The top movies of the past year are honored at the 93rd Academy Awards, with Mank (2020), in the lead with 10 nominations, as well as The Father (2020), Judas and the Black Messiah (2021), N... Read allThe top movies of the past year are honored at the 93rd Academy Awards, with Mank (2020), in the lead with 10 nominations, as well as The Father (2020), Judas and the Black Messiah (2021), Nomadland (2020) and Sound of Metal (2019).The top movies of the past year are honored at the 93rd Academy Awards, with Mank (2020), in the lead with 10 nominations, as well as The Father (2020), Judas and the Black Messiah (2021), Nomadland (2020) and Sound of Metal (2019).
In fairness, this year's Oscars ceremony (consisting of a much smaller venue and several nominees attending via satellite from England, Denmark, South Korea, et cetera) did feature some welcome titles. Thanks to the altered criteria, movies like Pieces of a Woman and Judas and the Black Messiah (which, judging from the Supporting Actor noms, has zero leads) stood a chance, not that I doubted their chances of getting nominated, say, next year. In any case, allow me to list some of the other highlights -- and yes, I will get to that phenomenal "f you" of an ending!
- The Surreal Nature Of It All: On top of how deeply weird it felt to see this ceremony being attempted in a post-COVID world, with a minimized venue and cheaper camera work, the pacing was also utterly wild. They breezed through the screenplay nominees before I had even realized they were actually starting to hand the awards out instead of f-cking around, and yet still finding the time for a completely genuine, completely spontaneous, completely unscripted moment of levity from Glenn Close. Equally bizarre was the way the Oscar wins were ordered; the acting-award presentations were tacked on AFTER Best Picture and here's where this broadcast cemented itself as a top-tier sh-tshow:
- Building Up To A Posthumous Win For Boseman, Only For Someone Who Snoozed At Home To Get The Vote: This was honestly the funniest sh-t to me. Despite the wide variety of different films from different countries and all the race-and-gender representation, this was one of the most predictable Oscar nights of possibly all time and the wins were mostly obvious. Most "predictable" of all was the fact that the late Chadwick Boseman would receive a posthumous acting award for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom as a final, solemn tribute.
It was just so obvious! Hell, they even had to move the Judas leads to "Supporting Actor" just to be able to hand that film an acting prize and still have one left for Boseman. And why else would they announce Best Picture early, thereby setting up a finale centered around the Best Actor announcement?
Well, it was certainly a finale to behold! Joaquin Phoenix walks out after a rushed thank-you speech from McDormand, whips out the card, announces that the winner is actually Anthony Hopkins -- who didn't even appear on any of the video feeds, let alone in person, and was probably at home napping -- before briskly ending the ceremony (since, no matter which one of the two men had won, there's nobody around to give a speech), causing both confusion and outrage on Twitter! It was absolutely hysterical.
To sum up: After all that's happened -- after all the tributes to Chadwick Boseman, all the petitioning from heartbroken fans, the arrangements for him to win without "snubbing" Judas, and the scheduling change that implied at least one person behind the scenes thought they had this one locked and was gonna end the ceremony on it -- they straight-up gave the Oscar to someone who was asleep at home and abruptly ended for the night. It was the funniest damn sh-t! And to their credit: if this was done on purpose to get some headlines, I applaud their cunning. It's also possible they knew they weren't gonna give Boseman the send-off and thought "Eh, people usually go to sleep after Best Picture so let's slap this one on at the end" but let's not be here all day.
- Amanda Seyfried's Dress: No kink-shaming in the comments, please.
- The In-Memoriam Music Choice: Definitely the right level of "upbeat" for that speedrun editing style. Stay classy, Oscars.
- "Travon And Martin" Winning For A Film About Police Violence: I know people think the Oscars are rigged or at least political but this is a straight-up Matrix glitch.
- Scandinavian Rep: Seeing Thomas Vinterberg among the Best Director noms was almost as delightful as his movie winning Best International Film. Likewise, even though I don't give one fraction of a f--k about the Eurovision Song Contest, seeing a partly Swedish song among the nominees was tons of fun too. Maybe I should watch the movie, even?
I don't really have much else to say. The show was bad but often funny-bad, and I can't really say it was as bloated as it might've otherwise been, though I did miss the song numbers and extravagance. Here's hoping that finale goes down as another epic faux pas from the Oscars and that this "safer" ceremony still becomes a notorious superspreader. Thanks for reading, folks! Wakanda forever!
- Apr 26, 2021