Tag Archives: Oscars

The craziest Oscars ending ever, my jaw is on the floor, and what the hell happened? Oh yeah, the rest of the show was great.

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It’s 2:11 a.m. New York time, I’m exhausted and wired and still kind of in shock.

So, you know, typical Sunday.

Look, I had this whole Oscars blog post pretty much written by midnight. As you’ll read, I loved the telecast though I’m sure many didn’t. I loved who won (except for Casey Affleck who robbed Denzel), I thought Jimmy Kimmel was a terrific host, and the whole thing was done.

All I needed was a quick few paragraphs at the top about who won Best Picture, whether I was happy or sad about it, and boom. I’m off to bed.

Instead, I’ve spent the last few hours scouring Twitter and the Internet trying, like a million other people, to find out what in the hell happened at the end there.

“La La Land” won Best Picture. Their producers and director and actors all go up on stage, they make their speeches, oh well, I was hoping for “Hidden Figures” or “Moonlight” to win, but whatever.

Then there are men running around behind the “La La Land” folks, looking all frantic. Then the guys at the microphone are looking around crazily. And then it turns out… well, if you didn’t see it, watch this craziness:

I mean, HOW THE HELL DOES THAT HAPPEN? The wrong winner is called out in front of a billion people for the most important award of them all? Craziness.
So many thoughts: First, what a horrible feeling for both “winners” of Best Picture. The “La La Land” folks spent two or three minutes feeling better than they’ve ever felt, they’ve made it, they’ve won! And then… it’s ripped away.

And the “Moonlight” folks! They were robbed of the incredible moment of hearing their names called for the biggest award they’ll likely ever win. They think they’ve lost, then they find out they won and rush onstage. Craziness. (An aside many pointed out on Twitter: Can you imagine if it happened the other way around? If a film made by African-Americans, starring African-Americans, was announced as the winner and then it was changed? You would’ve heard the screaming from L.A. to New York).

— So how did this happen? Well, turns out there are two people, one on each side of the stage, who hold the envelopes for all 24 awards. There are duplicates of each envelope so depending on whichever side of the stage the presenters walk out on, they can grab the correct envelope.

Emma Stone held on to her envelope that said she won Best Actress, and apparently somehow when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway walked out, Beatty took the OTHER envelope for Best Actress instead of the Best Picture one.
If you watch, you can see Beatty looks confused, like he knows something is wrong, and Dunaway just saw “La La Land” at the end of the Best Actress card and read it.

Just amazing. The documentary about how this happened will win an Oscar one day.
And one more coherent thought before I drift off: Why didn’t the 2 people who hold the envelopes realize that each of them STILL had the Best Picture envelope in their hands when Beatty/Dunaway walked out, and raise hell then? Like tell somebody in charge or something?

Nuts. But I’m so, so glad “Moonlight” won. Fantastic picture. OK, off to bed. Here’s all the stuff I wrote before the biggest screw-up in Hollywood award show history…

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Sunday night was the 2017 Oscars, or as they were known heading in, “Hey, #OscarsnotsoWhite anymore!”

Jimmy Kimmel was hosting for the first time (he did a real nice job, and the dropping Junior Mints and other candy from the ceiling was pretty clever), and we had some fresh winners, excellent speeches, and overall a pretty terrific show (your opinion may vary)

Some thoughts on a pretty entertaining telecast:

— Gotta start with the great and deserving winners: Viola Davis, my goodness, what a tremendous speech. Emotional, poignant, thanking everyone in the cast of the fantastic “Fences” movie, and then closing with an extraordinary tribute to her parents, thanking God that they were her first role models and caretakers.

Also loved that Mahershala Ali won for “Moonlight,” (the first-ever Muslim winner of an Oscar, so take that Steve Bannon), and that the “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and screenwriter Tarell Alvin McRaney won for Best Screenplay, and I thought the music awards for “La La Land” were well-deserved.

— I thought the opening was pretty novel, getting all the movie stars on their feet and dancing while Justin Timberlake did his thing (I love that song.) Very cool seeing Denzel and Jeff Bridges and the like having a good time.

And I thought Kimmel’s monologue was sharp, especially the hilarious part “mocking” Meryl Streep for being a highly overrated and unqualified actress, obviously a dig at Donald Trump’s ridiculous critique of Streep. She played along, but it looked like her husband still is mad at our President.

— Sara Bareilles, singing Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” over the dead montage. Absolutely perfect. So achingly beautiful. 

— Actual conversation in my house when The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) came out to present:
Me: “Why is Dwayne Johnson at the Oscars, he can’t act.”
Wife: “I think he did one of the songs in the Monet movie.”
Me: “You mean “Moana?”
Wife: “Oh yeah, that.”

See, now I really want to see a musical about the French painter.

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— Awesome-looking celebs, according to the fashion expert in my house (my wife): Mahershala Ali (stunning in his tux); the three “Hidden Figures” women (particularly Taraji P. Henson, wow what a dress), Charlize Theron who will always look beautiful, and Dev Patel, a handsome man.
Badly-dressed celebs: Dakota Johnson (hideous dress),

— I’m sure lots of people hated it, but we loved the little historical montages about past winners of the big categories

— Very legitimate question. What the hell was Jennifer Aniston, who was never once in a good movie, doing in the second row at the Oscars? We saw her in the interminable (but kind of amusing) sketch where Kimmel gave random people on a bus tour a thrill of a lifetime. Seriously though, how does Aniston get such prime placement?

— Of course everyone was wondering if any of the winners would make political statements in their speeches, and there were a few jabs. Actor Mark Rylance’s statement about “being in opposition but not hatred” was pretty good.

But the sharpest critique came from someone who wasn’t there: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose “The Salesman” won for best foreign film. He boycotted the awards telecast, but had a letter he wrote read, attacking Trump’s “inhuman” travel ban. It was powerful and necessary to remind the billion people watching around the world that millions upon millions of people disagree with this.

Among the worst Oscar shows ever, but the speeches were great. And a brilliant commercial starring Jesus and his marketing guys

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Wow. Well, that Academy Awards show Sunday night … existed.

Man. I really thought Neil Patrick Harris would be great, fresh, new and different, the quality of movies this year was great, and, well, shouldn’t the Oscars be entertaining every year?

But sheesh, that was not a good show. At all. Thank God for a bunch of fabulous acceptance speeches. Graham Moore, urging kids to “stay weird” and admitting he tried to kill himself at 16. Laura Poitras, winner for the Snowden movie “Citizenfour,” preaching about the incredible importance of truth and transparency in government.

Common and John Legend (sorry, Lonnie Lynn and John Stevens, and how weird was that hearing their real names called?) with a blow-the-doors-off muscial performance, and then a powerful speech about racial inequality.
Julianne Moore on Alzheimers, Eddie Redmayne being so humble and grateful… the speeches were about the only thing memorable about this show. And that so many of them were about issues of the day (I almost forgot Patricia Arquette’s great shout-out for women’s equality) made them even better.

Otherwise … meh. Not a great show. Some more thoughts on what’s usually one of my favorite TV shows of the year:

— When Neil Patrick Harris was announced as host, you just knew the opening would be a lavish musical number, and it was. I thought it was great, and I’m thrilled that one of my biggest Hollywood crushes, Anna Kendrick (it’s OK, the wife loves her too) got to be a part of it. Really creative use of old movies. The rest of NPH’s grade? I’d give him a C. Some of his jokes scored (loved the Jason Bateman joke about child stars, and his appearing onstage practically naked at one point was very funny), other jokes fell really flat (the seat-filler interviews, and the running gag about his Oscar predictions being locked up got old really fast).

–“Boyhood” got screwed. I knew it would going in, and I’m still pissed. I haven’t seen “Birdman” yet, I’m sure it’s very good and all, but come on, “Boyhood” was a revolutionary, ground-breaking type of movie. You have to reward that, don’t you?

–Fashion thoughts, from the wife (mostly): Reese Witherspoon’s dress and hair were great, Jessica Chastain made a very poor choice with her un-form fitting dress, and Nicole Kidman looked too washed-out. Also, on the men’s side, visible swooning was heard from her when Idris Elba and Chris Pratt appeared on stage.

— The LEGO movie musical number, with Tegan and Sara and Questlove and handing out LEGO Oscar statues? Loved it. Very clever and funny.

–Actual conversation between the wife and I during the Steve Carell “Foxcatcher” clip:
Me: “I can’t believe the guy who played Produce Pete on “The Daily Show” is nominated for an Oscar.”
Wife: “I can’t believe Channing Tatum is in a scene with a person nominated for an Oscar.”
Me: “Well-played.”

–The John Travolta/Idina Menzel thing was laugh-out-loud funny. One of the few truly comedic highlights.

— So happy that “Citizenfour” won. Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald did outstanding work on the Edward Snowden revelations, truly important work that exposed the lies and deceit of our government (I wrote about Greenwald’s book on Snowden and his involvement after reading it last  year.)

— JK Simmons was the first big winner and his speech was overshadowed by the later great ones, but it was still sweet. Instead of thanking his agent and a million other people, the career background character actor thanked his wife, and his kids, and told everyone to call their parents. Simple and sweet, perfect.

— Finally, the Dead People Montage: Always a highlights. Was really surprised Robin Williams didn’t get “the hammer” and be the last person remembered, but Mike Nichols was a directing legend and he definitely deserved it.
And great to hear Jennifer Hudson’s pipes again, but whatever happened to her acting career?

**Finally today, I saw this last week and thought it was exceptionally clever. A Canadian company called 1One Productions filmed this spot starring Jesus Christ at his regular marketing meeting, where his “team” created a stunt that would guarantee his immortality.

I loved this. I’m sure some will consider it blasphemy, but I think it’s great.

A guest blog from a pretty “meh” night at the Oscars

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Hi everyone. In lieu of my normal post-Oscar ranting and raving, my wonderful friend, fellow runner and more importantly, fellow film obsessive Diana D’Abruzzo has graciously accepted my invitation to write a guest blog on last night’s show. Diana and I have been friends for (eek!) 16 years now, since we met as cub reporters at the Wilmington Star-News. She now works in Washington, D.C., loves “The Princess Bride” as much as I do, and is usually hilarious and snarky about awards shows.

So here goes some rambling thoughts from throughout the Oscar telecast.

Take it away, Diana…

** Why didn’t they get Tina and Amy to host?” comment by William Shatner was what everyone was thinking. I’m skeptical about Seth MacFarlane. Don’t care for his humor.
  
**The cutaway to the socks in the dryer during the “Flight” puppet show was priceless.
**I’m annoyed they are using web articles as samples of tomorrow’s Oscar headlines. Why not newspapers, Academy? Not cool.
**”Hell they’re going to give it Anne,” comment by Sally Field in sketch was fabulous.
**Tommy Lee Jones is smiling so much now, I think someone did something to his face.
**Horrible bit between Melissa McCarthy and Paul Rudd. Not funny.
** The jokes about the “Beasts of the Southern Wild” girl were pretty funny, particularly the “In 16 years, she’ll be too old for Clooney.”
**Not a fan of using the “Jaws” theme to end speeches.
**Jealous Diana is actually a little happy that Jennifer Aniston is looking older.
**Bond tribute now. Guess I can take a nap
**Every time I look at Seth MacFarlane, I think of Peter Brady.
Back to back intros to “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” means I better be seeing some Kyle Chandler soon.
**Jessica Chastain looks more and more like Jessica Rabbit with every awards show.
**So why isn’t the orchestra allowed in the actual Oscar auditorium? Not famous enough?
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**Oscar game: singing or lip syncing?
** The “family Von Trapp” bit was … weird. I laughed but then was like, “That’s it? That’s the whole joke?”
**As soon as Christopher Plummer walked to the mic and said “these talented actress,” I said, “just give it to Anne already.”
**There are a lot of Anne haters out there.
**I thought Jennifer Lawrence was hands down best dressed (especially if you include hair, makeup and jewelry). A close second was Stacy Keibler, unfortunately.
**I could never handle the violence of the movie but that blip from “Django Unchained” with the gunshot sound and blood hitting the cotton was so cool and unique.
**Was in the bathroom during commercial break and heard “Ladies and gentlemen, George Clooney!” Never before have I washed my hands so quickly before skidding into the living room.
**Just saw back-to-back Facebook posts from friends who don’t know each other mentioning Cher in reference to Streisand’s hair.
**Just found out I’m not the only one who hears “Memories” and immediately thinks of “scattered pic-tures” from “Big.”

**See they already knew Adele would win so there was no need to sing the other songs live. 

**Why is every women dressed like an Oscar statue  tonight?

**Dude, Dustin Hoffman is shrinking. 
**Charlize Theron’s hair is so awesome.
 
**Love the disheveled Quentin Tarantino. I normally would make fun of him, but I won the category in the Oscar pool, so I’m happy for me, er, him.
**Michael Douglas is so amused by Jane Fonda’s dramatics.
 

**If you direct a tiger you deserve an Oscar.

 
** Making a joke about how late the Oscars is running is a requirement as a host. Like it was a requirement for Kristin Chenoweth to mention her height during each red-carpet interview.
 
**Jennifer Lawrence fell… Isn’t that the worst  nightmare come true for an actress? But i have a feeling getting an Oscar probably evens things out.
 

**I don’t think Streep even opened the envelope before announcing Daniel Day-Lewis’ win!

**Loved Daniel’s speech!
**Awkward camera pause on that guy who was not Steven Spielberg as Daniel was praising Spielberg.
 
**Jack Nicholson looks like Danny Devito!

** Michelle Obama giving out Best Picture? Seriously? So stupid.

**So proud of Ben Affleck!
 
** How does Kristen Stewart get to sit behind Steven Spielberg?
** Thought the ceremony was entertaining but between the Obama appearance and the final song, it sure did end on a low note.  But Ben’s speech was great, and I’m so glad he won.