THB #337: They Liked It. They Really, Really Liked It
Who had, “That’ll do, Oscar” on their Bingo card?
I have a list of specific issues with the show, particularly how it was shot and the grotesque use of giant televisions at the sides of theater as part of the production, and I will probably detail them later in this piece. But those issues are not the headline here. They can be fixed pretty easily.
The show was good. It moved efficiently. They only did a few play-offs, keeping the 2nd speaker from talking. Unnecessary and against the spirit of the night. The music numbers were pretty tight. (As I guessed during the show, the Lady Gaga segment was conceptualized by Lady Gaga.)
Even without many surprises amongst the winners, the speeches were - as they usually are - worth the time spent watching the show. The season-long enthusiasm of the Everything Everywhere All At Once crew, which probably won them the Oscar(s), continued on the night. Same with Brendan Fraser. It was more of the same thing we kept seeing along the road to Oscar night.
Even the Germans, with All Quiet On The Western Front, made their mark with a level of excitement of passion, also seen from the RRR team. They were all so happy to be part of this.
This was a season where the emotion of those involved won the day. It was The Season of Tears (some happy, some sad). Cool distance was not the coin of this year’s realm.
You may ask, “What do you have to do? Cut off a finger to prove you’re passionate?'“ Well, no. It’s one of the wonders of Banshees that Colm keeps playing that fiddle, as though he wasn’t short a finger, or 5. And Colin Farrell isn’t the “burn your laundromat down” kind of guy anymore.
As for the winner, Everything, Everywhere All At Once… there were people who loved the film and those who didn’t. But it was an almost perfect fit in the current mode of Best Picture winners, not quite the groundbreaker some are projecting on it.
The box office success was Current Oscar Goldilocks, not too hot, not too cold. Quoting myself, “Post-Expansion, the average gross per Best Picture winner has been $59 million and the rank amongst the 10 nominees is 4.6 out of 10, with only one winner in the Top 3 (The King’s Speech, which was #3 in 2010).” Everything grossed $74 million domestic, 4th best, book-ended by Elvis’ $151 million and The Fabelmans’ $17 million. There was nothing in between.
Did anyone look at a box office chart to decide how to vote? No. But again, look at the domestic grosses of the last 7 winners before COVID.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Hot Button to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.