This year’s winners have shown some surprises and unexpected delights, highlighting how the Academy Awards are trying to embrace mixing it up more.
The thing about the Oscars over the years has been the fact that it has become slightly predictable when it comes to selecting winners for the top awards that felt more about box office numbers than the storytelling and other elements – but you certainly can’t say that about this year’s ceremony with Bohemian Rhapsody winning four awards and Green Book winning Best Picture for example. This in itself shows just how diverse and exciting the film making has been this year.
Many people (critics in particular) have been particularly harsh on Bohemian Rhapsody – which doesn’t seem particularly fair given the hard work put in by all of the cast and crew to make this an electrifying and genuinely fascinating film. In my opinion it fully deserves its four awards for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and of course the Best Actor award for Rami Malek. Malek’s performance can not be faulted – particularly given the pressure he must have felt in portraying Freddie Mercury in the first place. It is a film with a strong central story, great casting and genuinely entertaining from start to finish.
Elsewhere, it was delight to hear that Olivia Coleman won the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite. Her acceptance speech was worth the Oscar win alone!
I have to say it was a bit of a surprise that A Star Was Born (given its critical acclaim) didn’t come away with more awards – but it was still pleasing to see it come away with Best Original Song for Shallow.
It is pleasing to see just how diverse the Oscars have become and it felt like a true celebration of this – particularly seeing Alfonso Cuarón winning Best Director for Roma, Best Supporting Actor going to Mahershala Ali for his role in Green Book and Best Production Design being awarded to Black Panther just to name a few examples. by mixing things up in this way, it feels as though the Oscars have found their way once more in celebrating all genres of films that tell all sorts of stories – which is how it should be.
Now it feels less about a popularity contest and which film did best at the box office but rather which films have proved themselves worthy on the basis of the strength of their stories. It has to be said that given the nominees, this must have been one of the toughest years to have to select winners – but it definitely seems on this occasion those judging it have got it right.