Daily Archives: March 5, 2018

A long, boring and entirely predictable Oscars almost saved by the last 10 minutes

All right, it’s late, I’m tired, and I’m annoyed that that was one of the worst Academy Awards telecasts of my lifetime.

Maybe you loved it; not me. It was almost four hours (which I don’t mind) and did have a few good moments, but for the most part I just didn’t get into it.

As you, loyal readers, know, usually I err on the side of good with awards shows; I almost always enjoy them and give them the benefit of the doubt even when others say they were bad.

But Sunday night, yeah, not good. But in the spirit of positivity, let me first point out the few things I liked, before moving on to the bad.

–OK, so the good: Jimmy Kimmel was terrific as host. The monologue was funny (his joke about Oscar being the perfect man because he didn’t have a penis was great), he addressed the #MeToo and #TimesUp stuff very well, and the idea of giving a Jet Ski to the shortest speech was inspired.

I also loved the gag, though it’s been done before I feel, of taking movie stars into a theater and making regular people part of the telecast. That was cool.

— I also loved: Tiffany Haddish and Mya Rudolph, that bit about white people being concerned there were too many minorities and them reassuring all that “we were just backstage, and there were white people everywhere, there are plenty of them!” was fantastic.

— And the final 10 minutes was terrific. Frances McDormand, predictably, gave a kick-ass speech about empowerment and inclusion and demanding Hollywood give women and minorities more seats at the table. And it was brilliant, freaking brilliant, to have Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway again give out Best Picture, after last year’s screw-up heard round the world. That was brilliant.

— Oh, and a few of the long montages were great, especially this one (below) highlighting 90 years of great movies.

–OK, now the bad. And there was a lot. First, outside of Frances McDormand, I didn’t think there were any particularly good or memorable speeches. Second, for a telecast that wants to be so bold, so many of the award winners were predictable. Every year it seems like there’s at least a few upsets (Marisa Tomei, anyone? Can I get a Cuba Gooding, Jr.?) but all of the top categories Sunday felt pre-ordained, since they’d all been won by heavy favorites.

— More bad: I love Allison Janney and am thrilled she won, but this “redemption” of Tonya Harding has gotta stop. This is a bad human being who was part of something really bad being done.

— Also didn’t like Kobe Bryant winning an Oscar because he’s not a good dude, at all, and we still don’t know what he did to that woman in the Colorado hotel room years ago. And that was a very strange “honoring war movies and veterans” montage, it felt very much like “conservatives hate Hollywood and movies so let’s throw them a bone and show how much we like our vets.” It was weird.

— Couple more thoughts: The death montage, with Eddie Vedder singing and Jerry Lewis getting “the hammer?” Excellent.

— Fashion do’s and don’ts (as usual these are mostly from my wife): Loved Gal Godot’s dress. Salma Hayek looked stunning. Armie Hammer is a beautiful man. But Jennifer Lawrence looked “like an Amazon woman” standing next to tiny Jodie Foster.

And Nicole Kidman, who is almost always flawless and stunning, looked like, in the words of my bride, “a bizarro Barbie Doll.”

— “The Greatest Showman” song performance was stellar. So was Mary J. Blige’s song.

— Finally, I really wish “The Big Sick,” probably my favorite movie of 2017, had won. But Kumail Nanjani is pretty damn funny.