Unless you were in Alma-Ata last night, you’ll know about the mixup whereby the Best Picture award was mistakenly given to “La La Land” instead of “Moonlight,” a horribly embarrassing mistake that was rectified immediately, and onstage. I didn’t see it, and I haven’t seen either movie, but I noticed that HuffPo is already claiming this as a victory for “inclusivity,” as if the Oscar voters were deciding on politics rather than quality. Click on the screenshot to go to the article (if you must):
social justice writer editor said this:
Barry Jenkins’ drama about a black latchkey kid grappling with his sexuality in the Miami projects beat expected front-runner “La La Land” for Best Picture on Sunday. That means the Academy picked a small independent movie that tackles homophobia, class structures and patriarchal norms over a musical-romance fantasy about voters’ favorite topic: Hollywood. This is a leap forward for big-screen storytelling that humanizes marginalized voices.
. . . Because “La La Land” romanticizes a dreamy Hollywood that is unfamiliar to most Americans, some critics and commentators felt that it was less worthy than the vital social stories told in “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures.” With popular culture inching toward better representation for minorities and women, and Donald Trump’s administration inching away from it, many saw a “Moonlight” or “Hidden Figures” victory as a referendum against the current political regime.
This actually insults the movie, claiming that it won for its topic rather than its quality. It is the racism of low expectations.
Is it not possible that “Moonlight” was simply a better movie than “La La Land”? (That, at least, is what the critics on Rotten Tomatoes decided by a small margin.) If you’ve seen both movies, weigh in.
Perhaps if Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive, he’d say to Jacobs:
“I have a dream that moviegoers will live in a nation where films will not be judged by the color of their actors, but by the content of their stories.”