released a cheeky “For Your Consideration” video in response, seemingly courting an Academy Award nomination or two.
But it wasn’t meant to be, as Deadpool was noticeably absent from this year’s list of Academy Award nominees. While many fans cried foul over the perceived snub, it’s a sentiment that’s also shared by Jake Gyllenhaal, Reynolds’ co-star in the upcoming sci-fi film Life.
“Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool. We talk about brilliant performances all the time, you know, the actors who tear themselves apart for their roles, which I’m a believer in. But then I look at Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool and I say, ‘No one can do that but him.’ That is truly, purely him. As an artist he struggled for several years to figure that out and it’s all there on the screen. And it’s brilliant.
Sure it’s a comic book movie and it’s made a lot of money — but that doesn’t subtract from Ryan’s extraordinary work. Because it’s him. I mean, let’s ask ourselves: What else do we want from people who create? Something that is truly them.”
Gyllenhaal makes a good point about Reynolds’ performance: it does appear to be as much him up there on-screen as Wade Wilson. He’s also correct in saying, “No one can do that but him.” Even when Reynolds was playing a much different version of the character in the first Wolverine film it was difficult to imagine anyone else as the merc. And now that he’s had the chance to play the version fans have always wanted, it’s become a role that will stick with Reynolds for a lifetime, and likely define his career to a large degree.
Although Deadpool lost out on its chance at Oscar gold, the film can still take pride in its tremendous success, despite the years it spent stuck in development hell. The rough road to being made seems to have steeled Reynolds, as well as the filmmakers and writers, to face disappointment, and while the surprise superhero hit likely won’t face such an uphill climb in getting sequels made, perhaps the group’s next goal can be award season dominance.