Last year’s Oscars ceremony was such a spectacular blunder, if you tried to make a movie out of it, no studio would release it because of how unbelievable it was. And there was no better example of that than the trainwreck that was how the ceremony ended.
If you don’t remember, last year, the producers of the program decided to not end the night by giving away Best Picture, which is what they’ve done for forever. Now, I understand why they did this. No one went to the movies in 2020 so they were doubting anyone even saw Nomadland, which at that point, was an all but guaranteed win. So, if we all knew what was going to win, and no one saw it so there’s really no one to root for it, The Oscars made the bold choice to end with Best Actor.
Again, this is perfect on paper. The hands-down frontrunner last year was the late Chadwick Boseman for his amazing performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. At both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, Boseman’s widow, Taylor, accepted the award in tear-filled speeches that left anyone watching, whether at home on television, weeping. It was heartbreaking and moving and, also, a perfect way to end the Oscars. Because there was no way Chadwick Boseman wouldn’t win.
Except he didn’t.
The Oscar voters chose to make a bold statement and reward Anthony Hopkins for his performance in The Father, a film in which he is very good in. And I bet when Hopkins’ name was called, the director of the telecast was shitting his pants but then also thinking, “Wait. Anthony Hopkins is Hollywood royalty. Surely he will give an amazing speech that will end the night and, hopefully, save my career.”
Did that happen? No, it did not.
Anthony Hopkins wasn’t even in attendance, so the camera stayed on Joaquin Phoenix (who presented the award), who kind of awkwardly looked around before they cut over to Questlove (the evening’s DJ) who fumbled his way to the end of the show. It was a bad ending that was one of those insane accidents that happen in live tv.
This year’s Oscars could be even worse. And the sad part is that this year, it feels like the Academy is trying to make a bad show.
The people who create the Oscars broadcast have made one giant fucking mistake for years now, and it’s that they care too much about the opinions of people who don’t watch the show. Every year, a bunch of right wing dipshits talk about how Hollywood is just some liberal blah blah blah and out of touch blah blah blah and that’s why they don’t watch. And every year, the Oscars try and change to cater to this group of people, and in doing so, fuck over the people who actually watch movies and the Oscars. I’m one of those people and every time the Oscars make a big change, it feels like they’re personally assaulting me.
This year, they’re making three big changes. They all suck.
Let’s get into it.
Now, first off, I applaud the Oscars for having hosts. I will always love an opening monologue and the show always works better with a host. And I like all three choices for co-hosts. Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes. I’m just not sure why they’re doing it together.
I’m not sure what the three of them have in common. It feels like the Oscars were bringing in Schumer and Hall, both of whom have something to promote, while adding Sykes, one of the most underrated comedic voices of her generation. And it’s possible that they will be great together. But, if you’re going to have three hosts, shouldn’t you want some kind of trio that… well, makes sense? Shouldn’t you be looking for three people we all associate together? And will be excited to see working together on the big stage on live television?
This gripe goes first, because it’s possible that I’ll be wrong about this and the three of them will come together and shine and be amazing and make me forget this complaint. But it just feels like they’re having Wanda Sykes, the woman whose new film is on Amazon Prime, and the comic whose new show is on Hulu. And they missed the chance to be better and more.
The Categories, Part 1: What is left out?
One of the criticisms about the Oscars are that they are too long and spend too much time focusing on the technical awards. Critics will say that no one cares who won for Editing or wants to see the speech for a costume designer. Except there are people who want to see that. It’s people like me. People who love movies. That’s why we watch the goddamned Oscars.
This year, however, the Oscars are telling us that some categories simply do not matter. Starting the ceremony an hour before the televised beginning, the Academy will pass out eight of the awards (documentary short, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live-action short and sound) beforehand and show clips of the acceptance speeches. And they can say that they’re doing this to cut the time and try and bring in viewers, but they’re not going to bring in new viewers. They’re only going to lose the old ones.
The Categories, Part 2: What is put in?
Well, eight important categories being removed, there’s room to put something in. And knowing the Oscars, you know they’re gonna add something classy and tasteful and, no, wait… it’s a fucking Twitter poll.
Attempting to distance themselves away from the criticism of not being populist enough, the Oscars took to the hellscape that is twitter and asked people to vote for what they’re calling the “Oscar Fan Favorite”. From there, people were asked to vote for one of the eight most tweeted about films, which will be revealed during the broadcast, because fuck Original Score, I guess.
So, what does this mean? Well, it meant some film called Minameta is on the ballot, because it has Johnny Depp in it and his fans are fucking insane. Also on it are Sing 2, Cinderella, and a bunch of other stuff that shouldn’t be allowed to sniff near Best Picture. But there is one film which made it that made me smile: Power Of The Dog.
The frontrunner for Best Picture winner could win movie’s most prestigious prize and this Twitter bullshit nonsense, and I’m sure that will lead the Oscars to not understand what’s happening. But that’s all right… it seems like they understand very little.