Beyond The Slap
A look at the Oscar winners
By Q. James de Laat
Publisher's note: Well, that was certainly an interesting Academy Awards show.
We've run articles on the Oscars before with N3 Contributor Charles Chandler riffing in years past on some of the movies nominated, Of course this was before he added avian adventures to his angling antics severely reducing his time for cinematic critique.
So this year prior to the event, and the slap heard around the world, I asked my grandson who is currently pursuing a major in film studies, when he’s not doing the other college things like spending spring break in Florida, and attending 'social gatherings' to give me his view on the Oscar winners.
Here is his take on who won the awards and, perhaps, who should have won.
Best Picture: Coda
Real Best Picture: Coda
Taking the Oscars by storm this year, CODA redefined what it meant to make a film. The heartwarming tale of a girl and her love of music propelling herself into a plethora of harmonics. The cast is a delightful mix of familiar faces and fresh talent. The film deserves every last award that it received. It is a common enough story about a kid wanting more out of life than what their parents can provide. A story-type that has been replicated since the beginning of film. Though what separates it from the common story is the film’s attitude toward itself. It becomes a unique picture of disability, uniqueness, and talent. Many people were surprised when CODA won best picture over Power of the Dog, but I believe that it was much more of an artistic film. Allowing for the creativity of Sian Heder to blossom through every frame of the movie. It pours every ounce of emotion into a tall glass, filling and overfilling with the sincerity, and innocence that is the Rossi family. Every scene delivers emotional satisfaction and heartbreak, eloquently drawing the audience into every character and line of dialogue, and by the time the audience sees the credits roll it leaves them wanting more, and yet being completely satisfied. There is no doubt in my mind that CODA is the best choice to be the recipient of the Best Picture Award.
Best Actor: Will Smith, King Richard
Real Best Actor: Andrew Garfield Tick, Tick Boom
Even after the debacle that occurred at the Oscars, the Academy gave Will Smith the award for Best Actor. Though many people believed he was a shoo-in for the award, I believe that the award should have gone to Andrew Garfield. His performance was nothing short of perfection. It highlighted the idea of a creator, and the truest form of acting. His performance brought Jonathon Larson back to life. He completely disappeared into the character, becoming Jonathan Larson completely. He invested every last ounce of ability that he had into perfecting the performance, bringing even the minute mannerisms of Larson to the screen. The vulnerability he gave tied with the obsessive nature of a creator makes every frame completely compelling. Andrew Garfield deserved to win the Oscar for his raw and transforming performance of Jonathan Larson.
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Real Best Actress: Jessica Chastain The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Jessica Chastain has been a household name since her film The Help. In her film The Eyes of Tammy Faye she transforms into Tammy Faye. Acting alongside another prominent actor with Andrew Garfield, she truly becomes Tammy Faye. She gives a performance that cultivates the emotional and faith-driven life of Tammy Faye. She gives responses and mannerisms that perfectly capture the essence of Tammy Faye’s televangelist empire. With every last second detailing the rise, corruption, and eventual fall of her fame, there was no doubt that Jessica Chastain deserves this award more than anyone this year.
Best Director: Jane Campion Power of the Dog
Real Best Director: Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Though the Power of the Dog is a powerful film, Kenneth Branagh blows it away with his artistic semi-biographical film about his childhood. It was a beautiful film about family, and the trials of war. It documents the family in the Northern Ireland capital, as they deal with the outside world. The film is reminiscent of movies from the golden age of cinema. The story moves quickly and gives you a vulnerable look at hope and bleakness connected through the mind of a child. Kenneth Branagh has an artistic touch that highlights his sense of detail to every specific point. Even from his past work with films like Murder on the Orient Express, Othello, and Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein the detail was unprecedented. This film was no exception. It was an eloquent film that was truly a piece of art. Kenneth Branagh was truly putting everything he had into Belfast giving us one of the best movies of all time.
4/2/2022 09:17:26 am
This was a great read. I didn't watch the Oscars and now all I'm hearing about is "the slap". I really appreciated how well written these reviews were and feel like I have a better idea which movies may actually interest me. I'm also thinking someone's grandson may be competition someday!
4/2/2022 11:32:15 am
Great writing Q! I wholeheartedly agree with your Jessica Chastain review. Great film and she was superb. I would have liked to read your take on “The Slap!”
S. G. McNeil II
4/3/2022 04:01:35 pm
Good delve into the story structures for best picture and best director- love the insight and the writing style has wonderful voice.
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