Roma was the best movie of the year, a masterpiece. And it somehow lost Best Picture to Green Book.
Green Book is not close to a good enough movie to be deserving of the Best Picture Oscar.
Roma is a masterpiece of unforgettable moments.
Warren Beaty doing this again would have been better than this year's Oscars.
Roma is not just the best movie of the year, it may be the best movie of the last decade. It shouldn’t matter that it’s on Netflix (allowing millions who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to see it to watch it without going to the theater). It should only matter that it’s an absolute masterpiece from Alfonso Cuaron’s first shot to his last.
But instead, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives us Green Book as its Best Picture winner.
Yes, the Oscars did it again, turning the most important movie awards of all into a joke (no envelope mix-up or Faye Dunaway blurt out necessary).
Green Book is a false feel-good Hallmark Movie of the Week propped up and pretending to be something more. It would be right at home in 1990, when Driving Miss Daisy stole the Best Picture Oscar that Do the Right Thing should have easily won.
Green Book is the type of movie that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would love.
Mahershala Ali is a great actor who’s deserving of a gold statue — just not for Green Book. Ali’s done much better work on True Detective this season than in Green Book.
The family of jazz pianist Don Shirley, whose real story would make an incredible movie, condemns Green Book for making up the friendship between the African-American Shirley and his Italian-American limo driver Tony “Lip” Vallelonga for a movie that turns the white guy into the transformative savior.
“I thought I was courtside at (Madison Square) Garden and the refs made a bad call,” Spike Lee cracked afterwards in his Oscars press conference.
Green Book’s Crime Against Movie Making
Even if there wasn’t a once-in-a-generation stunner like Roma in the field, Green Book as Best Picture is so bad of a call that even Tim Donaghy couldn’t have gotten away with it back in the day.
But with Roma in play, that makes it go from a movie travesty to an outright Oscars robbery.
Cuaron takes you into the world of Mexico City’s domestic workers, the type of world that Hollywood never bothers to venture into. Roma works on so many levels that you can watch it multiple times (which makes having it on Netflix invaluable) and catch some new wonder each time.
There are Russians dolls that are less effectively elaborate. (And no, you absolutely don’t need to watch it in the theater to appreciate it.)
Roma delivers so many scenes that stick with you long after watching it — from the opening shot of water splashing across the screen, later revealed to be the main character Cleo scrubbing the driveway, to the already iconic parking sequence where a cigarette-smoking father painstakingly fits his absurdly big Ford Galaxie car into the narrow confines of the alleyway that serves as the family’s garage; to the Corpus Christi student massacre largely viewed through a furniture store window, to the heart-in-your-chest near drowning scene at the end.
And Cuaron manages to make many of these scenes seem so simple — until you think about them.
Yalitza Aparicio, the woman who never acted before and plays the domestic worker (Cleo) who keeps the family together, should have won the Best Actress Oscar as well. Even if it would have prevented everyone from seeing winner Olivia Colman’s incredibly heartfelt and real speech, arguably the best moment of this entire Academy Awards night (though Spike Lee’s jump into Samuel L. Jackson’s arms was close).
Still, Roma is the movie that will be talked about 30 years from now, just as Do the Right Thing is still regarded as a masterpiece today.
Just how magical is Roma? If you’ve never been to Mexico City and you suddenly don’t have an incredible urge to go after watching this movie, I’m not sure you actually have a pulse.
Green Book doesn’t come anywhere close to Cuaron’s best. There would have been much more justice if Peter Farrelly had won an Oscar for There’s Something About Mary, a much more original and way better movie than Green Book.
If Roma not winning has anything to do with the Netflix backlash advanced by old guard icons such as Steven Spielberg who benefitted from movie making opportunities being limited whether they realized it or not, the voting body should be ashamed of themselves.
Sometimes, the Oscars just get it wrong. And sometimes, the Academy commits an absolute crime against movie making.
Roma losing Best Picture to Green Book is that crime.