2019 Oscars Preview: Snubs, Duds, Political Speeches, and A Bloated Run Time
As a casual moviegoer, the Oscars are mostly an afterthought. Now that we’re approaching this year’s highly coveted awards ceremony, I can’t help but notice there are some serious issues. Here are some of the most distressing things I’ve noticed about this year’s Oscars.
When you look at the best picture nominations list there are a few there that leave me scratching my head. Most notably, Vice earning a spot in the Best Picture category.
Additionally, Black Panther earning a Best Picture nomination indicates that cultural relevance and not best film quality is at play. Black Panther was a great film but wasn't even the best MCU film last year.
There's also been noticeable pushback to the "Bohemian Rhapsody" inclusion as well.
According to a recent piece in Variety the Academy has made it clear that your film must have a social message but only the ones that Hollywood approves of. The other point the piece makes is that there has to be a racial component involved.
If cultural relevance is to play a role in a films quality how is it Vice (66% RT 57% AUD) beats out a film like Crazy, Rich Asians (91% RT 77% AUD)? In a recent phone conversation with my ForReel colleague he noted that the academy has a tight inner circle that leans towards certain films, actors/actresses, and directors.
Crazy, Rich Asians had wide critical acclaim, a minority cast, and strong audience appeal evidenced by its 5.7% second weekend drop - top 10 since 1982 (excluding Christmas releases). That's best picture material. Not a Dick Cheney film that was boring at best and propagandist at worst.
In case you haven't already noticed: Vice does not belong on the same planet as the other best picture nominees. McKay in the Best Director category is also an incredible stretch. Still, Christian Bale does deserve his best actor nod.
It's been 15 years since a massive box office win in the form of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won best picture and I'm not sure that will work in the favor of $1 B Black Panther.
But Please...PLEASE stop putting big budget films in smaller categories to generate audience interest. Solo: A Star Wars Story being nominated for visual effects despite being an utterly unenjoyable film feels like its gonna be this years Suicide Squad.
The Oscar's are clearly too long. The Academy attempted to remedy this issue by giving out awards during commercial breaks but ultimately cancelled that amid backlash. Instead set strict speech time limits. We don't need to hear what you think about Trump, politics at large, the NFL, or UFC (We're looking at you, Meryl Streep). We already know. And so does everyone else in the room.
Every year there's something to debate surrounding the Oscar's and this year is no different. Let's just hope a repeat of 1999 doesn't happen - Saving Private Ryan > Shakespeare In Love.