'Green Book' won Best Picture at the Oscars and some people are furious
Yesterday night, the biggest night in the awards season took place, and as you might expect, there were plenty of spills and thrills, as well as twists and turns, across the evening. There were plenty of subplots, tons of incredibly well-dressed celebrities, but most importantly - plenty of drama.
As you know, there are usually a huge haul of accolades and awards up for grabs at the Oscars, and the 91st Academy Awards were no different. Olivia Colman beat Glenn Close to pick up Best Actress, Kendrick Lamar lost out to Lady Gaga for Best Original Song, they finally gave Spike Lee an Oscar - but the biggest controversy at the Oscars surrounded the winner of the Best Picture category.
While Alfonso Cuarón was the initial favourite with his artistic vision Roma and Queen fever took Bohemian Rhapsody nearly all the way to the finish line, the Best Picture gong went to Green Book, but some people weren't happy with this development at all.
First, there was Spike Lee, who was fresh off his Oscar win for Best Adapted Screenplay after BlacKkKlansman captivated audiences across the world. But when Green Book - which stars Mahershala Ali alongside Viggo Mortensen - was announced as Best Picture, Lee reportedly stormed off.
Deadline reports that as Julia Roberts announced Green Book's victory, Lee was having an intense conversation with Get Out director Jordan Peele, who was behind him. He then stormed out of his seat, allegedly heading to the back of the auditorium to blow off some steam.
He's not the only one to have problems with Green Book. Although the movie was critically acclaimed, some reviewers criticised the film for its handling of race issues, saying that the film goes too far in patting white viewers on the back for how far America has come as a country.
"This movie works against the odds. I didn't want to say I liked this movie. This is the Forrest Gump of race films," quipped Korey Coleman, an African-American film critic on Rotten Tomatoes, while Cate Young, writing for Jezebel, titled her piece on the film: "Green Book Is Another Film About Race for White People."
"But given that the film is co-written by Lip [Tony "Lip" Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen]’s son Nick Vallelonga, it becomes clearer why the film skews in the direction of dismissing Lip’s racism for the feel-good narrative of a deeply-bonded interracial friendship.
"In trying to both tout and preserve his father’s legacy, Vallelonga reveals the intrinsic problem with 'race movies' like these: they are always, always, always about letting white people off the hook for their individual roles in perpetuating institutional harms."
The family of Dr Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali - winning him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor - were also critical of the film's depiction of their relative, releasing a condemnation of the film once it won Best Picture at the Golden Globes back in November.
"As the only living brother of Dr. Donald W. Shirley, I, Maurice E. Shirley, Sr. am compelled to respond to this article... This movie, The Green Book is NOT about MY brother, but about money, white privilege, assumption, and Tony Lip!"
From 1991's Beauty and the Beast to The Shape of Water just last year, the Best Picture winner is usually a point of contention, and in a year of surprise nominations and sleeper hits, it's refreshing to see that this year is no different.