Binge Or Cringe: Oscars 2022 Edition

Which movies should win Academy Awards? Here are the films I loved, skipped … and fell asleep while watching.

by Jamie Joffe, culture editor

I’m not a huge fan of the Oscars. They can be long and boring. Also, I really miss Joan Rivers judging people on the red carpet. Since the pandemic, the Oscars have only declined. Even last year’s infamous slap failed to revive this snooze fest. 

Most surprising is that every year when Oscar season rolls around, I’m embarrassed to admit that I have never even seen or heard of half the films. Since it is obviously my job to know about these things, I figured it was time to do some research before the big night.

The fact is that I am about as deep as a puddle. Half of the film plots sounded more confusing than quantum physics. Luckily, I had taken my Adderall and could focus on the task at hand.

So in the interest of saving you time and money, here are my must-watch movies along with those that will leave you annoyed because you’ll never get those two hours back.

I started with the franchise movies – which are rarely Oscar nominees. In fact, there are only seven sequels that have ever been nominated for best picture. “Top Gun: Maverick” is one of them. It earned six nominations. Despite popular opinion, I thought it was cheesy. The only bonus was John Hamm’s appearance as Vice Admiral Cyclone.  But even that couldn’t save this one. As an aside, has anyone noticed that Tom Cruise has not aged?

Next up: James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water”. I fell asleep during the first Avatar. Guess what? I fell asleep during the second “Avatar,” too.   Critics have been adamant that audiences should watch “The Way of Water” on the largest screen possible so they can appreciate the incredible visuals and sound. I’m wondering if I would have stayed awake if I hadn’t watched on my 32 inch TV.  Neither “Top Gun” nor “Avatar” managed a directing nomination, but the large studios can be comforted with the billions of dollars they made from streaming and at box offices.

I’ve been a huge fan of Steven Spielberg since ET came home. I have always found his movies enjoyable and “Meet The Fabelmans” was no exception. “The Fabelmans” is a semi-autobiographical love letter written by the iconic Spielberg. Warm and engaging, it also leaves you wondering what parts of the movie are facts and what is fiction.

Despite the buzz, I was hesitant to start “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The film, described as an absurdist, multiverse, sci-fi, family drama was way out of my comfort zone.  It’s too hard to explain the plot, but I can’t say enough great things about this film, though yes, it is sometimes confusing. 

“Elvis.” I’m more of a  Frank Sinatra kinda girl myself  but there is no denying the impact Elvis had on American music while living the rock-n-roll lifestyle. 

The last holdout was the Oscar contender “All Quiet on the Western Front,” a film about World War I. I had already read the cliff notes in high school so what was the point?

Despite some of the cinematic masterpieces that were released in 2022, there wasn’t much love given to female filmmakers. Not one was nominated for Best Director. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” received five nominations, as well as a  supporting-actress nomination for Angela Bassett, but it was shut out of the race for best picture. There was also no love for Viola Davis in “The Woman King.”

Also overlooked was the extraordinary “She Said” which tells the true story of New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor as they investigated and brought to light the Harvey Weinstein scandal. This investigation also helped to launch the #MeToo movement. The film surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly, depending on who you ask) was totally ignored by the Academy.

“The Menu” was also snubbed. A dark comedy starring Ralph Fiennes as a vengeful chef who plans an exclusive and lethal dining experience for a cast of characters, the film includes performances from Hong Chau, Judith Light and John Leguzamio.

Sadly, it was the end of the weekend and the Sunday scaries were beginning to creep in. I’ve eaten way too many SunChips and there is a large dent on my sectional. In addition, my Adderall has worn off so  I was unable to watch the other nominees: “Women Talking,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Tar,” or “Triangle of Sadness.”

But, I did watch “90 Day Fiancé.” I guess old habits die hard.

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