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Does a Joe Biden Presidency Impact the Best Picture Race?


Despite what one orange-colored sore loser had to say, Joe Biden is officially the 46th President of the United States today. He won the election, defeating Donald Trump, full stop. All of the whining and moaning by the about to be former President, along with cronies like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, not to mention Marjorie Taylor Greene, is for naut. Biden is the Commander in Chief. We have a President Joey (which, as you can imagine pleases me on a number of levels). Obviously, we’ve done our part to help with that course correction here and here at Awards Radar, but now that it’s done, the nation can begin to heal. Plus, we can more rationally take a look on what a Biden Presidency means for the Oscar race.

I had planned on posting this right after the election in November, but we all know the nonsense that ensued. Whether it was Trump claiming fraud, the slow-rolling of the election results being certified, or the hordes of domestic terrorists who refused to acknowledge the clear winner, real life beat back the movies. Hopefully today is a peaceful transfer of power, allowing something as frivolous as this to have a place in our discourse. In years past, it always has, so my hope is that it once again can, with the temperature dialed down a bit.

Joe Biden winning opens up a number of titles to lay claim to Best Picture if voters want to ignore politics as best they can. Remember, right after Trump won, Moonlight pulled the upset over La La Land. Just last year, Parasite, a blistering indictment of the haves and the have nots, made history. The George W. Bush years saw darker wins like No Country for Old Men that would not have likely occurred otherwise. On the other hand, Barack Obama was in the Oval Office while the Academy flocked to movies about movies, like Argo and The Artist. In short, there are more possibilities now that Biden is in charge. Maybe that means nothing and Mank or Nomadland or The Trial of the Chicago 7 win. However, maybe it means at least voters will be thinking about cinema, as opposed to politics.

Warner Bros.

Now, had Biden lost, my hunch was that Oscar would have gone for as angry and raging a work as possible. That would have meant that Da 5 Bloods or Judas and the Black Messiah would have greatly benefitted, as wins would also be seen as protest votes, in a way. That won’t immediately change, as even things like Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Promising Young Woman are benefitting from recent political issues. The former tackles the cruelty of the labyrinth too many women have to navigate to end an unwanted pregnancy. The latter lights a fire in protest to rape culture. Both are sadly all too timely, due in no small part to You Know Who.

Will it matter? That remains to be seen. The Academy could opt to split the difference. If so, that benefits presumed frontrunners like Nomadland and The Trial of the Chicago 7, which is why we see so many predictions citing them as the eventual winner. The only thing we can be sure of is that the country is on a better path. Hopefully, that allows Oscar to do something exciting, as opposed to simply reactionary.

Searchlight Pictures

For those looking for a quick and dirty summary: Joe Biden winning allows Oscar voters to just focus on what they like, as opposed to expressing their opposition to Trump. What will that mean? Well, it’s still pretty early, so I don’t really have a firm clue yet, but it’s going to be interesting finding out. Stick around!

Stay tuned…

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Congratulations Mr. President!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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