Well, it was an interesting Oscars to say the least. And while most people will be talking about the mix-up with the Best Picture award and the endless jabs at the Trump administration there were actually some pretty intriguing takeaway from the 89th Academy Awards. So here are 10 takeaways that we have learned from this year’s Oscars.
- Moonlight Deserves the Respect It Got – Yes the mix-up drove social media crazy. Did they do it on purpose? How does a mistake like that happen? How upset must the “La La Land” people be? But at the end of the day, the best movie from last year was rightly recognized in “Moonlight,” which just so happens to be the first film with an all African American cast to win Best Picture. It’s a landmark piece of cinema in many ways, and by winning this award the gates are open for a new wave of cinema to alter the landscape of movies moving forward.
- Viola Davis is the Queen – When she didn’t win an Oscar for her work in “The Help” it was heartbreaking to say the least. Her and Octavia Spencer shined next to each other in that film, and while Meryl Streep was immaculate in “The Iron Lady” part of me always wanted Viola to win. This time around she finally got her golden statue, gave an amazing speech, and is on her way to being cemented as not only the greatest African American actress ever, but one of the best actresses that Hollywood has ever seen. She is a blessing to us all.
- Best Foreign Language Film Was a Political Choice – While “The Salesman” is a very good movie, and Iran has been creating many great films recently, “Toni Erdmann” was my favorite nominated film. But once “The Salesman” director announced he would not be attending the Oscars due to the travel ban from Trump’s administration, the race was all but ended because how could the Academy pass up the opportunity for that acceptance speech to be delivered with such a political backdrop. The Oscars love a good political statement with their voting.
- …But Sometimes They Are Able To Avoid Politics – When the award for Best Actor was given to Casey Affleck, a part of me was surprised. He was easily the best acting performance last year, but after recent allegations of sexual assault from years ago resurfaced during the awards circuit, I thought his chances would have gone down the drain with the Oscars not wanting to support someone with that case hanging over his head. Plus they had a very viable back up in Denzel Washington that would help erase their “Oscar’s So White” label. Instead they chose to ignore all the noise and actually picked the actor that did the best job. They still have the potential to surprise us when we think we know exactly what they’re going to do.
- They Should Have Used All 10 Spots for Best Picture – The Academy can nominate up to 10 films for Best Picture, but since changing to this format, they never have. For what reason? If you can nominate 10, and you have 10 good enough films like you did this year, they why don’t they just do it. It seems like the logical thing to do.
- Hacksaw Ridge Was Over Awarded – “La La Land” only walked away with 6 Oscars for their 14 nominations, which will surely leave many fans of the film upset. Some awards that people thought the film was a guarantee in, like sound mixing and film editing, went to “Hacksaw Ridge”. I was surprised to see “Hacksaw Ridge” receive so many nominations, and the fact that it was able to steal two Oscars from “La La Land” was lunacy to me. It was a decent film that deserved to be in conversations, sure, but it had no business winning. If you want to be mad “La La Land” fans, be mad at “Hacksaw Ridge” not “Moonlight.” t, it was still in serious discussion for screenplay nsidered for nominations or be a true favorite for awards. ll get critical
- There Were Still Best Picture Nomination Snubs – “Lion,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hacksaw Ridge” were all lucky to be nominated for Best Picture. Films like “Eye in the Sky,” “American Honey,” and “Silence” were all better options for the Best Picture shortlist, but just weren’t as popular with audiences. The Academy still has an issue with favoritism to box office success films that also get critical acclaim, even when those films pale in comparison to other possible entries.
- You Can Be Released In The Spring and Still Be Nominated – With “Boyhood,” “Mad Max,” and “Hell or High Water” all being nominated in subsequent years, the Academy are slowly erasing the stereotype that you need to be released during “Oscar Season” (anytime from end of September to December) to be considered for nominations or be a true favorite for awards. “Boyhood” and “Mad Max” both took home awards, and while “Hell or High Water” didn’t, it was still in serious discussion for screenplay and acting awards. Hopefully this will allow more movies to be shown throughout the entire year so we don’t have a four-month dry spell each summer season.
- Best Actress Category Is On The Rise – This year was one of the best years we’ve ever had for the Best Actress category because an argument could be made for each nominee, whereas in other years, there’s a struggle to even find five nominees. Hopefully this positive trend continues for year’s to come.
- You Don’t Need Be Good To Win An Oscar – There was a time last night when “Suicide Squad” (yes, Suicide Squad) had more Oscars than “La La Land.” Granted that quickly changed, but the fact that an atrocity that is “Suicide Squad” gets to prance around and say they won as Oscar pains me to my core. It was by far the worst movie of last year; it may have been one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I’ve never been so angry with myself than when I was wasting my life away watching a movie that could have been scripted by a five-year-old with some colored pencils. Who knows, maybe that’s what actually happened. So all of you people who want to win an Oscar but don’t have any talent at producing a quality piece of cinema, there’s still hope yet! And this new Transformers film will probably receive some special effects nomination come next year. Oh, happy day…
So there you have it. Another year of cinema in the books and now we can begin looking forward to a summer of unrelenting blockbuster trash in the coming months. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners, especially “Moonlight.” It turns out that 2016 wasn’t the worst year of movies we’ve had, so let’s hope that 2017 can continue to improve with even more great works.