And That’s a Wrap
I LOVE THAT PARASITE WON BEST PICTURE!
That was such a highlight for me at last night’s Academy Awards. I feel like the movie’s dominance last night was the only surprise all night. And Boon Jung Ho deserved his oft-mentioned drink last night, lol! I have a feeling he and the cast had a lot of fun at the after-parties!
What else did I like from the event?
I loved Chrissy Metz (from This is Us TV fame) singing “I’m Standing with You.”
She was amazing.
I laughed out loud at Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig and their bit. Why aren’t they hosting the Oscars? The show keeps wanting to be pro-women, but would rather go hostless — a huge mistake — than hire smart, talented women like these?
Utkarsh Ambukar’s rap about midway through was on fire! I mean, he probably planned some of it but had to have composed it pretty much as the show rolled. He was great, and slightly but not obsessively political, and I bet a lot of people are googling him today.
I was wrong on my Billie Eilish prediction — but loved the way they used her talent. Great call having one of the hippest young music stars today sing during the In Memorium tribute. It was a way of drawing in the young viewers, showing her paying homage to those who came before her. The Awards has been struggling with declining viewership over the years, and I think they are trying to make the show more relevant to a younger audience. They are bringing in more music, which resonates. But Eminem? Why? What did his performance have to do with today’s movies? Don’t get me wrong: I love him, but he is 47 — he could be Eilish’s grandfather.
They also brought in some younger stars to do some face time. They were often relegated to introducing bigger stars, who were, in turn, introducing bits. That’s kind of a weird thing, IMO. And I don’t think the names were big enough to really draw young viewers if that’s what they were trying to do.
Another fave moment was watching Rebel Wilson and James Cordon making fun of themselves and their turn in probably the biggest catastrophic flop of the year, CATS. Their 4 minutes or so on screen were probably better than the whole movie.
I also wasn’t too keen on Elton John’s performance, but I really think it was because the sound quality wasn’t great. He’s awesome (and I can’t wait to see him live this summer!).
On the other hand, there were quite a few things I didn’t love. As I said before, I hate the no-host thing. After Janelle Monae’s very cool intro performance, they humiliated two former hosts, Steve Martin and Chris Rock, by making them poke fun at being non-hosts. The jokes fell pretty flat to me — I mean, poking fun at Jeff Bezos was amusing at first, but they took it too far (why was he there, anyway?). And frankly, I felt that Martin was there to be a foil for Rock — cue the white male privilege jokes.
HWSNBN and I had a huge issue with the Idina Menzel Frozen 2 song performance. Not with her — she’s a phenomenal singer, of course. But they had singers who had performed the Frozen songs in other languages on stage with her. Great idea, but where was the diversity there? No one from China? Or Africa? And basically, two singing in the same language (Spanish and Castilian are awfully close). We both were pretty irritated by that. If the Academy is striving to promote diversity, that would’ve been an easy way to show some.
And you know a joke is tired when HWSNBN comments that he has seen it before. The Will Farrel Julia Louis-Dreyfus bit where they don’t know what a cinematographer does has been recycled enough. It’s rude and disrespectful to cinematographers.
And why were some things introduced twice (Anthony Ramos introduced Lin-Manuel Miranda, who then introduced a montage about the importance of music in movies.
And why were some performers not introduced at all? Chrissy Metz, Elton John, and Randy Newman all just sort of started performing. Very weird.
Some performers, like Randy Newman and Elton John, weren’t introduced at all.
And sometimes even presenters got presented: Lin-Manuel Miranda, for instance, got a full WWE-style introduction from Anthony Ramos, in order to to…introduce a montage.
All in all, I liked the show. I know that every year they have to work around the movies that are nominated to create the show. That makes sense. And I know that there were lots of things that didn’t happen this year (no women directors nominated, for example, And yes, having women in starring roles, like the first female conductor (even though she was only conducting for a segment and not the whole show), was a good call. But it does still feel like a desperate move in a scared town. There were some amazing movies this year, and I think that’s great. I guess the problem might be that as we raise the bar on movies, there will be more wonderful ones to pick from, so more will not be recognized. I mean, Meryl Streep wasn’t nominated for anything this year.
Clearly, it’s tough to be a woman in Hollywood!
(tomorrow I’ll post about the fashions. Don’t worry: I’m still as trite and superficial as ever!)