Last night we had the most recent edition of the annual Academy Awards airing. As always it ran for almost 4 hours including commercials, so a bit under 3 without commercials I guess and I was lucky enough this time to see the event on a big screen at a local theater, which really did make a difference for the positive. Host was Jimmy Kimmel like last year and while I am still not a fan of him, he was better this year, had some decent material and kept the bad liberal propaganda also down most of the time. The MeToo debate was of course crucial again all night, but yeah at least they refrained from the stupid premise that every female had to wear black. That made it a colorful night luckily. As for the winners, the 4 acting winners were safe picks this year and it's been a while since really all categories were 100% decided and the possibilities of upsets by Plummer, Metcalf, Day-Lewis and Ronan was just minimal and did not happen of course. I am glad for Del Toro, even if I have not seen The Shape of Water yet, but it looks good and I also would have liked 3 Billboards or Get Out to win I guess as these two were outstanding movies. Especially nice to see some love for Get Out as honestly, this is not the film you'd expect at all to play a key (no pun intended) role at the Oscars. I can only comment on the films I have seen, so nothing to say about A Fantastic Woman or Call Me By Your name the LBGT films this year, but in terms of the former, the Academy clearly loved handing out trophies to countries south of the border this year (maybe in the face of Trump's politics) and all the love for Coco, including the best song Oscar, is evidence of that. But I loved Coco, so I am happy about it. Speaking about Best Song I am glad they let all 5 nominated songs to be performed on stage tis year, even if the selection may not have been as good as in recent years. I love Hugh Jackman and liked The greatest Showman, but after the cringeworthily over-the-top performance of the nominated song there I cannot say I am particularly unhappy it lost. And the Coco song is a good one that captures the film's spirit nicely, so thumbs-up again for Anderson and Lopez.
Oh yes and Roger Deakins is an Academy Award winner finally. Hooray. I was not a big fan of the new Blade Runner, but honestly you cannot cheer against Deakins whatsoever as he was clearly the most overdue person in the house. Another film I did not like that did well last night was Dunkirk, but oh well I've seen people predict it for Best Picture on several occasions this awards season, so 3 wins in the minor categories is something we can live with. In the documentary category, it is a bit of a shame Agnes Varda lost out as it would have been an amazing icing on the cake of her career (like with Ivory), but I have not seen Icarus yet, so lets see what i think about that after having watched it. Completely on a side-note, who'd have guessed Ivory gets one for writing first after all his directing nominations. Or Greta Gerwig's first nomination is for directing. You definitely could have made a fortune wit that a few years ago. She has such a likable presence though. Glad she got in, even if her film does not exactly look like directing may be its strongest component. Not a director's film by any means. What else? oh yeah Kobe Bryant is an Oscar winner now and he seemed clearly humbled. I wonder what Shaq has to say about that. The animated short category was a bit mediocre this year, but if you have John Williams on board, chances are good you will be lifted above the rest. I may have preferred Pixar's entry or the newest work by the Gruffalo guys to take the crown. Desplat gets his second, Phantom Thread takes costume, not surprising given the subject obviously. As for the big prize, I guess the lack of McDonagh in the direction category shows that the Academy did not love the Billboards as much as everybody else and including Jenkins (yay) in the line-up as well as giving Shape of Water the Production Design Oscar was a good indicator that it will also be tough to beat for the big prize. Away from the awards now, there was some decent material overall, but there were also weak moments like all the Meryl Streep gloating is getting old faster than she does or the visit to the theater next door was also fairly embarrassing. The in Memoriam sequence was good though. Worst presentation this night were Haddish and Rudolph who had good material actually, but really messed it up. Oh wait, maybe Hayek, Judd and Sciorra were even worse. And honestly no idea why they would include Jennifer Lawrence in the company of Mirren, Fonda and Foster and I am not even a great fan of these 3, at least not of Fonda (who seemed a bit bizarre) and not too much of Mirren either. Lawrence felt really out of place there and the way she tried to make up for it as usual with her shenanigans made things even worse. High time she finally moves away from the spotlight and if the Red Sparrow disappoointment helps with that, it's a good thing. I did like the idea though to show all these old winners in a video before the acting winners were announced. Oh yeah Kumail was pretty funny most of the time and you could see that he is an experienced stage performer comedy-wise. Spot-on his stuff. Biggest stunner of the night goes to Eiza Gonzalez without a doubt. What a dress, what a body, great stuff. That's all folks I guess, solid show as a whole see you next year and I still have some catching up to do with this year. Guess I'll go on with "Call Me By Your Name" later today. And I do indeed recommend to watch the event, the Oscars, on a big screen live if you have the chance to. Kinda tough to stay awake until almost 6 in the morning here, but perhaps you are luckier with your time zone. Finally, a few quick snippets: The Trump toilet joke was really tasteless, the Pence joke was unfunny and try-hard, Emma Stone is drop-dead gorgeous, not just cute and finally fun idea to bring Beatty back at the end.