The Me’s of 2018 have just come to a close (my name is Oscar). It’s very alarming to hear celebrities say my name so excitedly, or at all for that matter. The only other Oscar in Hollywood right now is Oscar Isaac and he keeps to himself for the most part. Maybe he is a me that came from the future to give me hope that I would grow up to be good looking and successful. Maybe he is just a harsh reminder of an Oscar that I will never become. Anyways…the Oscars.
The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro was nominated for almost everything and won quite a few too: Best Score, Best Production Design, Best Director, and the big boy himself: Best Picture. The Disney animated film, Coco, also took home a couple of awards including Best Original Song and Best Animated
The song “Remember Me” along with the other original song nominees were performed live. Objectively, the performance of Remember Me was the most extravagant. It is, after all, a movie about the Mexican Day of the Dead. We Mexicans are very extra, so I wouldn’t have the performance any other way. The three performers Gael García Bernal, Miguel, and Natalia LaFourcade brought a pivotal scene from the film to life. I was kind of hoping that the giant bell at the back of the stage would fall, but not squish anyone to death. *Spoilers for Coco if you haven’t seen it. Oops*
Not one, but three prominent Mexicans singing a beautiful song in English and Spanish complete with a full mariachi band and choreography lit up the little Mexican boy inside me. He was shocked to see his culture represented on the largest stage in Hollywood. I don’t know if the theatre had the largest stage, but I’m talking about The Oscars. Primetime awards for the best of the best. Home to a committee made by and for old, white, men.
That is changing, maybe started by Moonlight’s win last year. This was the year of representation at the Oscars. Ladybird had a female writer and director, Greta Gerwig. Mudbound had a historic moment as a woman was nominated for Best Cinematography. Get Out was nominated for best Picture and while it didn’t take that home, Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay. Call Me By Your Name won Best Adapted Screenplay, being a story about gay love. A Fantastic Woman, a Chilean film starring the first transgender Oscar presenter Daniela Vega, won Best Foreign Language Film.
Insane. It shouldn’t be, but it is. In a Hollywood plagued with creeps, racists, and sexists, this year proved that the world is changing. The good are getting what they deserve. By the way, Taraji P. Henson used almost those same words to Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet on national live television to his face. If you didn’t understand why that was so awkward, it’s because he has been one of those accused in the Hollywood witchunts. Basically, you get what you put out into the world.
The way I pitched this year’s Oscars to my grandma, a traditional Mexican woman, was the inclusion of so many Latinos. Eiza González and Eugenio Derbez were presenters along with Gina Rodriguez, Rita Moreno, the afore mentioned Oscar Isaac and Daniela Vega, Lin Manuel Miranda, Salma Hayek, and Lupita Nyong’o. Alejandro González Iñárritu won a Special Achievement award for his film Flesh and Sand. He, Alfonso Cuarón, and Del Toro are the Three Amigos of Hollywood. Now all three of them have Oscars. I think I heard “Viva Mexico” 3 times during the ceremony. It gave me hope. Not just Latinos, but all marginalized groups are being given the opportunities and respect to demonstrate our talents.
After Frances McDormand’s speech, production companies are utilizing the inclusion rider clause, which adds the assurance of gender and racial equality among cast and crew. We need more representation on both sides of the camera. Look at Wonder Woman and Black Panther. Women and people of color can make amazing films. My grandparents came to this country in the 70’s. When we watched Coco, she said, “And people watched this. Not just Mexicans?” I told her how successful it was and all the great things that were happening in Hollywood by showing her how many successful female comedians there are. She replied, “But I thought they hated us? Why do they hate us and still like our art?” That I couldn’t answer, because I don’t know the true answer. All I know is that a new generation of creative people has bloomed and we are not going to allow the same roadblocks that hindered our predecessors to obstruct young talent anymore.
The Best GIF of the night goes to…Jennifer Garner realizing something!