The Oscar nominations came out this morning, and while a lot of them were predictable (Casey Affleck was nominated for a nuanced performance that movingly depicted the emotional stagnation of the American male? You don’t say) there were some surprises. In a turn of events that would’ve been unbelievable just a few months ago, one of the biggest trash heaps our country has ever produced was just handed an honor it absolutely does not deserve (lot of that going around lately). Today Suicide Squad, of all movies, landed an Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup and Hair.
But the prestigious nod will be a cold comfort for director David Ayer, because the guy knows he screwed up Suicide Squad, at least in one specific area: the villain choice. You see, the Joker was just a periphery character in the supervillain team-up flick, and in a long message he screenshotted and posted to Twitter (which is, like, not the point of Twitter), Ayer said, “Wish I had a time machine. I’d make Joker the main villain…”
To which I have to say, uhhhh, duh? David Ayer could have had the most iconic, complex, emotionally evocative supervillain ever created in his movie, and instead, he went with Enchantress, a character unheard of by even the virgin-est of comic collectors. You remember that Price is Right grocery game, where if you guess the prices of groceries correctly, you win a car? David Ayer would have just chosen to keep the groceries.
And here’s why the surprise Oscar nod has to sting Ayer even more — the last time the Joker was the main villain of a movie, in 2008’s The Dark Knight, the late Heath Ledger was nominated for, and won, the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Would the same have been true for Jared Leto had he been given the primary villain spot?
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