E: Once upon a time (though not in Hollywood), there was this guy. A spectacularly good-looking guy, the friend of some friends. This guy was so hot that when we were in his vicinity my friends and I would covertly observe him, looking for any kind of physical flaw. And no, we never found one. He was also, according to our mutual friends, incredibly smart, which added to his swoon-worthiness even more.
But despite this outer perfection, none of us ever graduated to an actual crush on him, because our friends also assured us that he was a self-involved jerk. We appreciated his perfect form. We were impressed. We looked with no desire to touch.
So that’s how I feel about last night. I can appreciate Parasite‘s win – it ticks many of the representation boxes that really matter to me, it brought a lot of exciting firsts to the table (first South Korean nominee in any category, first Korean winner in the four categories it won, first foreign language film to win Best Picture, first film with an all Asian cast to win Best Picture), it’s a thoughtful and well-made movie, its cast and director seemed funny and sweet and adorably joyous. I just don’t want to spend anymore time, ever, with a movie whose gaping, empty soul I couldn’t enjoy.
Of course there were many things to enjoy about last night. The acting wins went just as everyone knew they would, but all four really stepped up with their speeches. The producers threw quite a lot of rap at the stage, as well as presenters of color, in an apparently effort to be more current and look less racist. Janelle Monae opened the show with what felt more like a tribute to movies that were under-nominated or totally ignored, starting with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and featuring dancers dressed in costumes from (among others) outrageous comedy Dolemite is My Name, and horror hits Midsommar and Us.
(Speaking of those movies, I cannot believe I forgot to mention Lupita N’yongo as a huge snub for Best Actress in Us. Really, I forgot about Us altogether, probably because horror is not my thing, and when it came out nearly a year ago I was too much of wimp to see it.) There were gorgeous dresses, dashing tuxes and enjoyable musical performances. (Yay Cynthia Erivo! Yay Chrissy Metz! All bow to Sir Elton! International Elsas, come on! Where did Eminem come from?) Because I’m ready to thank God for small favors, I’m just pleased The Irishman didn’t win anything.
And that might be all I want to say about any of that, at least for now. I can’t help feeling like Parasite‘s win was at least partly a reaction to the #Oscarsowhite backlash from the nominations, and that can only be a good thing. Here’s hoping for a more truly inclusive future!