Hey there Oscar watchers — are you still mad this morning? Because I know a number of my friends (including some Carty Free masthead members) are livid about Green Book taking Best Picture in a host-free Oscars ceremony last night.
Since the Oscars are a cultural touchstone for much of America (and beyond) it makes sense that the morning after the award ceremony we rank the Tottenham Hotspur players to them after their embarrassing 2-1 loss to Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday. Just to limit the scope a bit, we’re restricting this to Best Picture winners in the last 20 years.
I expect, this being a movies theme, that there will be a lot of spirited discussion in the comments. Just the thing to distract everyone from a really stupid Spurs loss!
5 stars: Moonlight (2017)
A definition of beauty in filmmaking, the 2016 film groups outstanding acting, impeccable cinematography, and an overall approach that subtly shows and doesn’t tell a story mostly untold before for such an audience.
Alas, no Spurs players were as good as Moonlight.
4 stars: No Country for Old Men (2007)
Amazing cinematography, excellently tense action sequences, an eminently quotable script and an incredible performance from Javier Bardem. A picture worthy of Best Picture.
Harry Kane: Welcome back, H. Any doubts we had about Kane being half-fit after returning early from an ankle injury should be dispelled after that match. Yes, he looked a little RUSTY, but he was a far cry from the player we saw last spring limp around the pitch. Had a goal and four shots against a bunkered defense, including a curling beauty from distance. He’s fine, and will get better.
3 stars: The Departed (2006)
A well made adaptation of the Cantonese Infernal Affairs. You get some good action, good suspense, and lots of Boston accents. A fun time at the movies that finally gave Scorcese an Oscar. Plus in case you missed the point the shot of the rat at the end helps explain the movie. It is a perfect three-star because while it’s a good film, it’s probably not Best Picture-worthy.
Danny Rose: Not a perfect performance by any means, but Danny wasn’t as bad as many thought. His quick thinking led to the throw-in over Burnley’s defense and Kane’s goal. Crossing wasn’t great, had a few blocked shots, but got forward well enough.
Janby Alderweirtonghen: Both of them made a couple of mistakes over the course of the match, but they were primarily responsible for Burnley not generating a whole lot of offense during the match.
Christian Eriksen: There aren’t many Tottenham players who can pick a defensive lock. Christian is one, but he had an off match and nobody else really rose to the occasion.
Harry Winks: Winksy is not the kind of midfielder you need to unlock a packed defense, but it’s notable that Burnley’s best spell of attacking came after he was subbed off. 93% pass percentage again, though not many of them were especially progressive.
Hugo Lloris: Not at fault for either of Burnley’s goals and made a couple of important stops, but his distribution was a little meh.
2.5 stars: The King’s Speech (2010)
Set against the backdrop of World War II, The King’s Speech features Colin Firth as the stammering English King George VI. It is easy film to like and enjoy, but complicated by middlebrow acting and storytelling, and a certain whitewashing of the horror of the Nazis. It is the perfectly neutral axis around which the modern Oscars turn.
Juan Foyth: Burnley’s attackers targeted him the entire match (which is obvious in retrospect since he started alongside Toby and Jan). Had some fun moments of skill with the ball and was encouraged to push up but the effort was spoiled by defensive mistakes. Subbed off in the 2nd half.
Fernando Llorente: Did little in his half-hour substitute spell. I wonder if he might have been more effective in this match if he had started alongside Kane.
Son Heung-Min: Not a game that played to Sonny’s strengths — he thrives in open space and Burnley gave him little to work with. Ineffective and anonymous but did have three key passes.
2 stars: Green Book (2019)
Appropriating both the title of The Negro Motorist Green Book and the life of acclaimed composer Don Shirley, the film warps these icons of the black community in service of a story about a racist on a noble journey to learn to be less racist. It’s a sloppy (but well-told) mess that the New York Times calls “a road trip through a land of racial cliches.” It’s a film that is enjoyable on its surface but that steadfastly refuses to engage with the problems of our time to console (white) people that we can solve racism with the friends we met along the way.
Moussa Sissoko: Another player who has carved out a role in Spurs’ offense, but this was a match that needed technical proficiency and not brute strength. Poch should’ve gone with another midfield option.
Serge Aurier: Was just a sloppy mess with the ball and going forward for most of the match. Trippier would’ve been a better option against Burnley, and I’m surprised we didn’t see him.
1 star: Crash (2004)
It’s been 15 years, and people still can’t figure out how this movie was even nominated for Best Picture, much less how it won it over Brokeback Mountain. Ostensibly dealing with the intersection of race, class, gender, and family, it is an absolute mess of a film that doesn’t do justice to any of those themes. It’s bad.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Crash.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating:
Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela