Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in the darkest timeline. Not of politics, the economy, or Biff-Tannen-ruling-Hill-Valley, mind you (that last part was a “Back to the Future” reference… look it up). No, we are in the darkest timeline for the 91st Academy Awards. Ever since August 8th last year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pretty much made all the wrong decisions when setting up this year’s Academy Awards. It feels like they’re on a dare to just see how many people they can piss off before the show… and they just… keep racking up points… somehow.
First, they pissed everyone off by suggesting a new “Popular Film” category. Then they pissed everyone off again by hiring and/or firing Kevin Hart as this year’s host. Then they pissed everyone off AGAIN by cutting, then un-cutting, important awards from the show. But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you all about. I’m here to talk to you about why the Academy Awards will probably be pissing everyone off (*sigh* yet again) with whatever film wins Best Picture of the Year, as audiences seem to either love or hate each and every one of them.
Now before I get into detail about these nominees, I just want to make it clear that I saw each film and loved all of them. But personally, I feel that people will be mad about whichever film wins, no matter what. And while I don’t think that’s always the case with that certain award each year, I think that it’s definitely the case this year. It’s strange as well because there’s usually some people mad at the winner, but this is just a weird field of Best Picture nominees where no one’s really behind one specific nominee but a lot of people seem to be against several of them.
Think about it. Everyone already turned against “A Star is Born” when there was this huge groundswell of support for it and then, I think, people just got over it. “Black Panther” is weirdly divisive amongst general audiences and comic-book fans (because it’s a comic-book movie so of course it is). Everyone hates “Bohemian Rhapsody”, except for people who like it. “Green Book” is loved and hated. “Roma” is not seen by most but divisive amongst those who did see it. “The Favourite”, people wouldn’t feel anything for it if it won and would instead go “What the hell’s The Favourite?” No one feels anything about “Vice” really. And while “Blackkklansman” is probably the one people would be most ‘ok’ with, director Boots Riley would disagree otherwise.
- A Star is Born – This movie seems to get its hate from either one of two things: People forgot about it, or Sean Penn’s op-ed about how Bradley Cooper got hosed out of a directing nomination. Regardless of which one is the main source, most people can agree that the sudden change in tone by the public towards this movie is quite strange. One minute it was sure-lock for Best Picture, the next minute everyone went “Oh yeah, “A Star is Born” came out this year. It was alright, I guess.”
- Blackkklasnman– While this movie is probably the one that would get the least hate, there are still some people out there who aren’t fans of this film. The main reason for this apparently being that it may as well had a blinking super throughout that says THIS IS JUST LIKE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN AMERICA TODAY. Regardless of this complaint, I think that (strangely) the movie about the KKK would be the film that audiences wouldn’t be that upset about if it won.
- Black Panther – In my opinion, “Black Panther” is great movie that I would totally be fine with winning Best Picture. But there are a lot of comic-books fans out there that disagree with that statement. Many comic-book fans have stated that the third-act felt like a PlayStation cutscene and that (for some reason) it felt too long. Like, longer then a “Godfather” installment too long. So… who knows?
- Bohemian Rhapsody – “Bohemian Rhapsody” has a bit of “Forrest Gump” syndrome where people hate it because of the Oscar prestige around it, specifically why it’s nominated for Best Picture. This might be because of how many people have unanimously agreed that as far as musical-rock-jukebox-biopics go, Rami Malek’s gave a fantastic performance as Freddie Mercury. And I love Queen’s music, but the story itself isn’t that good. Basically, it’s a great performance inside a very standard, mediocre movie.
- Green Book – Another great movie that many people would be cool with if it won Best Picture. Except for Don Shirley’s family. That’s right, upon the film’s release, the Shirley family objected to the truthfulness of the film, claiming that Tony Lip and Don Shirley were not friends; that theirs “was an employer-employee relationship.” Many people were upset at the filmmakers after these claims leading to some hate towards the film.
- Roma – “Roma” is a beautiful film that is haunting yet gorgeous for many, yet a little quiet and slow for some. Which is why many people-who-don’t-like-it don’t like it. There’s also a recent New York Times article that mentions how a substantial number of Oscar voters who won’t honor “Roma” because Netflix is… scary to them… apparently. Seriously, I’m not making that up.
- The Favourite – “Why did the Academy give Best Picture to “The Favourite”? I’ve never heard of it before? Ugh, the Academy always gives awards to movies no one’s ever seen! I know this is a British movie because it’s spelled wrong!” THAT is, unfortunately, how most people will react if “The Favourite” wins Best Picture.
- Vice – The main reason people seem to hate- actually, let me take that back. The main reason people seem to not care about “Vice” is that audiences just weren’t sure what message they were supposed to take away from this except for “This happened” or “This guy existed” …I guess. That or people didn’t want to use it as a means to escape from the hellworld we that currently live in by watching a movie about the hellworld we JUST lived in.
So… yeah. Personally, I think that it’s a lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose situation for the Academy this year. At the very least, the Academy might be, like, “You know what? Spike earned it. It’s been a long time coming for him. That’s fine.” And then everyone will move on. But this is the same awards show that screwed up the Best Picture of the Year winner two years ago with that whole “Moonlight” / “La La Land” event. So, what do I know?