Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday Best: Oscars 2022 Results and Winners

First of all, thank you to everyone who played this year's Oscar game!

In 3rd place is my sister whom I will call "Lorelei."  who earned a total of 1.6.  

It was a tie for 2nd place between Matt P. and my friend whom I will call "Annie E," who both scored 5.6

And in 1st place this year is... me :)

To prove I did not cheat, you can see my choices posted before the Oscars.  My total score was 26.6.  I was fortunate in two ways: I really loved both Dune and CODA, who were both big winners that night.  Also, I did a good deal of research to try and accurately predict the winners. 

I hope I do not sound immodest when I say I only got one prediction wrong in the major categories (Best Song, which everyone got wrong), and also Best Animated Short and Best Documentary Short.

I hope everyone had fun this year playing the game.

Anyway, back to the Oscars themselves and my assorted musings.

I already covered my thoughts on the Will Smith assault, so this will focus on the other aspects of the evening.  Of course, this may be like saying, "I know it's a tragedy Mrs. Lincoln, but what did you think of the play?"


Because last year's Oscars consisted of very few big films due to the theaters being in lockdown, I thought that these Oscars may be watched slightly more.  I was correct, but not by a great deal.  There were about 5 million more people who watched this year than last year, but it is still less than half of what the ratings were 5 years ago.  

I still stand by the idea that if they had just given Spider-Man: No Way Home the nominations in the major categories that it deserved, then more people would watch.


Here's what I do not understand: the Academy decided to pre-record the winners in a number of technical categories rather than do them live.  The purpose was to save time.  And yet, the show was packed with so much filler that I do not understand the logic.  

"We need to save time.  We need to cut live awards."

"Wonderful!  So last year's Oscar's was 3 hours, 19 minutes.  What will be the time difference between the two?"

"21 minutes."

"We're only going to save 21 minutes?"

"No, this year's Oscar's will be 21 minutes LONGER."

Not to mention that they did something that they almost never do, which is cut off the winner's acceptance speech for Best Picture.

3.  CODA and Dune Win Big

I am a big fan of both of these films.  They both made it into my top 5 movies of the year.  

I wish Dune had received more nominations outside of the technical, but I'm very happy that this visionary adaptation of the book is getting the accolades it deserves.  When The Fellowship of the Ring received nominations, it mostly won on the technical side.  If the sequel is as good, I'm hoping that they Academy will recognize its other fine qualities.

CODA was a movie that surged in popularity with Academy voters relatively late.  When Parasite wona, I wrote:  "I cannot comment on the quality of the film.  There are critics who swear by and some people I know who are avid film goers also think it was very well-made.  My problem is simply this: NOBODY SAW IT."

You can say the same thing about CODA, since it is exclusively on Apple TV, being the first movie to win Best Picture from a streaming platform.  However, I am less annoyed by CODA's win for two reasons:

-I've seen the movie and it is excellent.  I believe that if it had gotten a wider release, it would have been a bigger hit, like Juno.
-The movie that was its biggest competition was The Power of the Dog.  If that movie had won, it also would have been a little-seen, streaming movie.  But from everything I've read it is a violent, nihilistic, deconstruction of the Western, but not nearly as good as Unforgiven (I have not seen the movie, so I cannot know this with any certaintity).  I would have prefered Dune to win from the nominees, but I am very happy for CODA, it's writer/directer (who won a screenwriting Oscar) and it's Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur).

I'm hoping more people check out CODA now that it won.  

However,  I have always agreed with John Nolte that the Best Picture that is chosen should be one that people will still watch 30 years from now.

30 years ago The Silence of the Lambs won.

20 years ago A Beautiful Mind won.

What about the winners from the last 10 years?
Green Book

The Shape of Water
12 Years a Slave

How many of those are still considered the Best Movies by the general movie-going public?  Argo still holds up well and people remember Green Book fondly, though not very well.  

4.  Oscar Winner Kenneth Branagh
photo by Melinda Seckington
One of the things about the movies is that it creates an emotional bond between the artist and the audience, whether or not that bond makes any rational sense.

I have been a huge fan of Kenneth Branagh since I first saw Dead Again while sitting in the front row a packed theater.  And then when I discovered his Shakespearean films, I was completely hooked.  I not only think that he is one of the finest screen actors I have ever seen (of course that isn't to say that he hasn't turned in some awful performance like his role in Wild, Wild West).  But I have been rooting for him to get the recognition he deserves as an actor and director.

Last week, he won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.  I have not seen Belfast, so I cannot comment on the quality of the script.  But I found that I was very happy for Branagh to win.  It was the kind of happiness you feel for a friend when they receive a great honor.  

Again, this may make no logical sense, but it was the highlight of the night for me.

5.  Fix the In Memoriam

Not only did they leave out important entertainers we lost like Norm MacDonald, Bob Saget, and Ed Asner, but there as something shameful about the way it was done.

When they started singing "Spirit in the Sky" it was way too upbeat and lacked the dignity requisite in honoring the dead.  And as has always been a problem, but more pronounced here, the moment felt like it was a concert, focusing on the performers, rather than a memorial, focusing on the passed.

6.  The Other Results.
- Best Song suprised everyone
-Politics at awards are bbooooorrrriiiiinnnngggg.
-I guess the Academy doesn't want their hosts to actually be funny?


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