Saturday, March 2, 2019

The 2019 Academy Awards - Review: The year of the "Hollywood Spring"

Previous Years' Reviews
IMDb listing

It would seem that The Revolution or at least "Spring" came early to Hollywood this year.  After years of #OscarsSoWhite and #MeToo hashtags, and even an Oscar Host, Kevin Hart, thrown to the side (for anti-homosexual comments in his past) a new day, even for this particular year, arrived.

And I do have to say that as an upper middle aged white guy it has been has not been without its mostly mild surprises / sadnesses.

Like many have already commented, I too had expected the documentary Won't You be My Neighbor? [2018], about the lovely PBS children's program hosted by mild-mannered Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers [wikip] [IMDb] in the time of my youth, to be a shoe-in for a  best Documentary Feature nomination and quite possibly / probably win.  Instead, not only did it not get a nomination but the youth oriented, adrenaline pumping documentary Free Solo [2018], about a young man, Alex Honnold, climbing without rope or gear Yosemite Nat'l Park's 3000 ft El Capitan rock face won.  Yea! or "Yea!"   But let's face it, had he fallen, it would have been a stupid / pointless way to die... (Folks, I am a Catholic priest after all, and we ought to value our lives more than to risk them in needlessly stupid ways).  Of the nominees, I found RBG [2018] much more constructive ...

Then I did find it somewhat disappointing (though here, sigh, in an "it's the end of an era" understandable) that Clint Eastwood's The Mule [2018] about "an old man with family issues," didn't get nominated _for anything_ ;-).

Finally, even Olivia Coleman, winner of the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role (for her role in The Favorite [2018]), seemed apologetic for beating Glenn Close (nominated for her role in The Wife [2018]).  But alas, The Fav had a spicier story line than the "justice finally, at the end of a long, seemingly endless life / marriage" plot of The W

But at least, in the absence of a host, the Academy didn't bring back a hologram of Bob Hope again ;-).

And I am happy that Rami Malek, won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in Bohemian Rhapsody [2018] for his portrayal of  Farroch Bulsara who became Freddy Mercury, the lead singer of the rock group Queen. (The Oscars began this year with the surviving members of Queen singing the anthems We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions).  I'm also happy that three African Americans won awards -- Regina King for Best Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk [2018], Mahershala Ali for Best Supporting Actor in The Green Book [2018] and Spike Lee, et al Adapted Screenplay in BlacKKKlansman [2018] -- as well as Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón won, count 'em, four Academy Awards (Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film) for b&w cinema verité art piece Roma [2018].

A bone may have been thrown to the old by giving the Best Picture award to The Green Book [2018] reminding us all of "how it was" and that we _have gotten better_ in the decades since.  Still, this year seems to have been a celebration of the young and of the new.

Good on you ;-).

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