Critics as well as audiences did not like the film upon its initial release. Critics had all types of terrible things to say about the film, calling it “expensive crud,” “…too scary for children, and too silly for adults” and “one of the decade’s biggest failures.”Just as Badham had predicted, people wondered why Diana was cast in the film, one critic even called her performance neurotic and oddly unattractive. People did appreciate Michael as one of the few bright spots in the movie. Though folks didn’t review it so favorably when it first came out in 1978, as the years went by it became a cult classic and by 2005 critics called it delightful even though they found it to be a mess at times. The Academy saw past the acting, the script and the casting and nominated The Wiz for four academy awards for best art direction, best costumes, best original music and best cinematography.
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