“The Oscars need to change their name to the Debbies — as in Debbie Downer. Because judging by this year’s Best Picture nominees, you couldn’t have a worse time at the movies if there was an active shooter in the theater,” fumed Bill Maher Friday.
HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher hit all the week’s hot spots, from the trial of George Floyd’s murder, to immigration, voter repression and embattled Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, but he bookended the show with two major California rants — at the recall of Gov. Gavin Newson and what he called the literally sad state of Hollywood movies.
On Newsom: “We’ve got to stop. We should not be recalling this governor. It’s one of those stupid things California does. It’s going to be a circus. Every unemployed actor in the state is gong to be running. Caitlyn Jenner is running!”
“We have too much democracy in this state,” the host said, including the stream of “propositions” — “Dialysis machines? Why am I voting on this every two years?”
But the longest single bit was in New Rules where Maher dissected the nominees for Best Picture one by one and begged for some happier entertainment. Americans “don’t have to go to church. If they want to feel guilty, dirty and bad they can watch Nomadland. That’s the one where the woman winds up living in her van after her husband dies of cancer.”
In Judas and the Black Messiah, the leader of the Black Panthers is betrayed by an informant and killed by police. In Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan’s character gets revenge on a rapist but then he kills her. The Sound Of Metal shows a musician going deaf, The Father, an octogenarian descending into dementia. Minari “is the story of dirt poor Korean immigrants in Arkansas who put all their food in a barn but then grandma has a stroke and burns it down. Now enjoy the show.”
“The 2021 Oscars, brought to you by razor blades, Kleenex and rope. And please welcome our host, the Sad Emoji.”
“We all had a rough year, a little escapism would have been appreciated,” he said. “What happen to show business? Did they all decide to quit cocaine at the same time? Did they forget that Hollywood is still the number one place to go if you’re an egomaniac looking to fill that hole from your childhood with applause?
“Academy nominations used to say, ‘What great movies we make. Now they say, ‘Look what good people we are,’” he added.
So it’s no wonder Godzilla Vs. Kong killed it at the box office, he said. “Not Godzilla Vs. Kong And His Crippling Battle With Depression.”
“Not that I want to see Godzilla Vs. Kong either. Hollywood used to know how to make a movie that was about something, a movie for adults that was also entertaining and not just depressing. There was already a category for that, Best Documentary, important films about the war in Syria or the plight of the hot dog stand owners.”
See the video above.