Much like the Super Bowl, the annual Oscars ceremony is a special occasion for me and my friends to sit in front of the TV and hang out. Of course we haven’t actually watched many of the movies nominated; that isn’t the point. The point is to be together with friends, eat food, and view the telecast with an eye towards humor. Who’s wearing something absurd? Whose acceptance speech went too long and the producers turned off the microphone?
This year’s Academy Awards also had a bit of suspense, because there was no clear front-runner for the Best Picture category; a succinct lack of a La La Land this year (that’s the joke). Heading into the evening, any of the eight nominated movies were liable to win, except for Black Panther, because pandering to popular, culturally-relevant super hero films has its limits. Fans of the MCU should be just happy it got nominated, and nothing more than that.
The surprise was palpable both live in the Dolby Theatre and at our gathering when Green Book was announced as winner of Best Picture. My money was on Roma, and that bet was going swimmingly as the movie won a few of the awards - including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron - throughout the event. I think I can safely say no one had Green Book in their betting pool, and it seems the producers of the film themselves were not expecting the victory.
The response on Twitter was swift and hilarious. People couldn’t believe such a mediocre movie won Best Picture, while so called ‘Black Twitter’ were fed up with being pandered to by old, white Academy members voting for “white savior” movies. Green Book broke the camel’s back because of its historical inaccuracies and the fact the family of the main character portrayed have publicly denounced the movie. Perhaps this would have been a good year for the La La Land - Moonlight mix-up.
Nevertheless, kudos to the guy who won for Production Design: his realization halfway through his partner’s acceptance speech that he wasn’t going to have any time at all to recite his own. What was likely the absolute height of his career and yet not one word in, other than shouting out his crew as the camera cuts away to commercial. Top man.
Also kudos to the winner who wanted to thank her two kids, but only managed to name one. It necessitated her husband to interject and say the name of the other child, who henceforth will forever know - along with anyone that’s watched the Oscars this year - that he is not his mother’s favorite.