Ordinarily, we might not even cover this because, seriously, who cares? But since it’s the #1 trending topic on Google, someone must be vaguely interested, so it falls to me to deal with it.
First of all, I am a lifelong movie buff, and having had COVID early on, Laura and I go see movies on the big screen to support our local theaters. However, since most of what’s come out lately has been garbage, we mostly see Fathom Events/TCM revivals of older films, from that bygone era before good stories, interesting characters and well-written scripts were replaced with political lectures and CGI explosions. The best movie we saw in a theater in 2020 was “The Maltese Falcon,” but it wasn’t nominated last night.
We did see “Mank” (a movie made solely for people like me, who actually know the history of the making of “Citizen Kane,” so why wasn’t it more accurate?), “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and last night’s Best Picture winner, “Nomadland” in theaters. All very well-acted, albeit depressing, “Nomadland” especially. Have the concession stand sprinkle some Prozac over your popcorn.
With so few well-known pictures nominated, I expect this to be the lowest-rated Oscars ever (at least until next year), but not simply for that reason. The Oscars used to be a celebration of great movies, featuring glamorous stars you never saw anywhere but the movies. Now, with social media, we can’t get away from these people, constantly hectoring us with their inane political opinions and showing us their naked bodies, even if nobody wants to see them. The show used to be hosted by wits like Billy Crystal, Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. Now, nobody hosts for fear that telling a joke will offend some dweeb on Twitter and end a career. With the reduced size of the venue due to COVID, the lack of a host or any humor, the scarcity of exciting movie clips and more leftist PC specifying than an episode of “The View” with guest star Don Lemon, it was as dull as an endless Employee of the Year vegan banquet for a particularly woke nonprofit.
And it threatens to get even more insufferable and pointless, thanks to the new “diversity” rules that will create a bunch of identity group boxes that films have to check for cast and crew to qualify for a nomination. To me, if someone makes one of the best films of the year, it should be nominated, whether it’s got an all-white cast and crew, or all-black or all Asian, or how many lesbian trans Tahitians worked on the catering. Picking a "Best" anything is always subjective, but now they’re adding the extra asterisk of “Best Picture Among Those Left Over After We Filtered Out All The Irrelevant Identity Politics Requirements.” Sadly, honoring a movie just for being the best movie would be rewarding merit, and meritocracy is a white supremacist construct.
Hilariously enough, even after all this diversity virtue-signaling, the top acting awards went to an older white lady (Frances McDormand on her third win) and a much older, really white dude (Sir Anthony Hopkins, his sixth nomination and second win; at 83, he’s now the oldest Best Actor winner ever.) In “The Father,” Hopkins played a man with creeping dementia, and he was at home asleep in bed when he won, so it was a lot like watching a CNN townhall with Joe Biden.
The biggest shock of the evening was the loss of Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey.” It was a great performance and because of his untimely death from colon cancer, it was Hollywood’s last chance to honor the “Black Panther” star. Some people must’ve lost a lot of money in Vegas on that one.
One of the few moments of levity came from Best Supporting Actress winner, Korean actress Yuh Jung Youn, who used her time to joke about how Westerners mispronounce her name, to point out to her kids how hard their mother works, and to flirt with presenter Brad Pitt. She should give lessons to the others on how to make an entertaining acceptance speech.
It was also nice to see that the Best Documentary Award that too often goes to leftwing propaganda creators like Michael Moore went to the excellent and touching, “My Octopus Teacher.” Maybe the octopus voting bloc stuffed the ballot boxes with all eight arms. I’ll bet the octopus teacher is glad she actually showed up to work last year.
The whole thing ended abruptly when the expected honoring of Boseman (the acting awards were moved to the end for some reason) was derailed by the surprise win of Hopkins, who wasn’t even there. The home audience would have been baffled about what just happened if anyone had still been awake by that time.
The one tradition that still survives is the blatant Hollywood hypocrisy. As always, they routed the homeless from the area to bring in a massive armed police presence and a security wall to protect the stars as they lectured us about how bad cops, guns and security walls are. They all wore their COVID masks outside, but took them off inside because if your face is on camera, the virus can’t infect you. And in between lectures about not objectifying women, we got to see so many plunging necklines that I thought at times it was the Golden Globes Awards.
Well, that’s enough on this. If you actually want to know more, here’s the Fox New write-up…
And the amusing live blog from Redstate.com (They say they watched it so you don’t have to. Wonder where they came up with that line?...
But trust me, you’d be a lot better off watching “The Maltese Falcon.”