And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to...
I predicted it in the end, but by a HAIR!
Ugh. Ok so I gave until-the-11th-hour front-runner The Power of the Dog a B. I thought it was overwrought, tedious, and underbaked. The kind of "oo it smells pretentious so it must be good" movie that wins Oscars and makes most of America roll their eyes. I was not excited to see it win.
And then CODA surged, and I saw that we were presented with an alternative: a movie I gave a B+ to (cuz it's surely watchable, lovely, and moving) but consider to be the sort of schmaltzy, paint-by-numbers, ham-fisted cheese-fest (with a few great performances and a few atrocious ones, made worse by flat & on-the-nose dialogue - namely the mom & teacher) that I'd never in a million years imagine winning Best Picture. (When the movie ended when I saw it back in September, I thought to myself "well THAT's not getting nominated Best Picture.")
Despite enjoying CODA more, between the two I would have voted for Dog, because at least it was trying something interesting and artistic!!! In my mind, a CODA win illuminates the flaws in the preferential ballot system and lowers the bar to a lowest-common-denominator approach to the biggest prize in cinema.
So: I'm bummed. And will forever remain mystified that the beautiful (in every way) Belfast never gained more steam!!!!!!