It was just weird having the Academy Awards one week after the Super Bowl.
Right? Apparently it was done to try to change the ratings slide of the Oscars, but I dunno, it just felt weird.
Couple that with the fact that the grownups in the Lewis house saw fewer movies than usual this year, and I wasn’t all that jazzed about Sunday night’s show.
But still, as with almost all big awards show, I found enjoyment.
— Parasite was the big winner, and I couldn’t tell you a thing about it. But a ton of people loved it, and Bong Joon-Ho, the writer and director of this South Korean movie, won four Oscars and tied Walt Disney for the only person to ever win four in one night. I think it’s great a foreign language film finally won, so I guess I should probably see it.
— After Janelle Monae’s fabulous opening number, Steve Martin and Chris Rock came out to do the “host monologue,” and they were great. Martin had a great Iowa caucus app joke, and Rock’s line about “Harriet” and hiding black people was very sharp. I’m fine with those two “hosting” the Oscars every year.
— Laura Dern! Love her, have loved her in many things, so was very happy she won her first Oscar. And she gave a fantastic speech, calling out her parents. “You know, some say you should never meet your heroes, but I say if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents.”
That was so sweet.
— Brad Pitt won his first acting Oscar Sunday. Good to see something in life finally go right for that guy.
— I have absolutely no idea what the heck Renee Zellweger was talking about after winning Best Actress. No idea.
— By far the strangest moment of the night came at the end of a perfectly fine and fun movie music montage, when inexplicably, Eminem appeared to perform live his awesome song, “Lose Yourself,” from the movie 8 Mile.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the song is fantastic, and he did a great job around all the bleeps the censors had to do. It was just… confusing as hell as to why he was out there. And Marty Scorsese falling asleep during it when they flashed to him in the crowd was classic.
— Annual award-season tradition at my house continued Sunday night: The cameras flash to a celebrity in the audience, and I terribly wrongly guess who it is before my wife corrects me, while giving me a gentle scolding. Although Sunday I finally got her back when she kept thinking the dude with the gray beard and glasses in the 1917 seating section was Bradley Whitford from “The West Wing.”
— Well-dressed people at the Oscars: Regina King looked sensational, as did Mindy Kaling, and we thought Salma Hayek looked great as well. For the men, Mahershala Ali as always was stunning.
— Only thing I absolutely would’ve predicted with certainty was Joaquin Phoenix winning and then giving a rambling, strange victory speech. Man, that dude is OUT THERE. Like, even Bill Walton would think he’s strange.
— Death Montage: Kirk Douglas had to be the hammer. The guy was Spartacus, for God’s sakes! We lost a ton of great people this year, including the terrific Rip Torn, Buck Henry, and Alvin Sargent, who wrote one of my all-time favorite films, Ordinary People.
— I loved that they showed clips of the nominees and didn’t just read their names; it’s a little thing but it was important.
— Seriously though, they overdid it with all the musical numbers. As many people on Twitter joked, this was a terrific Grammy awards.
— Finally, I thought Will Ferrell and Julia-Louis Dreyfus were very funny together, and I’d totally watch a new Netflix series starring them as wacky parents.
**Finally today, I try not to blog too often on here about my immense passion for Duke University men’s basketball, because I know a majority of you don’t care. But sometimes, like after Saturday night’s improbable, ridiculous, absolutely undeserving but still incredible Duke win over the hated North Carolina Tar Heels, I must say a few words.
It took about 4-5 hours for my heart rate and blood pressure to come back to normal Saturday night after the game. After playing horrendously all night, and making UNC, in in the midst of its worst season in a few decades, look like the 1990s Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls, Duke was down 13 points with four minutes to go.
Oh, and the Blue Devils’ best player, Vernon Carey, had fouled out. It was over, it was finished, and I was pissed.
Until, it wasn’t. Tre Jones led Duke on an amazing comeback, capped by sending the game into overtime on the most perfect intentional missed free throw you’ll ever see (above), followed by a game-tying jumper.
Then in overtime, with me pacing and screaming and still kind of wondering how the hell game was even in overtime, Duke blew a five-point lead and looked dead again. Until the Tar Heels, God love them, continued to miss free throws, turned the ball over, and yes, Duke got the benefit of a very poor call against the Heels in the final 10 seconds.
Then miraculously, Duke’s Wendell Moore tipped in a missed Jones jumper at the buzzer to give Duke the win.
It was, without a doubt, the biggest theft of a win in my 34 years as a Duke fan. They had no business whatsoever winning the game, given how badly they’d played, but the Devils somehow pulled it out.
It was incredible. And to do it against the Tar Heels (Go to hell Carolina, go to hell), in the Dean Dome, made it so much sweeter.
This isn’t a great Duke team, probably not even a Final Four team. But man, that was some incredible win Saturday night, one for the ages.