I Forgive the Oscars

Posted on March 13, 2023 by psu

My plan today had been to just say “Happy March 1107 2020”, as we have yet again passed one more go around the sun since that great stupidity started. But instead I have a different and unexpected grudge to finally let go of.

In 1981, which is, I guess, 42 years ago, I was in high school and the best movie of the year was Raiders of the Lost Ark. Raiders is still a pretty fun watch even today, if you can look past the somewhat primitive visual effects and some of the problematic cultural politics. But, the film did not get much love at the Oscars that year, because movies that get love at the Oscars have to be solemn and serious affairs, usually involving a lot of white people drama. So instead of an actual good time, all the awards went to a dour and boring British film about some Olympic athletes or something.

The most insulting aspect of this was handing the Best Original Score award to a collection of dour and boring electronic pap instead of John Williams. Be honest, when was the last time you thought about the theme to Chariots of Fire without falling asleep? Now run that trumpet fanfare from Raiders through your head … see? OK whatever.

Anyway. At the time teen high school me was furious, and concluded that the Oscars was a huge scam run by money and old people. And I have never changed my mind.

But, this year I feel like I have to forgive them. About a year ago when I first saw the trailers to Everything Everywhere All At Once I immediately went around calling it The Best Film of 2022. I did this more after actually seeing it (twice!). And finally last night the Oscars did the right thing and picked a movie with a fun and actually enjoyable energy over a lot of dour and depressing dramas for best picture. More importantly, they finally gave Michelle Yeoh her statue after robbing her in 2000 (!!) and not nominating Crouching Tiger for any acting awards (you can’t act in Chinese, you see). Oh, and all the other winners from the movie were great too.

So, good job Oscars. You are off the hook now. I bet you feel a great sense of relief.