By John H. Foote
In the end the Oscars went out with a bang not a whimper as two major surprises ended the night and the surprising, slick and quick three hour show.
Green Book won Best Picture, silencing the twisted minds that tried to silence its message of love and friendship. Though loved out of TIFF, it was not long before certain circles began picking away at the film’s warmth and message, leaving audiences wondering if it was even acceptable to admire the film. Could a film be great if it makes you feel good? YES! And in this time of deceit, lies and betrayals, we needed a warm film like this more than ever. Leading up to the awards, the Netflix film Roma looked like a sure thing, but it was Green Book which prevailed with three wins.
Glenn was Close but no cigar, the veteran actress losing the Oscar she all but had in her hands to Olivia Colman who portrayed the nutty Queen in the period comedy The Favourite. It was Close and Lady Gaga most we’re watching for the award, and Close might have suffered by not enough screenings. Colman was stunned and proceeded to give a lovely, slightly dippy speech.
Bohemian Rhapsody won four Academy Awards, as expected Best Actor for a Rami Malek, the gifted young man who brought Freddie Mercury to life, as well as questionable awards for Film Editing, Sound and Sound Editing. Obviously, the film has fans I am unaware of.
Mahershala Ali took Best Supporting Actor in Green Book as the cultured, educated musician touring the racist sixties American south, driven by a bodyguard he hired for the event. A beautiful performance that bounces beautifully off Viggo Mortensen’s tough guy, they make great acting jazz onscreen.
Regina King won Supporting Actress as expected in If Beale Street Could Talk, a popular winner very early in the ceremony.
First Man, considered the years best film by many, myself included, took home only the award for visual effects.
Alfonso Cuarón won his second Academy Award for Best Director for the Netflix film Roma, which also won Best Cinematography, for Cuarón who shot his own film, and Best Foreign Language Film.
Spike Lee finally won an Oscar for the riveting screenplay adaptation BlacKkKlansman which brought Lee to the stage for a long, indulgent speech that did not allow the other writers on the film to speak.
Lady Gaga won for her ballad “Shallow” but aside from singing the song, that was her only trip to the stage.
The show ran very smooth, though there was a lack of major star presenters. That stung, and a couple of stunt presenters failed miserably.
It is over, finally it is over.
Never have I been so happy to see a film year end.
I am thrilled Green Book won, but many of the other awards left me cold. Was it me or did the actors looked tired of it all?
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.