Oscars 2020: Why ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Deserves to Win A Very Specific Academy Award

Over the years, the divide between the movies critics love and the ones audiences adore has grown increasingly wide. In fact, even the blockbuster movies which wind up with critical raves are rarely considered equal to the more “artistic” projects the Oscars tend to gravitate toward. Take Avengers: Endgame, for instance.

The epic conclusion to Marvel Studios’ “Infinity Saga” raked in $2.8 billion at the worldwide box office. Yet, despite impressing even critics skeptical of superhero movies, Avengers: Endgame isn’t getting the awards attention some fans feel it deserves. While vying for Best Picture might not be in the cards, the Marvel-ous film does deserve at least one major award.

Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlett Johansson
Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlett Johansson | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Marvel made the biggest movie of all time

Avengers: Endgame is the 22nd release in an interconnected franchise that has spanned more than a decade. As such, the film has a lot of moving parts. With a main cast of dozens, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have a ton of story threads to tie up. And they do so beautifully, supported by the film’s grand scope and epic three-hour runtime.

Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely find an emotional way to end the stories of the original Avengers line-up. By the end, fans feel like they’ve been taken on the adventure of a lifetime. In many ways, they have. The evolution of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has been particularly astounding.

From top to bottom, Avengers: Endgame features solid performances, powerful character beats, and rousing, chill-inducing moments. Of course, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ final showdown with Thanos (Josh Brolin) also involves a ground-breaking visual feast. But none of these elements are the ones we’re arguing make the film worthy of an Oscar. Rather, composer Alan Silvestri is the one who deserves an Academy Award.

The music is a huge part of why ‘Avengers: Endgame’ works

Like the Star Wars saga before it, the Marvel Cinematic Universe leans a lot on its music. True, most of the films don’t feature particularly memorable scores. But the entries that most resonate with audiences (e.g., Guardians of the Galaxy) do so because of the music highlighting the action. Never is this truer than in Avengers: Endgame.

When he created the main Avengers theme in 2012, Silvestri hit on cinematic gold. Even though he only scored four of the 22 MCU movies of that point, Silvestri’s theme fuels the action of Avengers: Endgame. With just a few notes, audiences re-experience the totality of the Avengers’ journeys up to that point.

Sweeping and nuanced in equal measure, Silvestri’s Avengers: Endgame score is one for the books. Just try and imagine the film’s best moment (no matter what WatchMojo says) — the one accompanied by the “Portals” track — without the music accompanying it. The scene became instantly iconic and is as emotionally affecting as it is because of Silvestri’s work.

A legendary composer who is overdue

As if Silvestri’s indelible work on Avengers: Endgame isn’t already enough, the composer has somehow never received any Academy Awards. Most recently, he was nominated in 2005 for the song “Believe” from The Polar Express, for which he composed the score. But Silvestri is also the man behind countless brilliant film scores.

His only other Oscar nomination came in 1995 for Best Original Score for Forrest Gump. Over the years, Silvestri has also done the music for films as beloved as the Back to the Future trilogy, Predator, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

An Oscar for Avengers: Endgame would then serve as a worthy recognition of his long and prosperous career. Yet, it would also be the perfect capper to this era of the MCU, recognizing the strength of the story Marvel Studios has been telling all these years.