What was wrong with this year’s Oscars? Everything. Well that’s not really fair, but most things were wrong, very very wrong.
This year was destined for failure from the outset when it was left without a host following Kevin Hart’s Twitter controversy. But a hostless Oscars was actually one of the upsides, it kept the show ticking a long and there were fewer cringeworthy reaction shots of actors pretending to find the jokes funny.
The break with tradition did highlight how this year’s ceremony would be different, from the lack of Best Original Song nominee performances to flat reaction to Laura Dern’s announcement of an Academy museum, the ceremony was missing its pageantry.
This year’s Oscars awarded films for having something to say, but not saying it well. BlacKkKlansman and Green Book are prime examples of this with the former being completely without plot and the latter being a cacophony of problematic instances not just in the story but with its creators too. It’s also interesting that both films have been criticised for their accuracy, and yet both sets of filmmakers were unable to create a compelling story even when they were able to bend the truth.
Black Panther was duly awarded for bringing Afro-futurism to the mainstream but if the Oscars were truly as progressive as they claim to be, they would’ve taken the momentous step of awarding a foreign language film as the Best Picture – which Cuaron’s Roma thoroughly deserved.
The one saving grace of the night was the acting awards which were hotly contested and were awarded to the right people, even though I would’ve loved Yalitza Aparicio and Christian Bale to have won.
It was great to see Mahershala Ali win his second Oscar, Olivia Colman’s acceptance speech, and Alfonso Cuaron’s hat trick of awards but until the Academy start focusing on the how rather than the what, they will continue to float in a semi-political abyss.