Spike Lee, upset after Green Book won Best Picture, tried to leave the Oscars: ‘The refs made a bad call’
|National Post 25 Feb 2019 at 07:03|
According to Variety, the BlacKkKlansman director, 61, was seen waving his arms in disgust, and tried to leave the Dolby Theater when presenter Julia Roberts announced that the controversy-hit film had won.
However, he was stopped at the doors and forced to return to his seat once the speeches had stopped.
“I’m snakebit. Every time someone’s driving somebody, I lose,” he added, in reference to his breakout film Do the Right Thing losing the Oscar for Best Screenplay to Driving Miss Daisy in 1990.
“I thought I was court side at the (Madison Square) Garden and the refs made a bad call,” Lee fired.
Spike Lee was reportedly visibly upset and even tried to leave the Oscars ceremony after Green Book was named Best Picture. FayesVision / WENN.com
He had initially shouted “next question” when asked about his reaction to Green Book’s victory, and quipped, “This is my sixth glass, and you know why,” while holding his champagne flute aloft.
Later, chatting to reporters at the Vanity Fair after-party, Lee said: “Are you British? Let me give you a British answer – it wasn’t my cup of tea.”
According to Variety, Get Out filmmaker and comedian Jordan Peele was among the other stars who didn’t applaud Green Book’s win.
Hollywood’s top award was handed to a film seen as a feel-good throwback by some and ridiculed as an outdated inversion of “Driving Miss Daisy” by others.
The film – based on the true story of celebrated pianist Dr. Don Shirley’s friendship with his driver, Tony Vallelonga – has been extensively criticized for its overly simplistic treatment of racial issues.
Director Peter Farrelly, winner of Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for “Green Book,” backstage during the 91st Annual Academy Awards. MATT PETIT / AFP/Getty Images
Mahershala Ali scooped the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his portrayal of Dr. Shirley. But Dr. Shirley’s nephew, Edwin Shirley III, and brother, Maurice Shirley, have openly criticized the film and called its portrayal of the musician “a symphony of lies”.
In a year where Hollywood could have made history by bestowing best picture on Netflix (“Roma”) or Marvel (“Black Panther”) for the first time, the motion picture academy instead threw its fullest support behind a traditional interracial buddy tale that proved as popular as it was divisive. But Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” weathered criticism that it was retrograde and inauthentic to triumph over more acclaimed films and bigger box-office successes.
It was an unexpected finale to a brisk, hostless ceremony that was awash in historic wins for diversity, including Lee’s first competitive Oscar. More women and more individual black nominees won than ever before.
The Oscars otherwise spread awards around for Ryan Coogler’s superhero sensation “Black Panther,” Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white personal epic “Roma” and the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Cast and crew of ‘Green Book,’ including Linda Cardellini Mahershala Ali, Octavia Spencer, Brian Currie accept the Best Picture award. Kevin Winter / Getty Images
“The whole story is about love,” said Farrelly, a filmmaker best known for broad comedies like “Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary.” ”It’s about loving each other despite the differences and find out the truth about who we are. We’re the same people.“
Lee’s win for best adapted screenplay for his white supremacist drama “BlacKkKlansman,” an award he shared with three co-writers, gave the ceremony its signature moment. The crowd rose in a standing ovation, Lee leapt into the arms of presenter Samuel L. Jackson and even the backstage press room burst into applause.
Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts,etc.) than almost any other Pres!
Lee, whose film includes footage of President Donald Trump following the violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, urged mobilization for the upcoming election.
“Let’s be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love and hate,” said Lee, who was given an honorary Oscar in 2015. “Let’s do the right thing! You knew I had to get that in there.”
One of the biggest surprises of the night was in the best actress category. Olivia Colman won for her Queen Anne in the royal romp “The Favourite,” denying Glenn Close her first Oscar. Close remains the most-nominated living actor never to win, with seven nominations.
“Ooo. It’s genuinely quite stressful,” said a staggered Colman, who later turned to Close to say she was her idol, “And this is not how I wanted it to be.”
The night’s co-lead nominee “Roma” won best director and best cinematography for Cuaron, whose film also notched Mexico’s first foreign language film Oscar. Cuaron and his “Three Amigos” countrymen — Alejandro Inarritu and Guillermo del Toro, who presented Cuaron with best picture — have had a stranglehold on the category, winning five of the last six years.
Cuaron, who becoming the first director to ever win for serving as his own director of photography, referenced an especially international crop of nominees in one of his three acceptance speeches.
“When asked about the New Wave, Claude Chabrol said there are no waves, there is only the ocean,” said Cuaron, referring to the French filmmaker. “The nominees tonight have proven that we are a part of the same ocean.”
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