For the past several months, the entirety of the entertainment industry has been lost in the heat of awards season. Beginning with the usual deluge of constant awards contender releases in the latter months of 2016, the beginning of the year has been crowded with a number of high-profile awards shows, like the Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, and more. But tonight, awards season officially comes to an end with ABC's broadcast of the 89th Annual Academy Awards, where the best and most impressive filmmakers, actors, and movies of 2016 are honored and celebrated throughout the night.
Arguably the most important night in Hollywood every year, the talking points leaving the ceremony usually revolve around how well-received or funny the host's monologue is (Jimmy Kimmel is this year's host), and what the biggest snubs or surprises of the winners end up being. But tonight, viewers may also leave talking about three of the strangest short films they've likely ever seen.
Tonight, during the Oscars broadcast, Walmart has released three short films that they produced with four different, award-winning filmmakers in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Antoine Fuqua, and Marc Forster. Titled "Bananas Town," "The Gift," and "Lost and Found" each of the three short films run for about 1 minute, and are based on different, actual Walmart store receipts. The results are predictably strange and unusual. Check them out for yourself down below:
In terms of unique cross-promotional marketing techniques, this will arguably go down as one of the most unusual, and unexpected in Academy Awards history. Considering just how scattered store receipts can be, though, it was a smart move on Walmart's part to try and create some short, narrative films based on them, and even smarter to get talented filmmakers like these four to make them. Even if the results themselves might not necessarily have the strongest stories in the end.
There's been a lot of talk and controversy surrounding the Oscars, with some viewers saying that the artists themselves ought to avoid talking about politics as much as they have been in previous ceremonies this season, and others saying they want to hear the celebrities get as political as possible. So it's nice to see something like this come out during the night as well, which acts as a healthy reminder of just what it is that the Oscars are celebrating tonight, which is how fun it can be to make art, and how meaning can be found in even the littlest, strangest of things. Like, for instance, a Walmart receipt.
Next: 2017 Oscars Winners List
The Academy Awards aired tonight on ABC at 8:30/7:30c.