The most important thing to remember about the Oscars is that they don’t really matter. Some people consider them to be important, fine, and if you’re asking me if I would prefer having an Academy Award to not having one, well, sure. That would be fun. (I would buckle the trophy into the passenger seat of my car and make my friends sit in the back.) But the whole thing is mostly silly, a perverted attempted to make an objective declaration about a subjective form. Who cares, really? Not me. Or, at least, not me until this morning, when the 2019 nominations were announced. Now I’m mad. These bastards didn’t nominate Paddington 2 for an Oscar.
Did… did they even see Paddington 2? I have to assume they didn’t. It was beautiful, both visually and emotionally. It had drama and action and it was sad and sweet and funny. It was everything you could possibly want in a movie. If they had seen it, surely, they would have given it a nomination. Because otherwise, that means that these bastards watched the story of a sweet young bear going to great lengths — getting framed for robbery, escaping from prison, almost drowning in a train car — to get a pop-up book of London for his beloved, widowed Aunt Lucy, and they responded with a stoic, unfeeling “feh” and moved along with their day. It’s madness.
And, to be clear, I’m not talking about the Best Animated Feature category, even though Paddington 2 was not nominated in there, either. That omission is such a travesty — such a hilarious impossibility — that all I can do is sit here and laugh about it. No, I’m talking about the big one. The granddaddy of the awards. Folks, these bastards did not nominate Paddington 2 for Best Picture.
Look at the films that made the cut:
Roma? Oh, a well-to-do family comes to love a lower-class outsider they invited into their home and — after a water-based near-tragedy and an emotional hug near at the end — all of them eventually realize that blood ties aren’t the only thing that defines what “family” truly means? Where have I seen that before? Hmmm.
Green Book? Did the book in question contain beautifully rendered pop-up art that depicted the sights and famous attractions of London and also a secret code that led to a massive fortune in literal gold treasure? Pass.
Black Panther? I will admit here that Paddington 2’s only notable flaw is that is did not contain a herd of war rhinos that are summoned into battle with a massive horn, but Black Panther didn’t feature a single montage of people making marmalade sandwiches, so let’s call this a wash.
BlacKkKlansman? To my knowledge, did not feature a villain who was a bitter actor with a mastery of disguises and magic who may or may not have been plagued by voices in his head and was willing to go so far as to kill an entire family on a speeding train to acquire treasure. Admittedly, I have yet to see BlacKkKlansman. Apologies if I’m off-base here.
Bohemian Rhapsody? More like No-hemian Rhapsody.
A Star is Born? Imagine this movie, exactly the same, shot for shot and line for line, but replace Lady Gaga with Paddington Bear. Really take a few minutes to think about it. I’ll be here when you’re done.
Vice? Well, some people seem to think it’s a comedy, and yet not a single thing that happens in its entire running time is funnier than the window washing sequence in Paddington 2. Come on.
The Favourite? Oh, I heard this had a little dance sequence. Did the dance sequence feature Hugh Grant leading a gang of prison toughs in a delightful showtune that ran over the end credits of the movie? I think not.
Not only did these bastards not nominate Paddington 2 for Best Picture, these bastards also did not nominate Hugh Grant for Best Supporting Actor. I’m flabbergasted. I’m flabbergasted and livid. I’m flividgasted. Phoenix Buchanan was the year’s best villain not named Killmonger, and Grant’s performance was absolutely delicious. When was the last time you saw someone have that much fun being that purely evil? He was downright giddy about it, using the opportunity to turn his trademark charm about 30 degrees to the left to make it something totally different. Suddenly that mischievous twinkle in his eye was menacing. Suddenly that smile masked bad intentions. And these motherfu-… these bastards just brushed him aside like he didn’t do any of it. (Some of the rhetoric in this piece is jazzed-up for effect — yes, fine, Roma was beautiful and deserving — but I am shockingly serious about this paragraph.)
The only solution I can see in all of this is to put Paddington on the committee for next year’s awards. It won’t correct the injustices of the past (Paddington never would have let Crash win), but it will almost certainly make a difference going forward. I mean, if Paddington can turn around an entire prison and soften the brick-hard heart of a lifelong miscreant like Knuckles the Jailhouse Chef, then I imagine he can work with the bastards responsible for handing out Oscar nominations to deserving films.
One hard stare should do it.