The Oscars have come and gone once again, just like any other day. There were some surprises and some sweet moments, but this year Oscars will mainly be remembered as a failure. In the time I have been covering the Oscars ceremonies, none of them have been as bad as this.
Back tracking to the beginning of this catastrophe, the 2021 Oscars was always going to be an interesting ceremony as it was the COVID Oscars. How were the Oscars going to continue with a global pandemic still in full effect? Well it turns out their plan was to make as few concessions as possible!
Firstly, they pushed back the ceremony from February to late April so they could include some 2021 movies as COVID apparently snuffed out all of the great films of 2020, although I can envision a bunch of cinephiles calling baloney on that claim! I’m assuming extending the window for nominees was so they could include Judas and the Black Messiah which was a great movie, but more importantly it had a bunch of black actors in it, so that dealt with the #OscarsSoWhite criticism from last year. Then, since they are the Oscars, they immediately blew it by chucking the two lead actors into Best Supporting Actor for some bizarre reason.
The Oscars continued their streak of baffling decisions when they announced that there wouldn’t be any Zoom calls, because the Oscars prefer their unavailable nominees to be available in front of a top of the line camera crew insteadof a crappy sub-par computer monitor. Don’t worry, due to COVID this year’s Oscars weren’t held in the Dolby Theatre, but instead in some random big hallway where winners receive their Oscar on an amateur makeshift stage. Also no need for social distancing because all the nominees will be sitting together in these squashy little booths, each about a metre apart from the adjacent booth and everyone will have to share the same walkway to get to the miniature stage. The best safety decision is saved for last and that is that no one will be wearing a mask at this year’s ceremony because how are you supposed to recognise your favourite actor/actress if you can’t see half of their faces, you idiot! There is some stupid stuff too, but the main take away is The COVID-19 Oscar set-up was laughable!
Anyway let’s move onto the actual show itself, starting with the good stuff. Seeing Daniel Kaluuya win his first ever Oscar for playing the Black Messiah was great! He’s my favourite upcoming actor and it was gratifying to see him get some recognition at last. There were some good speeches, my favourite of which was from Youn Yuh-Jung’s who won this year’s Best Supporting Actress and she was the highlight of the entire evening. I also appreciated that because of the cruddy little stage there was no room for performances of the Original Song nominees. This was great because I never really cared for this category and it’s absence proved to be a massive time saver because what this show really needs is to be shorter.
Where this show went wrong is with everything else! First off it’s a very inconsistent show, as some years they cut people off during their speeches, other years they let them talk for so long that you could probably sneak away for an early pee break and get back before they’re done talking. Last year they put extreme emphasis on the nominated actors, while this year they did that for almost everybody, by explaining what their favourite childhood movie was or how they broke into the business. (However this sort of padding was absent for the Animated Feature and International Film categories.) It got worse this year where they decided to present all the categories out of order, which really threw me off and I can imagine many other people too. This is the biggest inconsistency and it ties into probably the biggest screw-up since the Oscars accidentally gave Best Picture to La La Land instead of Moonlight.
In the last half hour the show takes a huge quality dip starting with this time wasting Oscar song trivia game topped off with Glenn Close doing the “Da Butt“. Afterwards they fast forwarded through the in memoriam section because too many people had died of COVID apparently, but look they stopped for Chadwick, so it’s all good. Then the biggest shock of the night occurred when Best Picture came before the final two acting categories. This was such a strange choice as everyone knows Best Picture is the grand finale to every Oscar ceremony as it celebrates the best film of the year. I must admit I wasn’t too thrilled about Nomadland winning Best Picture and maybe the people running the Oscars realised that so they decided to take a more unconventional route that they thought may resonate with everyone. So with only two categories left we’re all presuming they want to end the show on a more sincere note where they give the late Chadwick Boseman his first and only Oscar. I hate to spoil the bread here, but if there is something I know about the Oscars, it’s that sincerity is a quality they lack. It felt wrong and pathetic to move Best Picture up a little bit just so they could use a beloved deceased actor to score an emotional finale and manipulate fans. This seriously backfired when Joaquin Phoenix announced Anthony Hopkins as this year’s Best Actor. I feel bad for Anthony Hopkins. He absolutely deserved his Oscar win, but which was completely undermined thanks to the Oscars tossing him head first into angry Chadwick Boseman fans who were tricked into thinking he was going to win. The worst part about it is Anthony Hopkins wasn’t even there to accept his award due to him being asleep back home in Wales, because the Oscars wouldn’t let him call in through Zoom. After that it just cuts to credits because they must have realised they completely screwed themselves over and created one of the worst endings to an award ceremony ever!
Luckily not too many saw this train wreck because the news came in yesterday that this was the least viewed Oscars ever! Not that this a surprise as their viewership has being declining for the last 6 years or so. Numerous reasons have been shared over the last few days and here’s some of the conclusions I’ve come to:
- Oscar nominees are usually very inaccessible to the general public.
- You can only watch the Oscars on TV, which the majority of the population has largely abandoned at this point.
- The lack of sincerity as I mentioned earlier because every ceremony has a condescending and superior tone about it, making the audience feel like a lesser person.
- The biggest fault that comes to mind, which I hate to bring up, is the Oscars’ ‘political agenda‘.
When you advertise yourself as a film critic, or an entertainment site or a film dominated award show, the moment you start inserting your political agenda into your audience’s lap that often results in a death sentence for business. Nobody subscribed to that let alone cares what you have to say and the Oscars have being sharing their views for the last few years to fulfil the woke term that has being passed around for awhile.
I think I’ve shared enough on this topic and it is an award show and if I don’t like their choices, I’ll just retreat back to my own award show where I’m always right. (By the way The Crammys are agenda free because I’m not a celebrity nor have anything to apologise for.) That’s it for Oscars posts for now, stay tuned for The Blog Complainer’s third anniversary post, which will celebrate the start of a new series of reviews coming to you all next week. This has been the BC signing out.