Another Oscars are under our belts and I’m glad it’s over even though—spoiler—I couldn’t stay up until the end. Seriously, the Oscars are getting so long they’ll soon make it a trilogy.
I was happy about some winners–Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies and six below the line awards for Mad Max. Meh about other winners like Spotlight for Best Picture. (I’m a journalist and I love movies that get journalism right—the pavement pounding, phone call hang ups, dead ends frustration. I love movies that celebrate journalism in a time when it’s going out of style in favour of press releases and social media campaigns. You may say that citizen journalism can take its place but I wonder if an average person would fold under the pressure of taking on a major institution, let alone have the resources to dig for the truth rather than a truth that fits their own narrative. Rant over.) I just didn’t like that Spotlight was the Best Picture. I preferred The Big Short which rightly won for Adapted Screenplay and even Mad Max because the visuals have stayed with me and haunted my nightmares for months.
As for the big issue of the night–diversity–well, Chris Rock was good in his opening monologue and a couple of bits along the way but it felt like overkill…like a Michael Moore movie or a Bill Maher. The point was made so many times that it was dulled not sharpened. I also wonder if making a joke about cops killing blacks on the way to the movies was a little tone deaf since ten american police officers have been killed in the line of duty this month, including a rookie who was killed on her first shift.
One other thing of note—I thought this protest was about diversity. But it appeared to be about blacks not getting their fair shot. There are other communities who are under represented. Look at the casting of Emma Stone in Aloha as an Asian American. There are countless other examples including the LBGT community, Hispanic and aboriginal actors, writers and directors. And yes, women are still being marginalized in the movies and turned into “The Wife” or “The Girlfriend.” I mean Katniss Everdeen is now pitching a new mop on QVC! (J.Law’s career trajectory is interesting.)
Chris had one great point. He wondered why we separate acting categories according to gender. I understand that the way things work at the moment, most of the nominees would be men but there could come a time or a place, like a parallel universe, where people will be rewarded for their talent regardless…….
Well, we all dream in gold. Silver is protesting next year.