My Response to the Winners & Telecast
Wow. No words.
I mean, what is there to respond to aside from the Slap?!?! That was insane.
A lot has been written and spoken about that event, and I don't need to add to the clutter. But I can't be silent on it, so I'll just say this:
Firstly, I do believe that it was a poor move by Chris Rock to make that joke. It wasn't even funny even if it weren't insensitive to Jada's alopecia condition. But: before you insult someone's hair on global television, you should know your targets do your research. You've already insulted Jada publicly, and it wouldn't take much research to know that she's been vocal about this condition. (I can only assume he didn't know - if he DID know, then even worse of course.)
BUT, it goes without saying that walking onto the stage and slapping this insensitive joke-teller is NOT the way to handle it. That's utterly insane behavior of the sort that if any non-famous person were to do the same thing, they'd be considered unfit for society and apprehended. The fact that he remained in the theater and gave an acceptance speech moments later with no timely repercussions is a stain on ABC and The Academy. And the fact that he gave a 5+ minute speech (one of the longest I've ever seen) in which he didn't apologize to Chris Rock but instead primarily defended his actions with statements like "love will make you do crazy things" is basically an effort to gaslight us into thinking his actions are ok. He rambled for so long that it literally felt like his Inside Out minions inside his head were debating whether or not to address his actions more head on and apologize to Chris, and the minions couldn't decide so just kept yelling to his mouth "stall! stall! we haven't decided yet!", until he ultimately had to wrap up, and his indecision became his decision to do nothing. And then dance the night away and release a statement the next day that his team presumably wrote for him? Disgusting. I've lost so much respect for him, sadly.
I thought his performance was a deserving one, but now I'll never think about his win outside of the context of this degrading action. He really fouled up his reputation, and the reputation of this movie.
Not to mention the memory and recognition of those awarded Sunday night! SO, let's not let Will Smith take any more air out of that. On to... HOW THE NIGHT WENT OTHERWISE!
1) Good for CODA? Meh, I'm not jazzed, but it is moving to watch "the deaf movie" win and draw recognition to that marginalized community. More on the Best Picture page.
2) I support all of the acting wins! (Sort of the exact opposite of 2 years ago, when Phoenix, Zellweger, Pitt and Dern waltzed through the season unchallenged, despite somewhat-to-wildly undeserving performances.) DeBose and Kotsur's speeches were particularly moving - both made me cry the SECOND time I watched them, haha :)
3) Yay Kenneth Branagh - at least Belfast won SOMETHING!!!
4) That costume designer of Dune (who literally looks like she's straight out of a Wallace & Gromit episode) is ADORABLE.
5) HOW was that show over 3 hours and 40 minutes long, even though they cut 8 of the categories from the live broadcast?! Can't these Oscar producers just closely study the best Oscar telecasts from history and model their choices after those. I'm a sucker for nostalgia around the history of cinemas, so I'm not mad about all the "cast reunions", but they sucked up a fair amount of time, and some were so random, like the 28 year anniversary of Pulp Fiction? Why are we doing this? Why have three athletes do a bit and then intro a Bond montage? We don't need these things.
6) Hosts Schumer, Hall & Sykes were overall FANTASTIC! LOVED their dynamic & banter with each other, LOVED most of their jokes, LOVED how honest and present Schumer was with the audience ("did I miss anything? I'm feeling a different vibe" - lollll), LOVED Sykes' walk through the Academy Museum, LOVED them dressing up as the characters (especially Schumer flying in as Spider-Man)... I never recognized how comedically skilled Regina Hall was until Sunday night, though I will say that my one knock on the hosting was that I felt her ongoing bit of being single and horny for these hot stars was overplayed. The bit of reading a list of men who needed additional COVID testing was VERY well performed on her part, and a funny bit, but went on WAY too long (especially when she started frisking Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa, which was quite overboard), leaving us wondering "um, how would this go if you were a man calling up women? terribly". It can't go on long enough for us to live in that comparison. That aside, THEY WERE SO GREAT, AND I HOPE THEY RETURN!!
7) Surprisingly predictable year in the end, eh? ("Surprisingly predictable" - what a phrase :)
I think that's all I have to say. Read each category page for my response to the wins of each category!
And here are some snapshots from my big annual Oscar party!!! Until next year... HAPPY MOVIEGOING!