‘Green Book’ Won Best Picture At The 2019 Oscars & It’s An Extremely Divisive Choice
After months of Oscar campaigning and many different award show wins and loses, Green Book won Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars, officially taking home the golden statue and closing out the show. Green Book beat out BlackKklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Roma, Black Panther, A Star Is Born, and Vice in the category. It was a shocking finale to the entire Best Picture race.
Yes, Green Book did win Best Picture — Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, but that was outside of the dramatic race, which Bohemian Rhapsody won. And, yes, the team behind Green Book also took home the Oscars for Best Supporting Actor thanks to the great Mahershala Ali and best Original Screenplay, but still the Best Picture win was a surprise. But, Best Picture winners are almost always also nominated for Best Director, a category for which Green Book's Peter Farrelly was not nominated. Needless to say, it was not the movie pundits thought would go home with the Best Picture Oscar, and Twitter is not pleased with the twist.
In fact, one look at the reaction online and it's fair to say that Green Book's shocking upset at the Oscars could go down in history as one of the most divisive Best Picture wins — comparisons to 2006's Best Picture Crash have already begun.
In fact, the flashbacks to Crash's surprising Best Picture win in 2006 are so real, that many on Twitter are ready to call Green Book the spiritual sequel to the 2005 film.
Others are already calling Green Book the worst film to ever win Best Picture, as Chris Evangelista wrote, taking the crown from Crash. The LA Times' Justin Chang agreed, writing, "Green Book is the worst best picture Oscar winner since Crash, and I don't make that comparison lightly."
Prior to the actual awarding of the 2019 Oscars, Rolling Stone's Tim Grierson wrote a piece asking "What does it mean if Green Book wins Best Picture?" In the piece, Grierson accurately noted that part of the reason the film has received such huge awards show backlash is because it is another movie made by white men, and through a white male lead's story, about racial injustice. An article for The New York Times by Wesley Morris called out this discrepancy, asking this question in the headline: "Why do the Oscars Keep Falling for Racial Reconciliation Fantasies?"
The fact that Green Book is a story about race relations told through a white man's perspective is not the only aspect of the film that garnered backlash. The real Dr. Donald Shirley's (the real man played by Ali in the film) family members' public grievances with the accuracy of the film have also led to many questions about whether the true story was whitewashed for the film.
People at home weren't the only ones upset. AP reporter Andrew Dalton tweeted that Spike Lee, who won his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and whose film was also up for Best Picture, was "visibly angry" when Green Book won the award and that he tried to walk out. Deadline added in their report that when Lee returned to his seat, he had his back facing the stage for the remainder of Green Book's speech.
Green Book may have won Best Picture, but just because it has the Academy Award doesn't mean it'll live on in history as one of the best films. If the Twitter reaction is anything to go by, it might not be remembered much at all.