Well that escalated quickly! On one hand we have our first LGBT Best Picture winner and another win for best screenplay for an LGBT themed film, plus we have another win for an African American film (the second behind 12 Years A Slave) and eventually a whole stage of creative queer people of colour accepting awards.
But boy oh boy did it feel pretty awful getting to that stage...in the Academy's biggest ever fuck up when it should've been their biggest (and our biggest) triumph. There was a lot of hate and backlash for La La Land in the end and I feel it probably wasn't deserved...films are films and great films are great films but this is the Academy Awards and it's a competition so the backlash was for the shoe-in that a retro styled, painfully white picture was going to beat this small, beloved queer black modern film from a brilliant new director and writer and cast who took a punt on a film that is about masculinity, has a hand job on a beach and a sweet conversation in a cafe as their big scenes and presented them in a poetic, dreamlike state that really pushed what an independent film like this can look like, can do and can make their audience feel.
And the Oscar was handed to Moonlight like a dog's dinner. It wasn't on purpose but it didn't feel surprising. It should've been a coronation and a message sent out by the Academy that these sort of films can win and should win and should be made...but they flubbed it.
But let's party and press forward because yeah we love a fuck up and a gasp moment but right now an LGBT black, working class film is not only on the list of great films of all time who won Best Picture like Gone With The Wind, Laurence of Arabia, Schindler's List and The Lord of The Rings but it is, because some white guy was too busy taking photos of Emma Stone to hand Warren Beatty the right envelope (finally Mommie Dearest is no longer the most embarrassing thing Faye Dunaway has been involved in!) Moonlight is now the most famous film in the world and perhaps it's important that we have a visual representation of the baton being handed from the whitest straightest guys alive to the new wave of black, gay, everything film makers and this image has been beamed around the globe. Film is visual and maybe it's time we see more white straight guys graciously bowing their heads and handing over their awards to the other guys who don't get the easy chances, who are even more talented than you and who are ready to hold that beacon high to inspire others like them and to level the playing field so all the best talents are able to work alongside each other to make each other's work better and to make the race to the top more exciting and challenging for everyone.
Until next year, all my love
Adele Daseem xx