If the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was guilty of breathing its own rarified air for many years, times have changed.
The outside world – and particularly the Twitterverse – have been banging on Oscar’s door for the past few years. And if the Oscars aren’t 100 per cent “woke” just yet, #MeToo, #TimesUp and #OscarsSoWhite have certainly roused it from its slumber.
Here’s my hot take on how those three hashtags may have affected this year’s nomination announcement for the 2018 Oscars.
All The Money In The World would not have been in the Oscar race if it hadn’t been a focus of controversy with Christopher Plummer pulling off those miracle re-shoots of Kevin Spacey’s scenes. This nomination is a great big kiss to Plummer from the Academy. Ironically, the movie has shade on it since, with the news of the huge pay gap between Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams.
James Franco went from hero to zero in two weeks, thanks to a bunch of tweets that were sent out even as he accepted his Golden Globe for Best Actor. Irrespective of karma, his performance as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist was the best work of his career, but he is persona non grata at the Academy Awards.
Dropping Franco made room for Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq. – a movie that made no money, divided the critics and really was not given much of an awards season push. But though he can be grumpy with the press, Washington carries no hint of scandal. And if you’re going to drop a white actor, replacing him with a legend who’s also a person of colour is a no-brainer.
The Golden Globes got fried (including on-air by Natalie Portman) for ignoring two eminently qualified directors who didn’t happen to be white males – Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig and Get Out’s Jordan Peele. Both made the Oscar list, deservedly. In less “woke” years, those two spots would likely have gone to Steven Spielberg for The Post and Martin McDonaugh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.