Mario’s Movies: The Oscars 2018

Some people love the Oscars, some people hate them and then some don’t even realize they give awards for anything other than sports and music. I fall into the first category.

I like the idea of celebrating film and everything the process involves. Whether or not the annual festivities are used to shed light on more important issues like racial discrimination or #metoo, I find it exciting that the ceremony unites like-minded artists, film goers and critics for some quantitative-based competition.

Yes, I know taste in film is subjective, and yes there are great films that the Academy overlooks each year, but those points don’t stop me from enjoying the night. I mean, the Oscars are about as close as non-syndicated television ever gets to side-stepping celebrity pomp for the callus work put in behind the scenes.

Any film production is the work of what’s basically a militarized unit, and their hierarchy peaks at the intangible “vision,” not a commanding officer. So yeah, I put together a ballot, make some snacks and give myself the night to relax and veg out on people talking about film. I’ve been doing this since 2011, and I never cease to enjoy myself (if you don’t quite get it, watch the 2019 ceremony with me, we can have an Oscar party).

The 2018 Oscar ceremony took a back seat in terms of entertainment value to use the world’s stage to address sexual abuse in the film industry. It was a night that focused on moving forward from the atrocities to make room for an industry shifting gears toward truer equality. The focal point was much warranted after a flood of heavily publicized accusations against abusers turned unaware eyes on an industry that paraded itself as progressive in terms of the social climate.

In return we saw the most unique ceremony to date. Nominations were given to a female director, an African-American screenwriter/director, superhero movies, and a horror/thriller — finally pushing to show the world that filmmaking shouldn’t have to take gender, ethnicity or genre, but passion and talent.

The award for Best Picture even went to a movie where a human has sex with a fish monster, but I don’t really feel like talking about that for obvious reasons …

For me, one of the best things to come out of the ceremony this year was seven nominations and two wins for the film “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri.” This is a film that will be under the radar for most casual moviegoers but fully deserves their attention. Pay attention hipsters.

“Billboards” follows the story of a grieving mother trying to put her life together after the murder of her daughter. She purchases three billboards taunting the town’s police force to do a better job of solving the case. The rest of the film explores how this act affects the rest of the small Appalachian-esque town, all the while taking the audience through what I discerned as the entire spectrum of human emotions.

It proved to be a film about life, death, justice and finding compassion for the worst of humanity. It was my pick for Best Picture (sorry interspecies sex movie), but like I said, disagreeing doesn’t stop me from enjoying the night.

Awards were awarded, speeches were spoken and another year of film worth commemorating has passed. Here’s to next year’s Oscars (I was serious about that offer to have an Oscar party by the way, let me know).

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri: (5/5 penguins) ?????