It’s been a tick over three weeks since the 2018 Academy Awards took place and roughly two and a half weeks since anyone really cared about the 2018 Academy Awards taking place. So with that being said, it doesn’t really make much sense to rehash the Oscars, let alone even talk that much about them. We have all moved on. When it comes to movie talk, if it’s not about something related to either Black Panther or Avengers: Infinity War, then no one cares all that much.
This is 100% understandable.
However, it should be noted that when the 2018 Academy Awards happened, I hadn’t seen most of the movies nominated. This resulted in a partially-informed guide to the Oscars that was governed in no small part by what I had seen, what I felt about what I had seen, what I had read and what I had felt about what I had read.
TL;DR: I felt Get Out deserved all of the Oscars it was up for.
Over the course of three weeks that have followed the Oscars though, I’ve managed to become much more informed about the 2018 Academy Awards. But does anyone care? We’ve all moved on, right?
Well I haven’t and as it pertains to the Oscars, I have some things I need to get off my chest.
I Get The Shape of Water Now
Leading up to the Oscars, I was largely dismissive of The Shape of Water, so much so that I only referred to it as the fish (expletive deleted) movie, something I feel is now disrespectful and something I would like to apologize for. I’ve seen The Shape of Water and yes, it definitely deserved to win the Oscar for Best Picture and Guillermo del Toro was a worthy winner of Best Director.
Is the movie weird? Yes, yes it is. But that’s part of the charm. There is a buy-in moment in The Shape of Water, a point where you realize that we’re doing this and then have to either agree or disagree to do this with them. I would imagine that the majority of people who weren’t onboard with the movie opted out at this point and never looked back.
But when we’re talking about the point of movies, one of the biggest reasons why we love movies is because they have the ability to transport us, to bring us into a different world. From it’s first few minutes, The Shape of Water immerses the audience in the world it takes place in and before you can even think about it, you’re in. Other movies nominated did this as well, presented somewhat alternate realities, but I feel like The Shape of Water did the best job inviting you into that alternate reality and making the most of your time there.
The Awards Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Won Makes Sense (and So Does the Criticism)
I just saw this one, so it’s the most fresh in my mind. However, I will not fall victim to the dangers and pitfalls of recency bias. No! I do not think this movie should have won Best Picture. If it had though, it would have been a bummer because The Shape of Water should have won. I suppose an argument could have been made for Three Billboards’ case, although a counter point here would have been that Three Billboards is a movie full of great performances, but it’s not necessarily a great movie. It’s really, really good, but great is a stretch. For instance, The House is a great movie.
Of those great performances, I have no problem with Frances McDormand winning for Actress in a Leading Role and Sam Rockwell winning for Actor in a Supporting Role. Both actors were amazing. I still would have loved if Saoirse Ronan had won, but that award was McDormand’s. Even Ronan must have known that.
As for nominations, Woody Harrelson being nominated for Three Billboards was a solid move, but you could have also nominated a number of other actors from the movie, including the dude who sold the billboards, the dude who was McDormand’s ex-husband and the dude from Game of Thrones. All three of them were excellent. I’m not sure who could have gotten bumped to make room for one of these three gentlemen though.
Them’s the breaks I guess. It’s true, Hollywood is tough business.
I would also never take the Best Original Screenplay Oscar away from Jordan Peele. But, if for some reason he wasn’t the winner, I would be totally okay with Martin McDonagh winning for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The dialogue in the movie is hand-outs from master class in writing effective and biting dialogue. There were numerous times during that movie when I was just floored by some of it.
As for the controversy regarding the movie, I kind of agree. In the amount of time it took me to finish a beer, Sam Rockwell’s character went from a deplorable and dangerous racist to a sympathetic character that I suppose we were now rooting for. It was a stretch. Although I have to say, because I was really enjoying the movie, I didn’t think about it too much. I was aware of it, but not concerned by it. If anything, Dixon’s arc would have been better served in a multiple episode, limited series than a movie, where everything is condensed. There almost wasn’t enough room to properly tell Dixon’s story at the same time as McDormand’s character’s story. The whole thing is a victim of ambitious story-telling.
Controversy seems like a strong way of saying the writer/director was trying to stretch a double into a triple.
Margot Robbie Should Have Gotten More Love for I, Tonya
When it came to the Actress in a Leading Role, the consensus heading into the show was that it was McDormand and then a few lengths behind her Ronan, and then in their dust, the field. To be clear, I generally support this line of thought. However, I think that in between Ronan and the rest of the pack should have been Robbie and that the distance between Robbie and Ronan shouldn’t have been that big.
Hey, Robbie was flippin’ dynamite in I, Tonya and carried that movie like a boss. And it was a hard movie to carry because it was basically a tornado or bucking bronco and she was somehow able to stay steady throughout. It also kind of felt like her coming out party, her declaration of sorts that she wasn’t just a pretty face, but an acting force to be reckoned with. Bonus points should be awarded for that in my opinion.
And If Anyone Cares…
I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was the obvious choice for Actor in a Leading Role, not because I saw Phantom Thread (I still haven’t) and was blown away by it (please stand-by,) but because he’s Daniel Day-Lewis and that’s what he does, he wins Oscars. But having seen Darkest Hour, Gary Oldman winning for his total disappearance into the role of Winston Churchill was a slam dunk, no-brainer. Darkest Hour definitely didn’t deserve to win any of the other major awards it was nominated for, but Oldman had a Day-Lewis-like performance and if big DDL wasn’t going to win, the award going to someone playing in his style makes sense.
Dear God, Allison Janney was a wrecking ball in I, Tonya. I was all in on Laurie Metcalf prior to the Oscars, but I admit, might have been a tad bit of recency bias there. Three weeks later and Janney winning was as much of a no-brainer as Rockwell, McDormand and Oldman winning. It’s almost as if the voters had some idea of what they were doing because for the most part, the movies, actors and directors who won should have won and any issues are just glorified nit-picking.
Still can’t believe The House wasn’t nominated, though.