A Hostless Oscars Wasn’t The Problem, The Winners Were

Jack Wright, Radical Reviewer

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On Feb. 24, the 91st Academy Awards were held to award deserving movies and those who help create them. Even though the academy had the best intentions to award the best in the business, this year’s award ceremony disappointed many.

There were some shocking moments that left viewers outraged at the outcome of some of the awards. The most outrageous by far was “The Green Book” winning best picture. With a number of better movies to choose from, this year’s choice for Best Picture was the worst in a very long time.

“The Green Book” was not a bad movie but it was nothing more than “Oscar Bait”. It could be corny at times, but that’s often the case with “Oscar Bait” movies. “Oscar Bait” means that this movie tries to hit the stereotypes of what kind of movies win Oscars. This movie felt like everyone on screen knew that it was just an “Oscar Bait” movie and nothing more, which is really disappointing considering the impact this movie could have if it was done right. The movie was also caught up with so much controversy it just seemed wrong to give it an award. First of all, the family of Dr. Shirley said there were numerous falsehoods in the narrative. Dr. Shirley and Tony Vallelonga were never really friends. He did not stay with Shirley for 18 months, the maximum he would keep a chauffeur for was two months. Dr. Shirley would even complain that Vallelonga would not open the car door for him or carry any of his bags. Far from the close friendship shown in the movie.

The movie that should have won Best Picture was “Roma”. The true story of an Indigenous maid and nanny and her struggle working for a wealthy, but dysfunctional family, in a time of revolution in Mexico. Everything from the beautiful cinematography and brutally honest way of telling her story made this movie a pure masterpiece.   

       Another category that was way off the mark was the best visual effects winner. “First Man” brought home this award and it felt like Retribution after Damien Chazelle didn’t get the Oscar for “La La Land”. The movie that should have won the award was “Infinity War”. The whole movie was filled with computer-generated effects that felt seamless with real-life actors and locations. Not to mention the emotion on Thanos’s face made Josh Brolin’s already fantastic performance even better.

       “BlacKkKlansman” was also snuffed for the best editing award. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a good and fun example of editing, but Spike Lee’s use of editing to make two scenes happen at the same time was important to a thematic and cultural level. Having a civil rights leader speak of his childhood trauma of living in a racist south at the same time the KKK is having an induction meeting and planning to attack, represents how people now are still looking back on the horrors of racism during the time period of the movie and how racism is alive today with white supremacists. That scene alone should have won the award for this movie.

Besides the fact that the awards didn’t go to the right movies and people, the award ceremony itself just felt awkward and boring. Without a host running the show and entertaining the audience in between awards, the ceremony just felt off and uncomfortable.

There were musical performances, but those felt lackluster as well. Adam Lambert sounded strange in place of Freddie Mercury with Queen. Maybe a stronger vocalist without fingerless gloves could have pulled this off better, but Lambert’s performance just felt off. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance wasn’t bad, but at this point, “Shallow” is just about as tired out as any song that gets overplayed on the radio. There’s a point where watching pretty people walk around and be pretty then getting awards for it just gets dull, and that was the case with this year’s ceremony. This year’s Oscar winners felt and wrong and the ceremony had nothing to offer. I give this years Oscars a 2/10.