Alfonso Cuaron has won Best Director and ‘Green Book’ has won Best Picture

Alfonso Cuaron has won Best Director for his labor of love set in 1970s Mexico City, Roma. Roma already won Best Foreign Language film and Best Cinematography. Many people love how immersive, quietly compelling and beautiful it was, and it was the favorite to win Best Picture, which went to Green Book (more on that in a moment). It is an important film historically and in this moment in history. Roma was also praised for its portrayal of domestic workers and for helping raise awareness of their work and roles. Yalitza Aparicio gave an excellent lead performance and her character was based on the woman who raised Cuaron.

I believe Cuaron has been nominated for ten Academy Awards (that’s based on this list at IMDB, although his films have been nominated in so many categories) and he’s won twice before, for Best Picture and Best Director for Gravity in 2014.

In his acceptance speech for Best Director, Cuaron thanked so many people including his actors, Netflix, and his coworkers. He said “I want to thank the academy for recognizing a film centered around an indigenous woman, one of 70 million domestic workers, a character that historically has been relegated to the background in cinema. As artists our job is to look where others don’t, this becomes much more important in times when we are being encouraged to look away.” He also thanked everyone and Mexico in Spanish.

Now I wrote all that before I knew that f’ing Green Book, the white savior movie, won Best Picture. WTF. I hope this is the tail end of peak 2018. This film was controversial for its portrayal of a black man’s story from the perspective of a while savior character. The surviving family members of the man portrayed in the movie, Dr. Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), have criticized the inaccuracies of the film and called it “the depiction of a white man’s version of a Black man’s life.” Lead Viggo Mortensen has also said some really terrible things in his press for the film, but still it got rewarded because people must like this kind of tripe. (Kaiser saw it, I did not and I trust her opinion.)

Director Peter Farrelly wasn’t even nominated in that category. In his acceptance speech for Best Picture he said that Green Book is about “loving each other no matter what our differences.” He then praised Viggo and the other actors as an aside.

This was a weird f’ing night and Julia Roberts sent it off. At least it didn’t run too late?

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photos via Netflix and credit WENN

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57 Responses to “Alfonso Cuaron has won Best Director and ‘Green Book’ has won Best Picture”

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  1. Coco says:

    There were so many excellent and deserving movies this year and they gave it to Green Book. How disappointing and predictable.

    • Deering says:

      Ain’t it the truth.

    • Bella Bella says:

      Not only did effin’ Green Book win — which elicited a very loud NOOOOOOOOO! from me on my couch — but that guy gushed all over Viggo and didn’t mention Mahershala!!!!! GAH! After a night with almost every award presented by a person of color, they finish things off with a giant shit on the whole proceedings. I was furious. So many better options to choose from.

    • Carmen says:

      Green Book is the worst best picture since Crash beat Brokeback Mountain.

    • Millenial says:

      Literally any movie nominated would have been better than Green Book (or Bohemian Rhapsody). Gross.

  2. dogmom says:

    I love how you didn’t even bother to give Green Book a separate post! I could have heard wrong but it seemed like there was an outcry or shock in the theater when Green Book was called.

    • Gabriella says:

      The applause was definitely muted.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      @Dogmom I heard it too! It was like a gasp at first, followed by an awkward clap.

    • Deering says:

      Yes, it did sound like no one could believe it.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Apparently Spike Lee tried to storm out of the theatre when it was announced. Don’t blame him.

    • Nanny to the rescue says:

      Yeah. But it was probably surprise more than anger.

      In all those polls predicting winners from the last few weeks, none (that I’ve seen) had Green Book as best picture. This came completely out of the blue. And not even because of the problematic parts – it’s just that it didn’t seem to be anybody’s favourite film.

  3. minx says:

    Aside from Green Book 🙄 I was pretty happy with most of the winners. They seemed deserving. I actually kind of enjoyed an Oscar show!

  4. Gabriella says:

    Meh. I hope you’re right as to it being runoff from 2018.

  5. Craptastic says:

    The Oscars are dead to me.

  6. Escondista says:

    Hated this oscars.

  7. DiegoInSF says:

    I’m so happy for Cuarón!

  8. Veronica S. says:

    I’m glad the Oscars are continuing their trend of reminding me why I don’t watch them anymore. I am legitimately frustrated on Spike Lee’s behalf for this nonsense.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I wrote an alternate post that I was hoping would be true that Spike Lee won Best Director and BlackKlansman won Best Picture. I read one statistical analysis piece that convinced me it was possible and I wanted it to happen.

      • Veronica S. says:

        It would have felt less insulting if at least Roma had taken Best Picture. Somebody on Tumblr described it as “Spike Lee loses to ‘Driving Ms. Daisy’ AGAIN,” and I’m furious at how accurate that is.

      • Ali says:

        Truly wanted it to happen.

      • Truthiness says:

        You and me both…man, you and me both. I find cold comfort that at least Bryan Singer’s film did not take best pic.

      • Bella Bella says:

        Me, too. I really wanted it to happen. People were so happy for him for the award he won.

    • noway says:

      Spike Lee’s loss was horrible!!!! Spike Lee has done more to change the film industry than pretty much any director. He’s a tenured professor at NYU film school. Plus he makes groundbreaking films. Finally, he gets nominated, and you give it to the guy who really made a netflix film and had already won one. I like Cuaron, and Roma is a very good film, but Blackklansman was also very good, and Spike’s vision is also this film. Sorry, I know the industry has changed a bit, as a lot of people of color and women won tonight. But I don’t understand what the hell is the problem with groundbreaking directors getting dissed by the academy. All the women who have been dissed only 5 have been nominated and only one won Kathryn Bigelow, and she’s had trouble making other films since then too. Penny Marshall, Jane Campion, Ana Duverney all snubbed or nominated then lost, and the black men, John Singleton, Barry Jenkins, Lee Daniels, Ryan Coogler, Spike, Jordan Peele. It even took Spielberg, who’s changed the industry, forever to get an Oscar. Then he got only one, Which is beyond crazy. Maybe it’s the jewish thing with him, who knows. The directors category needs to be changed and don’t know how you do it, as so few women and black men are allowed to make movies. It just kind of stinks.

      • Deering says:

        Lee is obviously on the Academy’s heartbeat props list. (A age-old phenomenon in which black pioneers get almost no recognition until they are safely dead. 🤮)

      • TheOtherSam says:

        Spike is not only a black pioneer in film, he’s also I believe seen as one of the “NY Guys” by the Academy, which we all know is based in LA and steadfastly pro-Hollywood/Left Coast. They will make Spike – like Scorcese before him, like Paul Schrader now (its inconceivable to me that the latter has no award) – wait til near the end of his film-making career to finally give him a Best Director statue.

        People will say but Woody Allen and I know he’s in this same category. But he’s always used many Hollywood players in his work, he integrated himself well with that community and ‘kissed the feet’ so to speak. Scorcese and Lee spent many years working outside of it, using their own people from their area/world and keeping their stories mostly NY-centered. It’s not coincidence imo that Spike is finally getting some due with Blackkklansman, a story set in the south and starring LA-based Hwood actors (JD Washington, Topher G, Driver who’s gained a ton of mainstream cred with the Star Wars role). And it’s long overdue.

      • hogtowngooner says:

        Slight correction; Steven Spielberg has two directing Oscars (Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan)

  9. Eve says:

    Audiences — We need more diversity at the Oscars!

    The Oscars — Nope! We’re still very, very, very, very white.

  10. JoJo says:

    When they were saying the nominated pictures Green Book received the least amount of applause.

  11. JinnyBye says:

    Ugh. Literally any other nominee besides Bohemian Rhapsody would have been a fine winner.

    I honestly think they need to put an age limit on Oscar voters, or make it so once you aren’t actually working in the industry anymore you’re out. Every year there’s at least one ridiculous win that wouldn’t happen if there weren’t scores of older folks who haven’t gone near a film set in decades voting from their nursing homes.

  12. Tai says:

    Can I just say Alfonso is very handsome? Would that make me “shallow”? I’ll see myself out….

  13. TIFFANY says:

    I wonder what film Roma split the vote with for this disaster to happen. My guess is The Favourite. Or Black Panter.

    • Eve says:

      Totally agree with you. Especially about Black Panther.

    • JinnyBye says:

      Definitely The Favorite and Blackkklansman. I expected that to happen, because those three pretty much appeal to the same voters and none of them was the out and out front runner.

      I was really hoping Black Panther or even A Star Is Born would be the one to rise up and nab all the lazy ‘I didn’t bother to watch half the films but this one seemed popular’ votes, but a Green Book or Bohemian Rhapsody win started to seem inevitable a few weeks ago.

  14. broodytrudy says:

    What the hell was that???

  15. Faye G says:

    What the hell, literally any movie should have won over Green Book. I’m so mad. The Academy is full of old white men with irrelevant viewpoints. 😡 This is why their ratings have been tanking in recent years.

    I loved Roma, it was so beautiful and I’m super happy Cuarón won. However I do feel bad for Spike Lee, I wanted to see him win an Oscar so bad!

    • Lightpurple says:

      Spike did win an Oscar. He won for screenplay. His Knicks broke their losing streak and Streisand announced his film. Spike was having a great night.

  16. Adr1s says:

    Hey CB just a little correction.

    Yalitza didn’t play Marina. Yalitza plays Cleo. Marina de Tavira is the other actress who plays Sofía, the mom of the kids

  17. Alfiesmom says:

    Bradley Cooper was ROBBED!

  18. noway says:

    After I saw Roma won for Best Foreign Language picture, I thought they may lose the Best Picture category. I was hoping Blackklansman, but I thought Spike would win for director and probably lose the picture. Wrong on that count and Glenn Close, which I felt bad for, cause she really is amazing. Then it just became a crap shoot, and really any of the films could have won. Honestly, Vice and Star is Born had a ton of nominations, and they got almost completely shut out. Kind of sad for a Star is Born. Vice was interesting, but I got how people wouldn’t vote for it. The best film to me wasn’t even nominated, If Beale Street Could Talk.

  19. Deering says:

    Gah, Green Book?!?!! If Best Picture Oscars are movies the Academy want to encourage, this is a real step backwards for it. 🤮

  20. Alexis says:

    I was hoping Spike Lee would win Director and Roma would win best picture.

    I don’t mind Cuaron winning Director, but I am shocked and embarrassed that I actually watched the kind of program that would award Green Book over literally any of the other nominated films. (And I don’t even like Vice, BR or ASIB.)

  21. MA says:

    It’s 2019 and a movie like Green Book can still win Best Picture. I know it’s just pop culture but man, that’s depressing.

    Can’t imagine what it’s like for Don Shirley’s family, to have his legacy and story so perverted and disrespected. To have a racist white man control and profit from his life like that is just a manifestation of white supremacy updated to be palatable to modern day audiences.

  22. Ennie says:

    edit: domeone already adressed the name confusion thingy. Thanks for the article.

  23. BPM says:

    Kaiser was the first person I thought of when I heard Green Book won. With the giant boost in audience numbers the Oscar will bring you can bet there’s going to be fresh debate about it.