Film fans, young and old alike, wait patiently every year for the night the big screen is celebrated in all its glory. The Academy Awards have become a staple in movie fandom as its spectacle and events encapsulate what it means to love cinema. Whether the awards handed out over the night spark joy or outrage from the public, there is always something to talk about when it comes to the Oscars. The last few years have not given much love to the awards show in the form of poor ratings and negative reviews, but after a somewhat positive response to last year’s show and a rise in popularity for the films nominated this year, the academy was set up for success in this year’s outing. Unfortunately, not much has changed when it comes to the pacing and structure of the nearly four-hour long show. Unbearably cringey jokes are still cracked at every chance possible and awkward actor speeches are still a-plenty, but this year’s event was nearly saved by an amazing finale that shook the world of film entirely. Without further ado, I give you the Clarion’s look at the 92nd Academy Awards.
Like last year, we will have a moment of silence for all the talent that was snubbed. Florence Pugh cried an ocean throughout the runtime of “Midsommar” but got nominated for “Little Women” instead. The Safdie brothers completely fueled the anxiety attack of a film “Uncut Gems” but were left without a single mention. The utterly perfect “The Farewell” didn’t see any light despite being better than six out of the nine nominees.
The Oscars did have a good amount of wonderfulness to share with the public. One highlight was Billie Eillish’s stunning performance of the song “Yesterday” by the Beatles during the In Memoriam.
One moment that warmed the hearts of everyone was Bong Joon Ho’s win of Best Director for “Parasite.” Bong Joon Ho’s lighthearted speech shouted out the influence that all of the other nominees had on him.
“Parasite” also became the first foreign film to win Best Picture, surprising many that expected a “1917” or “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” win. To many, “Parasite” winning in this category was a moment that proved that the Oscars can still be a bastion of good taste, offering viewers a glimpse into the best films that the industry has to offer. This was particularly true after last year’s embarrassing win for “Green Book” in that most coveted category.
These were sadly the only moments that stood out.
The Oscars still has its many weak points, which is evident from the social media reactions. One of the reasons people were mad was because Greta Gerwig was snubbed a Best Director nomination for her film “Little Women,” which was widely regarded as a standout film this year, particularly from a directorial perspective. In fact, no women were nominated in this category at all, especially egregious with such incredible work from Alma Har’el, LuLu Wang and Olivia Wilde.
The worst part of the 93rd Academy Awards was that it was alternatingly boring and confusing. One moment there was a long montage of music in films from the past, in the next, Eminem was performing a song from 2002, and then “Cats” stars James Corden and Rebel Alley took the stage in cat costumes, batting at the microphone in a seemingly improvised bit more confusing than it was funny. There weren’t a lot of great speeches. The most likely scenario is that, beyond the surprise win for “Parasite,” this Oscars will be most likely be thrown in the pile of all the other forgettable Academy Awards shows.