Monday, June 17, 2024

Oscar Slagging 2019: Dirt Thrown Against “Green Book,” Other Films, is Carefully Orchestrated and Not a Coincidence


In the past when something ugly was uncovered about an Oscar movie, people pointed to Harvey Weinstein as the culprit.

But this season, Harvey is really out of the race and the dirt being dug up and thrown around is worse than ever.

In the last 48 hours, “Green Book”– which wasn’t a legit front runner until Sunday’s Golden Globes– has been trashed over and over.

First there was a ridiculous whisper campaign that the movie was somehow racist. Or racist in an old fashioned way. Again, ludicrous.

Then actor Viggo Mortensen used the “N” word to describe the use of the “N” word– not to call anyone the “N” word– and his misspeaking was turned against him like a flame thrower.

Since Sunday, someone poured through the screenwriter’s ancient messages to find something they could call anti-Muslim. Then the director was accused of taking his penis out when he directed comedies.

On top of that, someone dug up the distant relatives of Don Shirley, who suddenly think the film is inaccurate. Could it be they’re angry they weren’t consulted or paid for the film? Someone ginned them up.

All of this is orchestrated very carefully. Do you really think it appears by accident? No, someone has gone to a lot of trouble to try and kill off “Green Book.”

The same thing happened last summer to “First Man.” A front runner when it opened to rapturous reviews in Venice, Damien Chazelle’s film was suddenly shouted down for not being patriotic. Whoever came up with that item about the American flag scene not being re-enacted was an evil genius. They destroyed a wonderful film.

It was too late to really hurt “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but an effort rose up right after it won the Golden Globe. Even though Bryan Singer was forced out of the production soon after it started, a suggestion was made on Monday that the movie should be punished for his past indiscretions. But “BR” has already made $750 million, and a lot of people love it. Singer’s problems are of course irrelevant.

I’m surprised no one’s come after the portrayal of Queen Anne in “The Favourite,” or found fault with the treatment of alcoholism in “A Star is Born.” Maybe the paella was made wrong in “Roma.”

Once Oscar nominations come out on January 22nd, watch for more “revelations” and reprisals against the front runners. Maybe Glenn Close really killed that bunny in “Fatal Attraction.” Or better yet– Wakanda isn’t even a real place!

As for “Green Book”: it deserves all accolades.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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