With the queasy inevitability of a gagging drunk uncovering their mouth to spew vomit onto a sidewalk, Green Book won the Oscar for Best Picture at last night’s Academy Awards. This, it turns out, was not a popular choice.
Our review called it “a kind of comforting liberal fantasy, a #NotAllRacists trifle that suggests that our deep, festering divisions can be sutured through some quality time on the open road, resolving differences over a bucket of KFC.” Others, like the Los Angeles Times, are calling it the worst movie to win Best Picture since Crash took the same award in 2006. It’s also, notably, a movie made by an Islamophobe and a dick-flashing director.
It’s a movie so dumb it seems almost designed to be parodied, which it has been, specifically, by Desus & Mero and, more generally, by Seth Meyers.
All of this might help explain the reaction to Green Book’s win last night—a reaction probably best summed up with director Spike Lee’s perfectly timed statement that it “wasn’t my cup of tea.”
The interviewers asking Lee if he was “offended” by the award might’ve picked up on the vibe of a room where many in attendance were visibly pissed off during the announcement. One of them was Jordan Peele, who won an Oscar last year for Get Out. Per reports, Peele chose not to clap when Green Book’s win was announced.
A photo of Lee, cradling his chin on a fist labelled “HATE,” is probably the most evocative portrait of the reaction. Birth of a meme, indeed.
In advance of the night’s final award, Green Book was awarded Best Original Screenplay right before Lee and his co-writers received the Best Adapted Screenplay statue for BlackKklansman. Both were presented by Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, allowing for the wonderful compare and contrast shown below.
If there’s one positive aspect to the win, it might be that the Oscars have focused attention on the actual Green Book, which will be detailed in the documentary The Green Book: Guide To Freedom. That premieres tonight.
Of course, that kind of film isn’t what the Academy is interested in. For them, there’s another award-winner on the horizon, one from the people behind Green Book. Deadline describes it as a “musical romantic comedy” about a man working in a pizza parlor who meets “a shy and introverted loner” named Pattie Amore. This future classic, we regret to inform you, is called That’s Amore!.
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