The 91st Oscars recap through tweets …

What a wild ride this Oscars season has been. After so much recent talk about inclusivity and a changing of the guard, it was bound to happen that we’d receive an awkward period of flux. There’s the young crowd cheering a Marvel Cinematic Universe chapter to the franchise’s first Best Picture nominee and the older sect feeling warm and gooey about a story pretending to talk about racism despite really just glossing over the struggle to say most racists are simply misunderstood until sharing a bucket of KFC with the target of their admittedly unprovoked hate. Then there’s the great story of a foreign film from Mexico sweeping hearts and minds with its humanist approach pitted against a loud, tone-deaf cartoon of liberal propaganda that confuses its own goals by declaring its chosen audience as the real problem. Add a spiritual rematch between Do the Right the Thing (which wasn’t nominated) and Driving Miss Daisy (which won) and you can guess the incendiary and interminable tone Film Twitter has taken these past few months.

While that amorphous group of critical thinkers frothed at the mouth online, however, The Academy tapped its feet to Queen and championed the hammiest performances this side of vaudeville. No matter how weird their tastes, the parity in their voting was unquestionable. We all knew what would win Best Picture and yet we didn’t really know. That’s saying something whether you agree with the outcome or not. All eight Best Picture nominees ultimately went home with a statue too. There’s a nice consistency in that.

But what about the show itself? It had to contend with its own drama. There was the Kevin Hart controversy (I still don’t think anyone has ever provided the so-called apology he’s made “so many times” in the past) that led to having no host. There was the rumored “Most Popular Film” category that proved dead on arrival; the decision to only let Lady Gaga sing while ignoring the other song nominees (all but one were eventually added back); and who could forget the unforgivable bright idea to announce four craft awards during commercial breaks so as to negate four winners from letting their friends and families share the victory live at home? The producers and Academy President John Bailey pretty much tipped their hands that they cared more about people who hate the Oscars than those who actually watch. Luckily everything went back to normal except for having last year’s Best Supporting winners co-present Best Lead instead of their opposite gendered successors.

Despite Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph showing the world they should host everything, the lack of an emcee was a breath of fresh air. Gone were the cheesy videotaped skits and the tone-deaf charades that screech things to a halt. Even the banter during presentations was pared down when those onstage weren’t funny enough to equal Awkwafina and John Mulaney. To have it all end with Julia Roberts saying goodnight around 11:15pm was probably a win for everyone involved. If ABC didn’t beat their new show “Whiskey Cavalier” to death with an annoying marketing campaign that tried to be viral despite instantly following every “covert” ad with a blatant one, a couple people may have even stayed up to watch it.

The negatives of course came when Bohemian Rhapsody won four out of five (the most of any film on the night)—including two sound awards that proved voters think playing good music straight off the record is equal to designing tension and emotion without the need of visual accompaniment. Then racist tweeter Nick Vallelonga and Shallow Hal co-director Peter Farrelly won for writing without thanking the subject whose family they ignored because a movie titled Green Book would of course care more about the White man stand-in for said Green Book than the Black man affected by it. That the latter also won Best Picture is a travesty made sadder by the likes of If Beale Street Could Talk and Leave No Trace being omitted before voting even began.

The positives thankfully started earlier with a slew of POC winners both in front of and behind the camera. Black Panther and Roma cleaned up enough to give us hope that one might sneak away with the top prize. Samuel L. Jackson got to give Spike Lee a huge hug when presenting him his first Oscar for Adapted Screenplay and Guillermo Del Toro got to say his fellow amigo’s name when Alfonso Cuarón won his second Best Director award and second statue of the night (Best Foreign Film technically goes to the country and not the filmmaker). And the moment we will never forget? Olivia Colman upsetting Glenn Close to go onstage in authentic disbelief and ramble through one of the best acceptance speeches in Oscars history. What a genuine delight.

So there was at least some good to go with the bad. Love was shared despite so much bottom-barrel tripe winning in a year that should have easily put at least five films directed by women into competition let alone many others objectively better than three of those we saw honored instead. For some of that deserving praise (and even more biting shade), look no further than Film Twitter itself since the Oscars are never more entertaining than through the lens of those without a say. Maybe critics are more qualified to know what should have won or maybe they’re not. All I know for sure is that their fire shows an unmatched passion for cinema.

And if nothing else, at least the 91st Annual Academy Awards finally allowed Richard E. Grant to meet Babs.


Artistic Goodness

Pre-Show Red Carpet

An Opening Fit For A Queen

Who Needs a(n Official) Monologue?

Best Supporting Actress

Best Documentary

Rage Against Dick Cheney

Costumes For Costumes

A Couple Crafts Before Commercial

There Was Definitely Sound Involved

The Netflixes, Though

The Film Editing Memes Will Go On

The Best Part of a Bad Film

Oscar Winner Peter Porker

Things Have a Way of Escalatin’ Out Here In the West

Dynamic Duos

Commercial Break

A New Frontier

We’re Off the Deep End

Rascism?

Sho-Nuff

Music and Memorium

I’m Your Biggest Fan

Hail to the Queen

Victor Hugo Green

Hail to the Queen, Redux

Amigos Ganan

It Happened

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