Saturday, April 20, 2024

Will Academy Voters Rubber Stamp Spirit Award Winner “Everything Everywhere,” or Be Actually Independent?


Yes, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” won a lot of Spirit Awards today. Around 10,000 people watched the Spirit Awards show on YouTube, which is not a lot.

“EEAAO” won Best Picture, Actress, Supporting Actor, Director, Screenplay. It was not unexpected. It’s definitely the right movie for these awards.

But now what? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is not Film Independent, It’s a Big Deal. Will the members merely rubber stamp the Spirit Awards, or bring something new to the table? That’s the question now as Oscar ballots are due back on Tuesday.

It was true today as I wrote earlier this week that the cast of “EEAAO” is very likeable. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the movie. Michelle Yeoh is gold. Ke Huy Quan is bubbling over with gratitude. The Daniels are clearly innovative directors.

But if you watch “All Quiet on the Western Front,” you see cinema writ large, “the way movies used to be.” “Elvis” is the American story. “The Fabelmans” is a gorgeous memoir from a blockbuster director. “Top Gun Maverick” is the popular choice, for sure.

Meantime, this Spirits Awards show should keep them off TV forever. Poorly written, not funny, often tone deaf and just mean this show headlined: Don’t Watch Us.

Also, it’s like a bad Emmy Awards. So much TV– not indie but fully financed by corporate Hollywood. What are some of these shows and people doing in an Independent showcase? Quita Brunson won for “Abbott Elementary” produced by Warner Bros for Disney. She said it best. She was surprised! The whole TV part is ludicrous.

Also ludicrous are the gender-free categories. All the actors nominated today had genders, and I’ll bet if they were honest they’d say the same thing: you’ve cut their chances in half. It’s absurd.

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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