The Oscars Remixed
Since the Oscar nominations were announced last Tuesday, an enormous amount of articles have been written about the snubs, surprises, and everything in between. And while it may be interesting and worthwhile to debate the artistic merits of films such as Past Lives or The Zone of Interest, both of which deservedly received some love at the nominations, it is equally important to celebrate the aspects of movies that the Academy shamefully neglects.
Best Performance by an Actor on a Press Tour: Ryan Gosling in Barbie
It is high time we honour the effort actors put into press tours. They have to spend weeks answering the same questions in two-minute interviews, fighting exhaustion as they play ridiculous games and give the same answers all day. Yet no actor in recent memory has so thoroughly committed to the ridiculousness of this process as Ryan Gosling has for Barbie. While the Academy recognized him in the Best Supporting Actor category for his masterfully comedic performance in the film itself, they would be remiss to let his star turn on the press junket go unacknowledged. Therefore, the award for Best Performance by an Actor on a Press Tour should go to Ryan Gosling. Throughout the year, Gosling blessed us with different versions of his hit song “I’m Just Ken,” telling us all the things Ken can’t live without (his horse-patterned fur coat and his rollerblades) and just being generally hilarious. Gosling’s commitment to the bit has made him the perfect honoree for this new category.
Most Aesthetically Pleasing Movie: Saltburn
When visual-based social media platforms (Pinterest and TikTok) reign supreme, the aesthetic pleasure of a movie has become increasingly important. This year, Saltburn was the movie that captured the internet’s imagination. How exactly this bizarre movie about obsession and class reached the TikTok audience is unclear. However, I have found myself wanting to spend my summer at my rich friend’s English estate. In these trying times, wouldn’t everything be better if it were done while spending your time blissfully unaware of everything happening in the outside world while traipsing around your well-manicured lawns? Saltburn is the obvious choice for the Most Aesthetically Pleasing Movie.
Best Use of Music in Film: “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3
The Oscars have the Best Original Song category, but the use of well-known music in film is equally as important. While original songs can play a very important role in films, sometimes the use of songs we already know and love is what makes a scene even more impactful. Recently, Aftersun turned “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie into a song addressing the desperation and loneliness many people feel compelled to hide.
Similarly, in Almost Famous, Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” becomes an anthem of friendship and youth. This year, the honour of Best Use of Music in Film should go to Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3, which uses Florence & the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over” during the final scene. Since 2015, we have spent time with the Guardians, and we have grown to love them. Ending the series the same way it starts, with a dance scene, is the perfect conclusion to this beloved trilogy. While watching the scene, we reflect on the journey we’ve gone on with these characters, and all I want to do is join them in their dance.
On Mar. 10, I’m sure we will all enjoy watching Oscar-bait movies such as Oppenheimer and Poor Things receive their flowers from the Academy. But we should also recognize aspects of movies that award shows do not recognize. Would Barbie have been as successful without Ryan Gosling’s incredible press tour? Maybe—but he certainly helped and also made my summer more entertaining. Wouldn’t our year have been less interesting without movies like Saltburn and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3? Almost definitely. It’s time we honour the sillier, but still important, aspects of filmmaking.