I was just having a conversation with a friend on WhatsApp and he asked me, knowing how much I love the movies, how I liked the Oscars, this year. Honestly speaking, I was a little irritated by all the political correctness. Sometimes I feel the hosts of the show get a lot more leeway – let me correct myself, all of the leeway – at making astute jokes at the hypocrisy of the attitude behind most people’s motives.
I think everyone who should be given their due should be given it immediately. For example, I wish James Ivory was felicitated when Merchant was alive, when they brought out the phenomenal (and of flawed, too, in places, as any art can be – Maurice, for example, was dark haired, not a blond as shown in the movie – a tiny detail that irked me to no end) retelling of the E. M. Forster novel, Maurice. It just won an award for Best Costume Design in 1988. I mean, really? That’s all people got from such a ground-breaking movie? Clothes? I mean, fashion and being gay, what a cliché!
In my humble opinion, The Shape of Water was a brilliant movie but when shown in comparison to Call Me By Your Name or Three Billboards In Ebbing, Missourie, it pales a little. But of course, the Academy must be politically correct, it had a girl who couldn’t speak, a fish (god) out of water, a cruel white man with a love for guns, a black compatriot and a gay side-kick. Everything that probably Donald Trump would hate, and I would love.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the nominees, but the selection process must be based on the movies themselves, and of course, the message that they bring is important, but we have to weigh the ‘collateral beauty’ of art when talking about the Oscars.
I resent that Greta Gerwig was made a nominee just because Natalie Portman happened to jokingly mention the line-up of all male directors at the Golden Globes for best director. Lady Bird is brilliant, the leads did a fantastic job of assaying the roles and it hit all the right spots of teenage angst. But bring Greta in for that, not just for the fact that she is woman. You have to look above and beyond this natural phenomenon – and if she was awesome, put her in the line-up of all the award ceremonies. I felt like jumping out of a moving car, too.
If everyone declares Time’s Up, and protest by wearing black, make it a fait accompli and wear black for all the award functions. Wearing black for one award function proves what exactly? In that case, Meher Tatna, Blanca Blanco and Barbara Meier had it right: it’s not what you wear that makes a difference, it’s how you think and what you believe in your heart. It would have been so cool if all the women wore black for all the award ceremonies this year. That would have been a adequate statement.
“Oh, I can’t wear this brilliant piece for the Globes, but, let’s just wait for the Oscars, that’s the main event anyway.” Rolling eyes now.
Personally speaking, because this is all a personal opinion anyway, I don’t get how The Black Panther and Get Out are getting all these accolades. They are good movies, one is fantasy fiction and the other is a dark satire, no doubt that they are worthy of spending your time and money on, but why the hoopla? But against Lilies of the Field, To Sir With Love, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Color Purple, Hotel Rwanda, Invictus, Fences, Hidden Figures and Moonlight there is absolutely no comparison.
I was surprised when Remember Me won Best Song, I mean, in the current state of affairs, This Is Me should have won – it works for the politically correct theme being set up.
The Oscars got it right with Best Adapted Screenplay, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Gary Oldman. Thankfully.
It is sad to note, but maybe this has always been a sign of the times, that being politically correct and not speaking the truth for fear of chastisement is now become the norm of our Age. We all live in fear of being branded Right or Left, Capitalist or Communist, Right or Wrong that we fail to appreciate the beautiful, even if we do not agree with it.
So, in conclusion then, setting a paradox for this entire blog entry, I’d say I do not agree with many of the wins at the Oscars, but if other people consider them deservingly beautiful, and not to make their choice politically correct, then they rightfully won.