The title "The Oscars" says basically all and nothign at the same time. This is the 2019 edition of the world's biggest film awards ceremony, the Academy Awards. I finished watching the event from last night and I will do some brainstorming including the thoughts that came up for me personally.
First the basics: Director is Glenn Weiss as always you could say. The show ran for 2.5 hours slightly over actually and that does not include commercial breaks. If we speak about commercials, then it ran for almost 3.5 hours.
There was talk pre-Oscars and actually a decision to hand out 4 (I think) Oscars during the commercial breaks to keep the show shorter. What a joke honestly and I am really glad they corrected this decision. This clearly would have implied that some awards are more important than others and while we are at it, why not also not invite the nominees from these categories to the Luncheon? Cinematography would have been one of these categories and imagine Cuarón having to accept an award without anybody seeing it outside the room? Stupid.
Next subject: Hosting. In general, I am not opposed to the idea of no host. Better this way than a bad one like it happened many other times in the past. It has been a long time since last Oscars edition when there was no host. They had Kevin Hart ready to do the job, but after some anti-LBGT comments years ago on his Twitter account or something or during his comedy standup routines, he faced a big backlash in the media that eventually resulted in him throwing the towel.
There was talk about somebody else doing it, but eventually they went hostless. As for Hart, I don't know much about him. But I think he became a victim of political correctness. Such a shame. I read that people consider him the funniest Black comedian in Hollywood right now and I myself think I like Chris Rock more (his one hosting gig was brilliant), but I would have been fine with Hart presenting. Such a shame the Black community did not stand up for him. If things get steamy, I guess he is not one of theirs anymore or where were the Spike Lees (okay he didnt say something to not ruin his Oscar chances) and Jada Pinketts this time? Maybe Hart wasn't black-enough for them and not outspoken enough when it comes to alleged discrimination I don't know.
The show started with Tina and Amy. I am not a huge fan of thee two, but they are okay and their material wasn't bad either. Oh yeah Maya Rudolph was there with her two SNL buddies too and yep she was as annoying as always. I have no idea how they still let her on a big stage like this. She has two face expressions max and one of them is really fake and unfunny. And yep her material was pretty bad as well. So the show did not start on a high note as it could have with just Tina and Amy out there. Or lets say it was a step down because starting the show with a Queen song was a really good idea.
And while we are talking about negative aspects already, I have no idea what they were thinking with all these presenters. I honestly expect Oscar winners or at least Oscar nominees out there saying the names of the winners. Or at least people who acted this year in films that got a great share of attention from the Academy. Almost none of them fit any of these descriptions. Lets see: Momoa, Morello, Fisher, Clarke, Perry, Craig (I do like him though), Musgraves, Awkwafina... etc. The list goes on. And these Oscar nominees they got to present frequently made no sense at all. Yeah get Queen Latifah to present The Queen because of her name and as if that wasn't bad enough already, then even have her emphasize this connection à la life ain't easy for a Queen. I can only shake my head here. But the worst would probably be the decision to have tennis player Serena Williams present A Star is Born. Like seriously? Why? Why? Why? Her unprofessional outbursts on the court, really unsportsmanlike behavior on so many occasions and constant ramblings about how she is always discriminated against for being a female and Black, even if not one bit of this was true make her probably the least qualified person to make such a statement because it all rings false. Just look at the US Open final vs. Osaka and you know what I mean. And besides, these issues were not even a major (racism none at all) aspect of ASiB. No clue whey they picked her. Very fittingly her comments about the struggles of combining love and career also did not catch the essence of A Star is Born one bit. I do think this is a really overrated film, but it was nowhere near as bad as you could think from the way it was presented to audiences here. And it is certainly a shameful approach looking at how much of a classic the original still is today. But luckily, there was one introduction that did it all right and I am talking about Bohemian Rhapsody. It was a really nice idea to get the two guys from Wayne's World and have them channel their characters and of course Myers was in Bohemian Rhapsody too, so it all makes sense. Certainly more than the random inclusions of Jennifer Lopez (she is always there), James McAvoy, Key (why not Peele?), Andrés and Luna (what an unworthy presentation of Roma with their Spanish babbling), Jordan, Boseman and Yeoh. It literally felt as if they got in every single okay actor who's hoping for an oscar nom in the next couple years. So it was kinda refreshing to see that they brought quality for the lead actor categories at least. Nice idea to reunite McDormand and Rockwell, who has turned from W into Walter White it seems. Del Toro also a very fitting inclusion and that hug with Cuarón was one of the most real moments of the show and very much heartfelt. Julia Roberts presenting Best Picture? Meh. Oh yeah, another one I forgot: Streisand has a lot of history with the Academy, but her connection to BlackKklansmen was really very vague, yeah she liked the film on Twitter. Okay.
Lets move on to the categories and winners. Bohemian Rhapsody won 4 categories and it is my favorite film from 2018, so I was very much thrilled about that. Chances were low that it could be empty-handed eventually, but 4 is more than I and most others expected. I think it was frontrunner in one sound category, but taking both was a delightful surprise. By the way, every single Best Picture nominee won at least one category. Just a side-note. Back to BR. I was cheering for Malek so hard honestly and it's greatg bale did not get another. His acceptance speech at the Globes was cringeworthy when he compared Cheney to the devil basically. That is rich coming from somebody who unleashes so hard on some poor camera assistant kid. We all heard the audio. Now that is what i call diabolic. The other three lead actors never really had a chance to win. Best Actress there was a surprise. Or was there? Sure most people expected Close to win and especially those who were talking about Gaga not having a chance despite being the frontrunner early on totally forgot about Olivia Colman. The fact that awards bodies like her is not only shown by her recent Golden Globe win for The Night Manager, but also for her very recent BAFTA win (over Close). And while Ali and Malek won their category over British competition, Close did not. But still nobody was really considering Colman to take the win. She did though. And she was most surprised herself. But luckily she did not talk about really getting drunk this time. To me she felt a bit like a younger British dark-haired Frances McDormand, who fittingly announced her. Both are somewhat awkward. Anyway, I must say I would have preferred Close to win. But maybe it wasn't the right role or movie for that. I am still glad Gaga lost. As for Colman, I think it is a bit strange. Her film has Stone and Weisz, who are both not worse than her I believe and also somewhat lead in my opinion. By the way, after The Favourite lost both production design and costumes somewhat surprisingly to Black Panther, it really looked as if the film would run empty and win nothing and it seemed even more unlikely the Academy would give it to Colman. But they did. Good for her. Speaking of Black Panther, it also won more that night than expected. I even slightly felt, it could be a potential upset for Best Picture honestly with how strong it was going. Same for Bohemian Rhapsody. As for Black Panther, I am okay with the Costumes win, those were good. The production design win I cannot agree with at all. I also felt this was among the most pathetic acceptance speeches of the night. While the female Black recipient cried a river and talked on and on, she did not let her fellow white male winner one second of thanking people. As disrespectful as it gets. Okay I already made a little reference to Best Picture. The winner is Green Book, a good film, but for me personally not one of the best of the year. I myself thought Roma could take it because of Green Book's surprising omission in Best Director (Roma was missing the editing nod), but the screenplay win showed things could be heading in a different direction as beating The Favourite and Vice could not entirely be expected, even if Green Book was probably the frontrunner there too. The other screenplay category went to Spike Lee, his first Oscar after all these years and Samuel L. Jackson clearly enjoyed handing it to him after informing him about the NY Knicks ending their loss streak. A good omen perhaps for Lee. Sadly his acceptance speech was random rambling too. Finally a word on Lady Gaga: I strongly dislike her, the song is okay, not great, her over-the-topness is unbearable, especially the allo allo at the end of the performance. Ridiculous people were giving standing ovations. Her acceptance speech moment it is not about winning felt more fake than anything else that night. Not a bad show, not a really good one either. Not too happy with the two animation winners, not surprising though, Period was a good winner, Avengers really should have won.