Arts Review

What happened to the envelope? Thoughts about the Oscars 2020

What happened to the envelope? Thoughts about the Oscars 2020 featured image

Thoughts about the Oscars 2020
By Marc Glassman

The big thrill last night at the Oscars is that a foreign language film won Best Picture. Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite, which I consider to be the best film of the year, actually won in that category. It had never happened before, not for Bergman or Jean Renoir or Cuaron. It shows that the Academy is “woke.” They’re clearly aware of gender and racial issues and when the nominations didn’t fall right, a show was produced that celebrated diversity anyway and criticized the lack of representation by women, LGBTQ members and those from different races or creeds.

Parasite was nominated in a year when the Academy was finally willing to accept a “foreign” film not just its ghettoized category but also in direction and scriptwriting. Even “foreign language” award was retitled “international,” a far more inclusive title. And it was great fun to see Bong thank people and announced that he was going to drink a lot tonight.

As for me, I called it wrong. Despite loving Parasite, I selected Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood to win best picture, director and scriptwriter. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I must admit to being happy that I lost since the best film won. Mind you, I did pick best correctly in the four thespian categories—loved Laura Dern’s speech–as well as best cinematographer and international film, where I did vote for Parasite.

I must admit this wasn’t a great year for me. I took the selections more seriously this time which may have worked against me. In previous years, I probably would have predicted a Parasite sweep because that was in my heart and I would have lost. This year, I lost a lot.

How do I feel about it? I remembered this quote from the Illinois Democrat Adlai Stevenson, who lost twice in presidential elections against the supremely popular Republican Dwight Eisenhower. He quoted this anecdote about President Abraham Lincoln. “They asked him how he felt once after an unsuccessful election. He said he felt like a little boy who had stubbed his toe in the dark. He said that he was too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh.”

Indeed. Don’t worry, folks. I plan to be back next February, ready to do my worst. Um, I mean “best.”

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