It was a whole new disaster on February 11th, 2019, and Film Twitter was all a flutter. Prior to the events of that day, The Academy’s biggest recent controversies involved hosting duties for the ceremony itself and the nomination/potential Best Picture victory of certain flicks with less than appealing critical notices. Writers, critics, and buffs alike were preparing for the worst and hoping for the mediocre.
“Hold my beer.”
In an announcement that wasn’t surprising given the recent woes but altogether shocking, it was decided that four awards categories would still be handed out…during commercial breaks:
- Best Film Editing
- Best Makeup & Hairstyle
- Best Live Action Short
- Best Cinematography
Performances and direction are nice and all, but the technical cats, the ones that truly make the movies work — no matter how “boring” some may see them as — would be getting the brush off:
“Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience. This has been our core mission since we were established 91 years ago — and it is the same today.”
My bathroom breaks would now be filled with something other than waste: Shame. Shame in knowing that I and The Academy would be joined in unlocking zippers and relieving ourselves. Only, in my case, it would be actual waste.
Taking to Twitter during the breaking news storm, I found mild satisfaction and somewhat melancholic catharsis is the attitudes and sentiments of my colleagues, contemporaries, and heroes:
On days like 2/11/2019, days that fill our better angels with aggressive annoyance at least and brooding anger at most, I can only offer one solution. One that worked amazingly well for the city of New Orleans and less so for the NFL and their Superbowl ratings:
Throw a boycott party, like my cousin Travis T Laurendine:
Does this mean we have collective parties all over? Does this mean donations to film charities? Our own awards release? And who would be willing to govern such a thing with so little time?
We could all just get drunk. New Orleans did that/does that very well.
#BoycottOscar? I don’t know what would work or how. Keep it simple, maybe. Watch some classics, sure. Enjoy some cocktails, absolutely. The point is, we can think of better things to do on a Sunday evening. We haven’t reached The Purge yet, even if it may feel like it.
And — knock on wood that it doesn’t happen — do we all really want to watch Bohemian Rhapsody sweep the big stuff? Talk about taking it to the streets…