There has been much debate the past few years about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and all the movies they’re churning out. People have spoken and I’m sure there are good people on both sides…
Elizabeth Olsen has been pretty quiet about it all, but recently she opened up.
Olsen plays Wanda Maximoff, better known as the Scarlet Witch, in the latter half of the MCU. This included the series WandaVision on Disney+ and now in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness.
In a recent discussion with The Independent, Olsen shared her thoughts on the criticism that has been levied at the MCU. Apparently, the way she sees it, if you think the MCU is “lesser art,” then you’re undermining the crew.
“I’m not saying we’re making indie art films, but I just think it takes away from our crew, which bugs me. These are some of the most amazing set designers, costume designers, camera operators – I feel diminishing them with that kind of criticism takes away from all the people who do award-winning films, that also work on these projects.”
Most people work hard at what they do, as a rule. It sucks when you try your best and people don’t like it. It is a bitter pill to swallow. That goes for the crew as much as the cast when talking about movies. This whole thing was largely started when Martin Scorsese made the following comment about superhero movies in an interview.
“Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Personally, I think Scorsese is wrong here. Excitement is a form of emotion and that’s what superhero movies set out to do. They’re made to make people excited. Like any other action movie.
A large part of the criticism of the Marvel movies is due to how it’s become a juggernaut in theaters. Taking up so many screens where otherwise smaller, independent films could be seen. Scorsese has furthered his point of view in an essay in NY Times.
“In many places around this country and around the world, franchise films are now your primary choice if you want to see something on the big screen. It’s a perilous time in film exhibition, and there are fewer independent theaters than ever. The equation has flipped and streaming has become the primary delivery system. Still, I don’t know a single filmmaker who doesn’t want to design films for the big screen, to be projected before audiences in theaters.”
Say what you will about this, but I can’t blame studios or theaters for doing things the way they do. After all, they want to make money and this is probably the best way to achieve that.
The idea here is, even the movies that are blatantly cash grabs have people working on them, real people. They make the movies look good on the big screen. Olsen also said of criticizing the MCU,
“[But] I do think throwing Marvel under the bus takes away from the hundreds of very talented crew people. That’s where I get a little feisty about that.”
This is where we split. I find this to be incredibly stupid because, by this logic, we can’t criticize any movies made because it is “taking away” from all the crew that work on all the movies? It’s an anti-critical, dumb point of view and I honestly think she must know that.