And the award goes to…

I have been a fan of awards shows since I was young. As a self proclaimed pop culture junkie, I wanted to soak it all in. I watched the MTV music and movie awards, the Almas, Critics Choice, Golden Globes, SAG awards, but most importantly, the Oscars.

The Academy awards are to me what the Super Bowl is to sports fans. I devour every second of it. I go hardcore geek and try to see as many of the nominated movies as possible. Then I make my own ballot and see how well I can predict the winners. I got to say I am pretty good. I love the emotions the performances can evoke in me. I love that a group of people can see the exact same movie and all come away with quite varying reactions.

This year there were so many wonderful stories to tell. Quite a few of the best picture nominees had strong females in the lead like Lady Bird, I,Tonya, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. There was also some diversity with movies like Mudbound and Get Out, but still there’s a massive disparity in terms of race and gender. It is 2018. The movies we watch should reflect the people who are watching. Now should we cast POC and a certain gender just to be more inclusive? In my humble opinion, yes. That is exactly what Frances McDormand was talking about when she brought up inclusion riders in contracts. White movie goers, males in particular, have seen themselves on screen for years. They have had plenty of representation. Do you know why Black Panther and Wonder Woman did so well at the box office? We were finally represented! We were represented with good material that showcased our strengths and hardships. These movies had the budget to be done well and, more importantly, the coverage.

On the writing front, Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig blew me away with Get Out and Lady Bird. I was cheering loudly at the screen when Peele won for best original screenplay. He was the first black writer to accomplish this. They are an inspiration to young writers who’ve been told that people won’t want to hear their stories because of who they are. All it takes is to get that one person in the right place at the right time to believe in your vision.

Overall, it was a pretty predictable Oscars. This year the same actors, actresses and movies were consistently winning. There was no dark horse to swoop in like last years best picture debacle. Sometimes predictable is good, but in certain categories I would have enjoyed a little upset. Best song was one of those categories. I knew Coco was going to win, but my heart wanted “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. Oh well.

So anybody else out there a movie nut like me? Any wins or losses that surprised you? What did you think of this years crop? Yinz keep watching and get those acceptance speeches ready for next year. You never know.

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