Monday, March 5, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: The End

Here we are again. After months of predicting awards, trying to figure out winners, and watching so many movies, we are once again sitting at the end of another Oscar season. I always hate the day after the Oscars. While there is always plenty to talk about, there seems to be this void that is left as one season ends. It will not be long before another season kicks into gear. With films like Black Panther and Isle of Dogs, the Oscar conversation is already beginning for 2018-2019. There will be Cannes in May, the summer blockbuster season, and then we will kick right back into gear with Toronto, Telluride and Venice in September. Then, of course, there are also the Tonys and Emmys to cover in the meantime. But for the first couple of weeks after an Oscar ceremony, I suffer from post-Oscar depression. I honestly hate this time of year, and am always looking on the horizon to another fall. But alas, another season has passed, so it is time to reflect on this season, so that we can move on to a new one when the time comes.

Well, it took 22 years, but the SAG stat has finally fallen. That stat has been my sticking point all season. The Shape of Water could not win Best Picture because of that stat. Now that it is broken, it will make the next couple of years of Oscar predictions incredibly tricky and confusing. But part of me is happy that the stat is broken because it makes this race more interesting in the future. Another interesting point is that this is the first time since 2014 that Best Picture and Best Director have lined up, and it makes me wonder if voters will start migrating back to their old patterns after several years of splitting the two. The acting winners were expected, as were the screenplay winners. Roger Deakins FINALLY won an Academy Award, and I was so happy to see that well-deserved standing ovation. Maybe some of the folks at home didn't understand the importance of that moment, but I am so glad that Academy members did. It is nice to see legendary below the line guys get their moment in the spotlight. Overall, the winners were pretty expected, and worthy, and some history was made. Jordan Peele became the first African American screenwriter to win Best Original Screenplay. Robert Lopez became the first person to win two full EGOTs. These are but two of the great stories that became a part of last night's winners. The ceremony itself was way too long, but it was not bad. There was a lot of politics (and the Internet trolls are already out in full force over this), but the tone wasn't heavy. It could have been a somber evening due to all of the things that have rocked Hollywood over the last year. But instead, it was one of the most genuinely celebratory Oscars that I have seen. People seemed really enthusiastic about the winners, and instead of wallowing in self pity, Hollywood seemed ready to continue to fight, to be more open, more diverse, and to celebrate great films. It was refreshing, and despite a few missteps (the hot dog gun and the truly awkward banter that some of the poor presenters were stuck with) overall it was a fun show to watch, and represented a Hollywood that is ready to take a new direction and move forward together.

In July I will start by tenth year here at the Awards Psychic. Next summer (2019), I am planning a full celebration of 10 years here at the Awards Psychic. It has been an incredible nine years, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds. I am finally out of grad school, and can now fully devote myself to the writing of this blog. This means that after several years of distraction, I will finally be back on track. Before I leave, I have to end this year as I end every year, by thanking you. To all of the people out there who read this blog, thank you for once again tuning in, and thank you for your continued support. As we move on, I think that it is fitting that The Shape of Water won Best Picture, and its message truly rings true. It is movie about love and acceptance. In our ever divided world, I believe that we can find our common humanity in art. I hope that all of us watch The Shape of Water, and learn that our hatred towards each other has consequences, and that if we take the time to find our common threads, we can overcome our biases and truly build a better world. Film has the power to transport us. That is what I want you to take away from this Oscars and from every Oscar race. That at the end of the day, film is one of our most powerful and uniting forces, and whether you agree with their choices or not, the Oscars, each and every year, celebrate film. As long as they do that, I will always celebrate with them. Thank you again for everything.

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