I have now seen seven of the eight movies nominated for the Best Picture of 2018. (I haven’t seen Vice, and I don’t plan to. It’s about Dick Cheney. I’d rather watch a ten-part documentary about tooth decay, narrated by Peewee Herman.) As you may remember, the Oscar went to Green Book. That caused a lot of controversy. Spike Lee, who directed this one, got up and walked to the back of the theater, almost walked right out. Many folks said he was robbed.
Well, he was robbed. This is the best picture of 2018 … or the best of the eight, anyway. I myself preferred Mary Poppins Returns. And the fact remains that, robbed or not, Spike Lee behaved like a major asshole, as I said in my review of Green Book.
But it is clear that this is the film that will be remembered fifty years from now, while Green Book will be just a footnote to film buffs: Won Oscar in 2018. It tells the extremely unlikely but true story of Ron Stallworth, a black man who joined the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The tag lines usually say he “infiltrated” the bastards, but that isn’t really true. I’d say he gamed them, flimflammed them, hornswoggled them. Like the title of one of Lee’s films, he bamboozled them. Obviously he dealt with the stupid morons by telephone, while a white officer pretending to be Stallworth attended the Klaverns. Among those he duped was the asshole-in-chief, the Grand Cyclops himself, David Duke. I doubt the shithead would see this film, but if he did, I hope he steamed and squirmed.
The Klansmen are depicted as just about too dumb to know how to pour piss out of a boot. In the film they manage to set off a bomb, but that never happened. I know Lee had to put some action in the film, but it always bothers me when something is made up to that extent. They say it was “patterned after real KKK bombings.” Okay. Reluctantly.
Spike salts this film with historical footage such as the triumphant Klan riding to the rescue of white womanhood, from that horrid masterpiece, The Birth of a Nation. And at the end he makes quite specific all the things he ironically referred to earlier, foreshadowing horrors that have now come to pass, comparing 1972 to 2017. He shows actual footage of the torch-bearing Nazis at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and we hear them chant “Jews will not replace us!” We see the actual footage of James Alex Fields, Jr plowing his fucking Dodge Challenger into the crowd of anti-Nazi protestors, and it is much more brutal than what was shown on the news. I hadn’t heard that after hitting the people, he put it in reverse and backed over many more. He murdered a woman named Heather Heyer, who was worth fifty million of him, and was sentenced to life plus 419 years. Silly? In my opinion, there are not enough years in the expected lifetime of the Universe to atone for what he did. And when he gets out, he still has to do state time for first degree murder!
And what did the Orange Turd currently soiling the White House have to say about it all? We see him spewing “There were very fine people on both sides.” There are no words. There are just no words to describe the depths this pale imitation of a human being will sink to. Our Fucking President, saying people carrying swastika flags are okay with him! Shit, why should anyone be surprised? That’s his voter base! Trump, James Fields drove the car, but you put the key in the ignition, you despicable motherfucker.