What a bizarre lineup.
Five true-ish stories spanning centuries and proximity to actual events, a Marvel film, a remake reborn and a Spanish-language Netflix original. You'll need weed just to believe that some of these were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar of 2019.
So, with the ceremony coming up this Sunday, we're here with an assist.
What you'll find in this column are all the Academy Award nominees and a recommended cannabis accompaniment for each—in some cases as a complement to visual splendors both CG and hyperreal, in others as a means to endure the sycophantic award bait.
Recommendation: Shave Ice by High Noon Cultivars
If you somehow haven't yet watched it, the Marvel-ized Afrofuture of Black Panther is now on Netflix. T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is stepping up to the throne as king and resident Black Panther, keeping Wakanda, a high-tech metropolis hidden in a seemingly poor African country, in harmony, as enemies descend for its valuable resources. Per usual, the visual effects are more impressive than the screenplay. Amplify the impact of Michael B. Jordan's overacting with some Shave Ice, a euphoric cross of Sunset Sherbet, OGKB and Fruity Pebble OG. It'll help you settle into the sub-Saharan-meets-Seoul landscape with awe, while making the typically corny Marvel-flick punch lines hit a bit harder.
Recommendation: Cold Brew Coffee Hard Candy by Elbe's Edibles
This essentially true story is based on African-American police officer Ron Stallworth's eponymous autobiography about infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan through phone conversations with David Duke. Elbe's 5 mg cold brew candies make it easy to customize the right high, while the rich, smooth coffee flavor transports you to a 1970s police station, plastic foam cup in hand. Spike Lee's ability to balance engaging storytelling with social commentary while celebrating Black America is at its best here.
Recommendation: Marshmallow Bon-Bons High-CBD 3:2 by Leif Medicinals
The Freddie Mercury biopic shows only a tenuous relationship to the truth of the Queen frontman's legendary life, but it's entertaining regardless. You'll need something to boost the downtime between the vibrant concert performances, though, and I can't think of a better or more decadent edible available on Portland shelves than these 2-to-3 THC-to-CBD dosage bon-bons from Leif''s Junk line. Chocolate-covered vegan marshmallows topped with chocolate-infused salt, each of the 12 treats per box contain 3.6 mg THC and 5.8 mg CBD, so even a rookie can indulge in more than one.
Recommendation: Girl Scout Cookies by Ten Four Farms
Many cannabis enthusiasts count Girl Scout Cookies among their favorite strains, but the agreeable, convivial good vibes the strain tends to produce help balance the very much non-convivial vibes of The Favourite. Olivia Colman plays Queen Anne, a sickly, delusional monarch starved for affection. Rachel Weisz is her childhood friend, the Duchess of Marlborough. The arrival of lady in waiting Abigail Hill, played by Emma Stone, disrupts the precarious balance of the queen and the duchess's relationship, and an exquisite game of vicious wit and social battling ensues. Turns out, a plot based loosely on historical fact is exactly what director Yorgos Lanthimos needed to rein in his wandering, darkly comedic eye, and the whimsical Cookie high complements the fish-eyed shots he sprinkles in throughout. Plus, you won't be too stoned to catch the characters' more subtle backhanded maneuverings.
Recommendation: Future #1 x Voyager 1 Shatter by Willamette Valley Alchemy
Processed from 7 Points Oregon's cult-favorite uber-stony flower, this will make for a dab strong enough to turn this piece of well-meaning but cheesy as hell Oscar bait into something slightly more palatable. A sort of buddy comedy about real-life concert pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his friendship with his Italian-American driver, Tony "Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), the movie has caught flak for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the truth of just how friendly their relationship actually was. At any rate, you'll need the heady, full-bodied effects to roll with the scene in which, after learning Shirley has never eaten fried chicken before, Vallelonga basically shoves it in his mouth. Don't worry about missing anything in your stupor—the digestible lessons of racial harmony are so heavy-handed you'll catch them even if your consciousness is on another planet.
Recommendation: Telenovela Disposable Vape Pen by Quill
What's more surprising than a Netflix original making it onto the list of Best Picture nominees is that it's really more of an artful mood piece than a narrative story. Every frame is its own artful black-and-white portrait depicting the lives of an upper-class household in 1970s Mexico City and their live-in maid, Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio). To dull the edges without distancing you from the masterful world that director Alfonso Cuarón re-creates from memories of his youth, Telenovela's balanced 1-to-1 mix of 28 percent THC and 30 percent CBD brings about a perfectly present calm. You'll be transported without getting lost.
A Star Is Born
Recommendation: Astral Works by Pruf Cultivar
Some may need more assistance than others to get through this one. Yes, Lady Gaga shines in her musical scenes, and there are plenty of those. But any of her music videos are more entertaining than this trite, schmoozy reprise. Regardless, smoking Astral Works will bring you within a degree of separation from Gaga, because this is the strain she allegedly picked up while recording in Portland a couple years ago. The cross of Harle Tsu and Tangerine Haze has a milder 1-to-1-ish concentration of 5.22 percent THC and 8.4 percent CBD, so you'll have the presence of mind to run with inspiration after the film, taking that creative leap toward your dream—or at least finally dump your shitty boyfriend.
Recommendation: Cookies and Chem CO2 Cartridge by Evolvd
Don't get me wrong: Christian Bale is a tremendous actor, and Adam McKay is good at dramatizing the downfall of terrible, powerful people. But this movie just isn't very interesting. We saw all the juicy parts of Cheney's life as they happened—the hunting accident, the heart attacks, the love of torture—and there aren't many more devilish details or surprises in Vice. If you're the sort of Amy Adams fan that can endure that awful Lynne Cheney wig, or just gotta watch 'em all, get zonked on this Evolvd cartridge filled with Cookies and Chem oil. At 86 percent THC, puff with caution. But at least you'll be laughing, regardless of the fact that, in comparison to our current political era, the Bush-Cheney years actually come across as quaint.