I Wanted ‘Top Gun’ Or ‘All Quiet’ To Win Best Picture Oscar; Here’s Why — Breaking Baz – Deadline

I Wanted ‘Top Gun’ Or ‘All Quiet’ To Win Best Picture Oscar; Here’s Why — Breaking Baz – Deadline

There is always a reckoning. There should be. A studio executive told me that next awards season they will calibrate how they screen to voters “because there are a lot of movies that people don’t bother to watch. Great movies that people missed because they got carried away by the noise. And the noise won.”

Look, gazillions of words have been written about the season that finally ended Sunday at the Dolby Theater with a Best Picture win for A24‘s Everything Everywhere Everything at once.

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ won Best Picture

Baz Bamigboye/Deadline

Yes, it’s a breakthrough for diversity and I won’t deny that I’m touched by the wins for Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, although I’m not the biggest fan of the movie itself. It did not warm me to the core of my being.

I never felt it in my bones when Richard Burton once told me of his abiding love for Elizabeth Taylor.

I don’t feel that Everything Everywhere Everything at once is an Oscar-winning film for the ages.

I’ve seen it three times because I want to fully embrace it, but we love what we love, right?

The Dolby win was the result of a brilliant, surgically executed campaign by A24.

I can stand and admire that.

At the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, someone counted that Everything Everywhere Everything at once winning the main prize is a sort of compromise in between Top Gun: Maverick and Tyesr. You wanted to be popular to win,” I said. Everything Everywhere Everything at once make over $100 million so what more could you want? Shut up and stop hurting.

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I want a big popular movie to win. I want a massive motion picture seen by people sitting at home on their couches to win.

As I write, I stop myself from writing The Whale. I have yellow Post-it notes on my hotel desk that say: Do not mention The Whale. It’s not going to be pretty. So I won’t mention it The Whale because why ruin someone’s day.

All right. I like Top Gun: Maverick to win. Okay, I’ve said it. If not like that All Quiet On The Western Front, though I got some satisfaction out of it winning Best International Feature Film. Every time I watch Edward BergerThat movie makes me think of the sons and daughters who don’t come home from the wars that are being waged and I thank God that my own son is not involved in a theater of war.

‘All Quiet On The Western Front’ Edward Berger

Baz Bamigboye/Deadline

i loved Avatar: The Way of Water too. What the hell is smoking, I hear you moan. I have a soft spot for it. sue me

Please know that I am a fan of the other nominated photos but I enjoyed and liked Top Gun: Maverick more. I have little to no connection with Paramount Pictures which hurts me, but I get it Top Gun: Maverick in my blood I saw it on a mammoth Imax screen in London not once or twice but a bunch of times. It entertains the bejesus out of me. I also saw it in Cannes.

What if the busy Mr. Tom Cruise had only done a few carefully targeted interviews – on TV, because he didn’t care about print or digital as I understand it – then maybe the movie could have gotten a few more nominations; perhaps an important one for Joseph Kosinski in the Directing category.

Heaven knows, Mr. might get a Best Actor nod. Tom Cruise for himself!

You can go crazy with all this: what if stuff. But think about it. Just imagine the roar there in the real world if Top Gun: Maverick took home Best Picture.

People paying to see movies would have noticed.

The message from the Academy would be: Yes, we are listening. We’re so wrapped up in our own little bubbles that we forget that movies are for you, the people out there who pay to go to the theaters for a collective experience. But we listened and we voted for the biggest bloody box office hit of the year to win the Oscar for Best Picture. We heard you!

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I introduced myself to Disney’s Bob Iger at the Governors Ball and pleaded for him to push good mainstream popular movies into theaters to bring back audiences.

He didn’t pay much attention because I was making noise for him. Even though I like that he chats with Michelle Yeoh and congratulates her on her Oscar.

Bob Iger and Michelle Yeoh at the Governors Ball

Baz Bamigboye/Deadline

I was at the 60th annual ICG Publicists Awards last Friday Top Gun: Maverick deservedly took the top prize in the film.

Sara Hull was named Publicist of the Year by Walt Disney Studios. I was interested in what Hull had to say about his mother taking him to pictures when he was young and how he looked forward to watching the Oscars on TV.

I’m a bit older than Hull, and I grew up in London at a time when the entire Oscar show wasn’t beamed into our homes. I had to scratch around and find the odd clip here and there at a movie show. I’d watch all these big names, really giants. I mean, big stars like Newman and Redford and Streisand and Hepburn (rare) and Poitier and Hackman and Nicholson and Dunaway and Brando and others.

Note that I did not write in their Christian names. That is unnecessary. You know who I mean.

I read about them in movie magazines and newspapers. News about them back then was as rare as hen’s teeth. They were not as easily accessible as today what with Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and so on.

Brie Larson rightly challenged me when I asked Idris Elba if I could photograph the Chanel/Charles Finch dinner at the Polo Lounge. “No, you don’t need to. Ask yourself why you need it,” he argued.

I was a little annoyed but Larson was right.

No more mystique.

I know what stars have for breakfast. I know when they burp because they tell us. Not all of them, but enough of them.

By the way, please don’t assume that I only like big studio movies. Incapable. False. I like all kinds of movies from Avatar in Woman Talking. All I need is for me to connect. That I feel them in my bones. That I can love them.

Phew. I got through it without writing The Whale

As for the Oscars: Do better next year and remember the people watching at home and stop pandering to them.


I posted a stack of photos on my social media feeds on Sunday. The most popular is one of Aftersun’s Paul Mescal when he arrives at Dolby.

He looked resplendent in a double-breasted white tux with a black bow tie and a red rose on his lapel.

Paul Mescal, the Bogie Man

Baz Bamigboye

One fan commented that he looked like Sean Connery in a Bond movie.

I mentioned this to the actor when I saw him at the bar during the commercial break at the awards.

“Well, it was embarrassing when I was trying to be Humphrey Bogart,” he laughs.