I wanted “Top Gun” or “All Quiet” to win the Oscar for Best Picture; Here’s why – Breaking Baz – Deadline

There’s always a reckoning. Must be. One studio executive tells me that next awards season they’re going to recalibrate the way they pitch to voters, “because there’s a bunch of movies that people didn’t bother to see. Good movies that people didn’t see because the noise attracted them. And the noise won.”

Behold, billions of words have been written about the season that finally ended Sunday at the Dolby Theater with a Best Picture win for A24 Everything everywhere Everything at once.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” won Best Picture

Baz Bamigboye/Deadline

Yes, it was a breakthrough in terms of diversity, and I’m not going to deny that I was moved by Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis’ wins, even though I’m not the biggest fan of the movie myself. It didn’t warm me to the core of my being.

I didn’t feel it in my bones, as Richard Burton once told me about his abiding love for Elizabeth Taylor.

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

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

Dolby’s victory was the result of a brilliantly, surgically executed campaign by A24.

I can stand back and admire it.

At the Vanity Fair Oscar party, someone guessed it Everything everywhere Everything at once winning the top prize was something of a compromise between Top Gun: Maverick and Tonr. You wanted the popular one to win,” I was told. Everything everywhere Everything at once earned over $100 million, so what more do you want? Shut up and stop the stomach ache.

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I wanted a big popular movie to win. I wanted a giant movie that people sitting at home on their couches had seen win.

When I write, I control myself not to write Whale. I have those yellow post-it notes on my hotel desk that say: Do not mention The Whale. It won’t be pretty. So I won’t mention Whale because why ruin someone’s day.

Okay. I wanted to Top Gun: Maverick win. Okay, I’ve said it. If not, then Quiet on the western front, although I got the satisfaction of winning Best International Film from it. Every time I watch Edward Berger’s film, I think of the sons and daughters who are not coming home from wars, and I thank God that my own son is not 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 is this guy smoking, I hear you mutter. I have this soft spot for it. Sue me.

Note that I’m a fan of the other nominees’ photos, but I liked and loved them Top Gun: Maverick more. I have little to no connection with Paramount Pictures, which saddens me, but I got it Top Gun: Maverick in my blood. I saw it on the mammoth Imax screen in London not once or twice, but many times. It amused me. I saw it in Cannes too.

What if the busy Mr. Tom Cruise had only done a handful of well-targeted interviews – on TV, because he doesn’t care about print or digital, as I understand it – then maybe the film could have garnered a couple more nominations; perhaps important to Joseph Kosinski in the Directing category.

Heaven knows, Mr. Tom Cruise might have won himself the award for Best Actor!

You can go crazy with all this: what if stuff. But think about it. Just think of a real world storm Top Gun: Maverick had taken home the best picture.

People who pay to go to the movies would have noticed.

The Academy’s message would have been: Yes, we have listened. We’ve been so wrapped up in our own little bubble that we’ve forgotten that movies are for you, the people who pay to go to theaters for the collective experience. But we’ve listened and voted for the year’s biggest gore at the box office to win the Best Picture Oscar. We heard you!

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

He didn’t pay much attention because what I said was noise to him. Although I liked it, he chatted with Michelle Yeoh and congratulated her on the Oscar.

Bob Iger and Michelle Yeoh at the Governors Ball

Baz Bamigboye/Deadline

I was at the 60th annual ICG Publicists Awards on Friday Top Gun: Maverick earned the film’s top prize.

Sara Hull from Walt Disney Studios was named publicist of the year. I was interested in what Hull had to say about his mother taking him to the 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 whole Oscar show wasn’t beamed into homes. I had to scratch around and see the odd clip here and there in the movie program. I would look at all these big names, the giants. I mean huge stars like Newman and Redford and Streisand and Hepburn (rare) and Poitier and Hackman and Nicholson and Dunaway and Brando and so on.

Note that I have not written under their Christian names. There’s no need. You know exactly who I mean.

I read about them in movies and newspapers. News of them was then as rare as hen’s teeth. They weren’t as readily available as they are now with Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and so on.

Brie Larson was right to challenge me when I asked Idris Elba if I could take his picture at the Chanel/Charles Finch dinner at the Polo Lounge. “No, you don’t need it. Ask yourself why you need it, he argued.

I was a little indignant, but Larson was right.

There is no mystique left.

I know what the stars eat for breakfast. I know when they burp because they tell us. Not all, but enough.

By the way, don’t assume that I only love big studio movies. Not so. Not true. I love all kinds of movies character Thu Women talk. My only requirement is that I connect. That I feel them in my bones. That I can love them.

Phew. I got through this without writing Whale.

As for the Oscars: do better next year and remember the people watching at home and stop patronizing them.


I posted a bunch of pictures on my social media feeds on Sunday. The most popular was one Aftersun Paul Mescal arriving at Dolby.

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

Paul Mescal, coachman

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 a bar during a commercial break at an awards show.

“Well that’s a shame I was trying to be Humphrey Bogart,” he laughed.


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