The Oscars 2018: So Predictable, So Boring

Everyone wants to be politically correct at the Oscars.So the Best Actor nominations had two Black Africans, one raw newcomer(white), one British veteran actor and then there was Daniel Day Lewis giving the performance of his lifetime in   Paul Thomas Anderson’s delicate lyrical and gloriously luminous Phantom Thread.

This Oscar  night was Daniel’s judgment day and  the jury failed him, choosing to give the best actor award  to another veteran Gary Oldman for his portrayal of the wily Winston Chuchill in The Darkest Hour.

 Darkest Hour?I wouldn’t say. That would’ve been the scenario if the Oscar had gone to young Daniel Kaluuya for his portrayal of the unsuspecting Black American boy who is trapped and lobotomized by his white gilfriend’s family in Get Out, an exercise in inveterate absurdity.

A  truly stupid plot premise and a film reeking of inverted racism. Somewhere in setting right the race -imbalance Hollywood is seen going overboard in films like Getting Out and Black Panther.

The choice of best film The Shape Of Water also left me cold. No doubt a beautifully shot film with a haunting desolate look and feel to it, The Shape Of Water has passages of aching beauty in it. But it eventually looks like  King Kong meets  ET  with the spinster-heroine played feelingly by Sally Hawkins,jumping into the bath tub with her clandestine other-worldly guest for some serious heaving and thumping.The morning after she is even giggling with her  best friend   about the experience.And we thought only we guys kissed and  told.

No. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri about an incurably angry mother who wants justice(not  revenge  mind you, this is noDeath Wish) for  her raped and murdered daughter, is  the one that deserved the Oscar  for  Best Picture. Why? Because its anger at injustice is  not only directed  at  a system that fails to protect  its citizens but also at the wronged individual’s quiet acceptance of injustice.

Shout when you are wronged, says this gutsy film which  has started  a  movement of billboards protest in the US. What movement can The Shape Of Water hope to start except the  one in the bath tub?

Strangely Martin McDonagh didn’t even get nomination for his direction in Three Billboards…Maybe they felt giving the Best Actress  to  Frances MacDormand and the Best Supporting Actor to  Sam Rockwell  in  Billboards… was honour enough.Don’t want  to spoil them  by overdoing it now, do we?

But was there any justice  in  ignoring Luca Gudagnino’s haunting homage to homosexual love in Call Me By Your Name in all categories  except the  best adapted  screenplay which went to the 89-year old writer-director James Ivory making him the oldestOscar winner ever?

 Talk about the awards coming of age.

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