“Forgive me! Forgive me! It’s all my fault Alfonso that your beautiful film didn’t win best picture!”
On this Monday evening, I feel like Salieri in the twilight of his life, knife to his throat, bleeding out, screaming that he killed Mozart!
Here’s my story. (Queue Symphony №25 In G Minor, K. 183, 1st Movement)
A few weeks ago I shared an article with my two best friends (husband and wife). An article by a white dude who said, although he liked “Black Panther,” he in no way felt it was a “best picture” worthy film. He stated some Act 3 issues as the main thrust of his argument.
I shared this article with my friends (who both happen to be black) and said that “I couldn’t disagree with anything this guy was saying.” (That was a slightly hyperbolic claim, as there were indeed some details he shared that did not align with my assessment of the film. But, I digress).
Well, my two BFFs lost their collective shits. And as we are want to do, we got on the phone to debate it out.
Our debates about filmmaking and cinema are legendary. I could literally go for hours on end with the husband. We could start a debate about Star Wars at 10 pm and by 3 am still be going strong (of course, by then, we’ll be onto politics and/or religion).
Well, the three of us went at for about 2 hours. Frustrations were high. The temperature in our rooms rose. The proverbial merry go ‘round went round and round and round.
“Why would that Wakanda tribe all be that committed to Killmonger, even after he burnt their purple crops? AND AFTER they saw T’challa was still alive. It’s a little too convenient.” I would say.
“Killmonger is an amazing villain. One of the best in cinema. What the hell are you talking about?!” They would reply.
“Well, what about the author’s claim in the article about the other films released last year that addressed African-American issues being better films?” I would retort.
“Have you seen those films yet Ron?”
“Well, no not yet.” I’d respond.
“Then shut the f- up dude. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Round and round we’d go. It got to the point where they decided to go back and re-watch “Black Panther.” Maybe there was something they missed.
The next day they Slacked my back and said, “Ron. Dude. You’re an idiot. I’m even more convinced now at the brilliance of ‘Black Panther’.”
They were so moved again by the effect “Black Panther” had on them, they changed their ranking of it. (It was previously their #2 film, but was now their #1).
Now, here’s where “Roma” comes in. There’s no time to go into the ridiculous complexity that makes up Academy voting, but suffice it to say, it’s a complicated mathematical computation taking into account how many first place and second place votes a film gets.
My debate with my friends (one of whom is an Academy member) caused them to change their #1 vote to “Black Panther.” This in turn undoubtedly helped tip the hat for “Green Book” as I’m sure the #1 votes among Academy members were being split among “Roma” and “Black Panther.”
It was the butterfly effect! I just KNOW it was. I frustrated my friends so much, it made them change their vote for “Panther” thereby resulting in “Green Book’ winning the coveted top spot of Sunday night.
LO SIENTO ALFONSO CUARÓN! LO SIENTO! QUE ES MI CULPA!
(Hold up. I just thought of something. I’m pretty sure that by the time we had this debate, Academy votes were already in. Phew! Nevermind. Forget everything I just wrote.)