I’m still pretty far behind on recent Oscar winning films. I barely watched anything during the various lockdowns as I much preferred something lighter and sillier during that period. Thankfully they’re all becoming widely available now, which makes catching up really easy. The other day I remembered that this was on Disney+ and decided it finally was time to watch it. Yes, I’m extremely late to the party but let’s not worry about that too much. What matters is that I’m watching it at all.
I promise that after this week, I won’t ever mention that thing that happened at the Oscars again. Mostly because my opinion of what happened doesn’t matter. Also because we’ve wasted too much time discussing it. What I will say, is that it did take a lot of attention away from the important things of the night. Important things like this film. Had the ceremony gone off without the drama, CODA would have been the thing that everyone was talking about. It’s a very un-Oscars film but it walked away with Best Picture. It should have been the talking point. After all, it could have opened up more people to actually see it. I know it did anyway but it could have been bigger. Like when Parasite won in 2020 and a shit ton of people who would never have watched a Korean film actually bothered to see it.
So, last night’s Oscars ceremony was pretty memorable, right? It’s a shame that Chris Rock’s bad and offensive joke is the thing that people will remember more than anything. I know most people are focusing on Will Smith’s reaction, and it’s not something I’m dismissing. However, the conversation should really be about why that joke was even made in the first place. You might think I’m a little oversensitive as a fellow alopecia sufferer but that doesn’t make Rock’s joke any less misogynistic, disrespectful and totally unnecessary. Why bring her into it? Why make a joke about an illness that she can’t do anything about? Fuck, Chris Rock.
Last week’s Friday Favourites post came out of a social media challenge that I was forced to take on board. This week is a similar thing. This time the challenge was:
Post a still from a film that’s influenced me over the next 10 days. Every day I’ll nominate one person to do the same.
Normally if someone tags me on a Facebook thing I just pretend I didn’t see it and walk away. Selfie challenges, Ice Bucket challenges, you name it, I’m avoiding it. But I haven’t got to where I am today by missing the chance to show off my love of films. So I did it. Even though I knew that trying to whittle down the list down to just 10 films would almost beak my brain. But I did it? Did anybody care? Nah. But nobody really cares about this blog and I’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years. It’s part of my charm.
As you know, I normally try and link my throwback Thursday reviews to my Tuesday reviews. So, this week I could have picked any number of films. Another Pedro Almodóvar film or something starring Antonio Banderas. I didn’t just have plenty of options but plenty of good options. Instead, I decided to watch a random 90s comedy starring Kevin Kline. It had been on my mind since my last Friday Favourites. Looking at Tom Hanks’ Wikipedia page reminded me of the story that inspired In and Out. During his acceptance speech, Tom Hanks thanked his former drama teacher and an old classmate before describing them as “two of the finest gay Americans.”
Unless I’m forgetting something, this review should see the end of my Oscar film reviews. I managed to watch all of the full-length feature films nominated in the majority of the categories. I didn’t have time to get through all of the international nominees because of time and cause I suck at watching international films. I need to work on that. However, I did manage to knock a couple off the list. Thanks to the runaway success that was Parasite I saw that early on. Then Antonio Banderas’ nomination for Best Actor meant that I caught up with Pain and Glory. It felt as though Banderas was rarely mentioned in the run-up to the Oscars because the conversation was dominated by Joaquin Phoenix and, to a lesser extent, Adam Driver. Unfortunately, it never really seemed as though Banderas was an option regardless of how much he may have deserved it. Much in the same way that Tom Hanks never really registered in his category for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Still, that wasn’t going to stop me watching it. I had to make up my own mind about who deserved to win.
I appear to be having a bit of a Tom Hanks moment right now. I reviewed Sully the other week, A Beautiful Day in the NeighborhoodA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on Tuesday, and Splash on Thursday. I decided that I might as well embrace it by picking my favourite Tom Hanks films. Though, I quickly realised that I’ve not watched a great deal of them and, of those that I have watched, I don’t like many. I think Saving Private Ryan is just messy even though Hanks gives a great performance. I think Big is creepy. Forrest Gump isn’t as good as everyone says that it is. As a person who gets bored by romantic comedies, I can only just appreciate his films with Meg Ryan. So, I really started to worry that I didn’t really have any favourite Tom Hanks films. But I have no other ideas for today’s post so what the hell. There are a few that I’ve missed off not because, though they are good films, I didn’t quite enjoy them as much. This isn’t just about quality. We can’t only love Oscar-worthy films, you know.
As far as I’m aware, Mr Rogers was never a thing in the UK. I’ve heard of him but only thanks to references in American TV and movies. This lack of awareness would normally have caused me to miss a film like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It is based solely on the proposition that Fred Rogers is one of the greatest things to ever happen to children. I’m sure he probably is but films like this tend to rely on a certain nostalgic sentimentality that I just don’t have. It wouldn’t hit on all of the levels that the filmmakers intended. But, thanks to Tom Hanks being Tom Hanks, it was an Oscar-nominated film that I had to try and watch before the ceremony.
I don’t often like to admit it but I was wrong. I had no faith in the Academy to give Bong Joon Ho and his basically flawless film the recognition they deserve. But, at the 2020 Oscars, Parasite became the biggest success of the night. It genuinely couldn’t happen to a nicer person. 1917 is a technically brilliant film but, in terms of narrative, it doesn’t exactly break new ground. Parasite did everything and it did it well. It brought together so many ideas and genres without ever getting overwhelmed. Bon Joon Ho is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time and I’m chuffed the Academy actually saw it too. But let’s not look back too long. After my massive Oscars week viewing, I am now a few weeks ahead with the films I need to review. I thought about doing them this week just to get them out of the way but, honestly, I need a break. So, get ready for my next few Tuesday posts to be a little behind the times.
We’re finally here. It’s Oscars Night. I’ve also managed to watch all but 2 of all the films nominated this year (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and The Lion King). I didn’t think I’d manage it but we got there. This means I finally feel ready to put down my predictions for how the show’s going to go. However, there are no real definites I guess. I mean, has anyone got over the shock that was Green Book winning Best Picture last year. The Academy is unstable and, as we can see from the nominations, aren’t always concerned about who or what is really the best. The Oscars are even more political and insane than Eurovision. But this isn’t the time for another rant. This is a time to predict the result of a stupid system that will be streamed to the world from a glitzy and expensive award show that really doesn’t need to exist. But at least everyone attending gets to dress up again this year.