A few too many head-scratchers.
As a fair warning before you being reading, there's a fair bit of ranting/complaining about some of the ridiculous selections and winners at the 91st Academy Awards (see, there it was).
The Academy Awards went SUPER populist, meaning that they chose films that were super popular with the public, grossing huge amounts of money, in favor of films that were more independent or niche. Two films took home a lot of gold were "Black Panther" and "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Now, that's not to say that "Panther" or "Bohemian" were bad movies (I actually enjoyed both of them), but I for one was thoroughly surprised by the lack of representation for true "arthouse" films.
Films such as "The Favourite" and "A Star Is Born" were both expected to take home lots of statuettes, but both of them ended up with just one to show for their efforts.
We're going to go through some of the most surprising categories of the night, and just to let you know ahead of time, there are plenty. While there are some surprises, I definitely don't agree with these.
1. Best Picture
Holy cow, how did "Green Book" pull that off? I'm not sure anyone expected the Viggo Mortenson-headed flick to pull off the most important award of the night. In a movie that was essentially Oscar bait, many claim to be a bit insensitive to the African-American struggle due to the fact that it presents the narrative of a white savior, and is written by a team of white people. Spike Lee is one of it's most outspoken critics.
I liked the film. I thought it was good, but there are three films I would have put above it, most definitely.
2. Best Original Screenplay
"Green Book" again. What the heck? Over masterful works such as "First Reformed," "Roma," and "The Favourite." I'm just baffled by this one and can't really understand WHY it was that way. Maybe because it had a nice, feel-good ending? I'm shocked at this one.
3. Sound Mixing/Sound Editing
"Bohemian" swept these awards to the shock of movie critics everywhere. While I'm not disputing that there was certainly some creativity that went into recreating the sound of Queen, I felt the sound engineering that went into recreating space itself in "First Man" was unparalleled this year. Visual Effects ended up giving "First" a deserved Oscar, but there just wasn't anything amazingly special that set "Bohemian" apart from the other nominees in my opinion.
4. Best Actress
While I didn't disagree with this one, it certainly came as a shock. Olivia Colman was quite excellent in "Favourite," but everyone was giving this race to Glenn Close for her performance in "The Wife." This was the only gold for the night for "Favourite," and I'm glad it went to Colman.
5. Film Editing
Honestly, I think this was the biggest surprise of the night. Every other film had a better chance to win than "Bohemian" in the eyes of critics and predictors. I didn't feel "Bohemian's" editing was anything special, and I'm not sure if it was even worth a nomination. Scratching my head here.
6. Production Design
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a ton of visual effects and blue screening in "Black Panther"? If a lot of those sets were real, then I think "Black Panther" started something revolutionary. I suspect a primary portion of that film was shot on a soundstage, and that's why I'm upset about this choice. "The Favourite's" sets were REAL, immersive and creative. Disappointed in this one.