My Response to the Winners & Telecast
If it weren't for the surprise Picture & Director wins for Parasite, this would have been quite a boring telecast. Cuz it was missing some pizzaz, wasn't it?
I'm struggling to put my finger on it - last year was hostless as well but still felt exciting. Maybe because the hostlessness was novel? But I also think because there were more surprises among the winners last year (I was above par with 17/24 last year, and on par with 19/24 this year), which always makes the awards themselves more exciting.
I still like the following quality of no host: the variety in the source of the comedy! I loved Steve Martin & Chris Rock as the non-host openers, but if they kept coming out all show, we'd grow tired of their bits. Instead we get to make more of a meal out of the fun presenters - pairings like Wiig & Rudolph, Ferrell & Julia D-L, cat-clad Corden & Rebel Dubs. We've always had funny presenters like that, but when there's no host, it feels even more highlighted & awesome. And we focus more on the awards themselves than on the host's distracting shenanigans.
But on the downside, the show does lack some pizzaz without fun side gags from the host. I'd vote for bringing a host back in to conduct a silly thing here & there, just not go overboard with it.
But host or no-host, here are a few complaints about Sunday's telecast:
1) Why so few montages??? I love montages!!!
2) What the HECK is the point of having people present other presenters?!?! It was their attempt to say "oh, there's no host to call out a presenter, so why don't we have a bunch of individuals take over that role?" - but not having to waste the time having the host do that is exactly one of the UPSIDES of not having a host?! You can save that time for other things! This just slowed everything down, and kept us from our montages we (or at least I) love. And really just felt like a shameless excuse for more diversity among the presenters (as the presenters-of-the-presenters by-and-large felt like a more diverse collection). Why not just have those diverse people present?!
3) Why on earth did we need Eminem to perform his song that won 17 years ago?!?!?! THAT was a waste of time. We've already got performances of the 5 nominees for Best Original Song, AND Janelle Monae's opening song! Just dumb. (But I did like the quick montage of past winners - stuff like that is fun & nice.) (ps that opening song was pretty great - loved the dancing characters from the movies, especially from movies that were overlooked, so we could send them so love too!)
Things I had mixed feelings on or liked:
1) I think I liked that they didn't have presenters present EACH Best Picture nominee throughout the night, but instead did a condensed highlight reel at the end. Not because I don't enjoy honoring each movie separately in a meaty way throughout the show, but a) because this saved time, b) because we're getting doses of most of those movies throughout the show anyway as they present bits during acting & screenplay categories, etc, and most importantly c) because doing it the old way would make the Best Picture presentation feel too quick & thin. It's more of a meal of a moment to have that rad montage at the end right before the honoring of the winner. Loved that.
2) Very mixed feelings on the montage approach for the clips for the acting categories. I liked that it gave us a more varied & complete view into each performance, and that it was an independently entertaining soufflé of talent. But something felt scattered about it, and impersonal to each actor. It might be that I fall in love with it over time if it stays this way, but at the moment I'm of two minds: "that's cool" and "I don't like it, go back to what I know & love".
1) Joaquin's crazy, but we all knew that. I appreciate his sentiment about veganism and all that, but I definitely didn't expect to hear about artificial insemination and a calf's milk during an Oscar speech. It's a little bit like: know your time & place. That said, I value his passion, and he really planted an emotional landing with that quote from his deceased brother :(
2) MAN, Renee is CRAY!!! What was she doin' going on & on naming random famous people from history?! And sweet jesus was her speech long. She won, and I did an immediate full-body eye-roll and left the room (I rewatch the whole thing the next day or two anyway), and when I walked back in like 3 minutes later, she was STILL TALKING!!! Just did some quick googling - it ranks among the 10-20 longest Oscar speeches of all time. But most of those other speeches were exciting - I bet her's was one of the longest BORING & EMPTY speeches!!! I'm SO OVER THIS OSCAR CAMPAIGN AND ECSTATIC TO MOVE ON FROM THIS INSANELY UNDESERVED WIN!!!!!!
3) Love Brad Pitt & Laura Dern. Don't love that they won for these performances. But happy for them, whatever. And their speeches were lovely.
4) Taika Waititi is a national treasure, and Bong Joon-ho is even more so!!! ADORE them - more on the individual category pages.
5) Except that I want to add: Bong Joon-ho MADE this year's Oscars!!!!! He is such a delight. "I drink til next morning" should be engraved somewhere. And I'm just over the moon for him.
I am so moved & delighted to see the Academy finally award a foreign-language film for Best Picture. Especially one that is so genre & quirky, so unlike what the Academy would normally reward, even beyond its international status.
I will say that I'm a little sad that 1917 didn't win any major awards, though. It's SUCH a brilliant piece of filmmaking that would have dominated in any other year. So I kinda wished Sam Mendes had won, for 2 reasons: 1) to share the wealth with that genius piece a bit (Bong won 3 other Oscars after all), and 2) because then the Parasite best picture win would have been that much more deliciously surprising. (After it took director, I just knew.) But I'm splitting hairs: what an exciting moment. And I got to share in it with a room full of excited friends at my home in KOREAtown!!!!!!
My party was a delight, as always! Had about 30 friends over, and here are some pics cuz why not!
My friend Maddy (above left) assisted one of the winners of Best Makeup & Hair WHILE she was working on Bombshell, so naturally we awarded her an Oscar of her own! :)
And what a delight to have my Korean-American friend Jessica Ko (above right) in the house for South Korea's big win! In K-town no less!
Some people brought food themed after the movies again, though I can't remember them exactly (Bear-a-site gummy bears perhaps? haha). I'm busy chatting with people & not taking it all in :)
And the most exciting moment? THE BIG WIN!:
The room utterly erupted. People made Instagram stories and now those videos don't exist anymore because social media is utterly confounding and kind of the devil.
Aaaaaanyway, that's all I've got to say! What a night. Check out my responses to each of the top 8 categories on their individual pages.
And check out how I did vs the critics here - I didn't do as well as usual, but if that's because PARASITE won Best Picture, well than I'LL TAKE IT! :)
Hope you all enjoy Oscar season even a FRACTION as much as I do, and...
~ UNTIL NEXT YEAR! ~
Spirit fingers and Oscar love,