That’s it, folks. After six months, hundreds of trophies, dozens of red-carpet appearances and enough victory-speech tears to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool, the curtain finally closes on another awards season. It’s about time.
ut before we bid farewell to Oscars mania, allow us to indulge in some post-match analysis. After all, the 95th Academy Awards ceremony threw plenty of surprises our way.
Some (Michelle Yeoh’s Best Actress victory) were more welcome than others (The Banshees of Inisherin leaving empty-handed).
We should know by now that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn’t always get it right. Here are six mistakes they made last night.
Colin Farrell should have won Best Actor
It’s difficult to argue with the Brendan Fraser comeback story. We might, for a moment, forget that Fraser – one of Hollywood’s few genuine nice-guys – deserves everything good that comes his way.
But the Best Actor prize belonged to Colin Farrell, who was outstanding in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin.
Fraser is decent in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, but it’s a terrible film, and his performance requires tears, prosthetics and an insincere screenplay to make its point.
Meanwhile, Farrell’s heartbreaking turn as a simple dairy farmer, robbed of his optimism in 1920s rural Ireland, is a richer, more fulfilling exercise for the audience.
We are, of course, obliged to root for a homegrown legend – but we’d have less a problem if, say, Austin Butler had taken the trophy for his impeccable turn as the King of Rock and Roll in Baz Luhrmann’s flashy Elvis biopic. The wrong man won, basically.
Angela Bassett should have won Best Supporting Actress
The Everything Everywhere All at Once buzz is a bit much.
It’s a fine film, but this noisy, overpraised sci-fi isn’t quite the masterpiece that some suggested.
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An amusing Jamie Lee Curtis delivers the goods as a disgruntled tax office worker, but her performance isn’t a patch on Angela Bassett’s mesmerising turn as a grieving royal in Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Similarly, Kerry Condon was one of the best things about The Banshees of Inisherin. Either of them would have made for a deserved winner in the Best Supporting Actress category, and Bassett was right to look a little miffed when they called Curtis’s name on the night.
Everything Everywhere All At Once was not the best film of last year
It looks like we’re being hard on Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s ambitious sci-fi. We don’t mean to be. Strip away the noisy awards chat, and you have yourself a vibrant martial arts film with a big heart and bigger ideas. Stare too hard at it, however, and you’ll find that EEAAO isn’t quite as clever or coherent as it thinks it is.
Indeed, the Best Picture prize should have gone to The Fabelmans, Steven Spielberg’s gorgeous, semi-autobiographical feature about a young filmmaker struggling to make sense of a tumultuous family set-up. It’s one of Spielberg’s best, and he deserved to be awarded for it.
Steven Spielberg should have won Best Director
We look forward to seeing what Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert do next.
Their commendable work on Everything Everywhere All at Once suggests a stellar future in original, high-concept filmmaking. But their Best Director win seems a tad hasty, and the prize should have gone to a filmmaker with a stronger grasp – and a steadier understanding – of the story they’re telling. Enter Steven Spielberg, who found new and extraordinary ways to dissect and explore everyday familial chaos in The Fabelmans. In the end, everyone’s favourite multiverse movie could not be stopped.
The Banshees of Inisherin should have won Best Original Screenplay
Martin McDonagh was robbed here (the Everything Everywhere… team won this award, too).
Witty, poetic and undeniably poignant, Banshees… is probably the most complete of McDonagh’s films and it was unlucky to come away with zero wins on the night. Whatever about the performances, McDonagh’s rural tragicomedy should have been rewarded for its remarkable screenplay.
Marcel the Shell should have left with an Oscar
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio was a shoo-in for the Animated Feature trophy – and we congratulate Del Toro on his success. But spare a thought for Dean Fleischer Camp and Jenny Slate’s lovely, life-affirming indie offering, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.
A clever, tender display, Marcel… tells the story of a divorced filmmaker who discovers a wee talking shell in his Airbnb.
Rather than run for the hills, as he should, Dean decides to stick around and to document the yappy seashell’s day-to-day life.
An astonishingly moving display, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On was the most compelling – and certainly the most unique – film in its category. Like all the best “losers” on Oscars night, it’s already a champ.
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