Monday, February 27, 2017

Oscars Post-Mortem

So, they gave out the Oscars last night, and how can you write anything about it without focusing on the incredible screw-up at the end.

You know what happened: Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced "La La Land" as Best Picture, the "La La Land" folks were all on stage making their emotional acceptance speeches, they were then told that no, they had not won, that Beatty was given the wrong envelope, and that neither Dunaway nor he had the aplomb to realize the mistake, and stop the proceedings (I guess that actors really do need scripts), and that "Moonlight" was actually the Best Picture of 2016.

Everyone was quite gracious about it, but I do feel bad that the people from "Moonlight" were robbed of that magic moment of hearing their name called for the big prize.  How that all happened may never be fully known, but as the hoary old Hollywood cliche goes, someone is never going to work in that town again.

My thoughts on the rest of the night:

  • The opening number by Justin Timberlake was dazzling and fantastic.  Nothing else for the rest of the show topped it.
  • Host Jimmy Kimmel's nine minute opening monologue was also terrific.  He nailed it.  After that, all the host needs to do is to keep the show moving and stay out of the way, and Kimmel did that as well as anyone.  However, note to all future Oscars hosts: Stop with the jokes about how long the show is running.  Bob Hope was doing that sixty years ago, and it ceased being funny after the first five or six years he did it.  Enough already.
  • After the Best Picture announcement snafu, Kimmel was also great in taking the blame for it.  "I just knew I was going to screw this up.  I know that I'll never be back here again."
  • To borrow a baseball analogy, the pace of play of the show was moving quite well right up until Viola Davis' long, drawn out, and tearful acceptance speech.  She was the equivalent of a Jeff Locke 37 pitch first inning, to use another baseball analogy.
  • Speaking of Davis, her Supporting Actress victory was the closest thing to a lead pipe cinch leading up to the night that were was.  So, was her sense of wonder, and  tearful, emotional speech sincere, or was she "acting"?
  • The bit with the people from the tour bus was wonderful. 
  • The bit with the movie candy parachutes was fun. Once.  Doing it twice was pushing it, and doing it a third time was REALLY pushing it.
  • Best dress of the night: Amy Adams.
  • The "Inspiration" bits were nice, but why only three of them?  Of course to do any more would have really dragged out the show.
  • I didn't predict her win, but I am quite happy that Emma Stone won Best Actress Oscar.  She's just so damn cute.
  • Denzel Washington sure didn't look happy what Casey Affleck was announced as Best Actor.
  • Damien Chazelle, you've won a Best Director Oscar at age 32.  Now, go out and buy yourself a tux that actually fits you.  I know that "skinny suits" are the height of hipster fashion these days, but he absolutely could not have been comfortable in that thing he was wearing last night.
As happens quite often, a terrific movie with a passel of nominations gets shut out completely.  It happened with "The Martian" last year, and last night it happened with "Hidden Figures".  The test of time is what will really determine what the best picture of any given year is.  What movie will we all most likely want to pull off of the DVD shelf ten or fifteen years from now? "Moonlight", "La La Land", or "Hidden Figures"?  Or something else entirely?  I am betting that everyone of us has seen "Caddyshack" and "National Lampoon's Vacation" more than whatever movies won for Best Picture in the year that they were released.

Oh, about my predictions.  I broke even at 5-5.  In the categories of Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Original Screenplay, and Documentary Feature, I believe I had that.  Missed out on Picture, Actress, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, and Original Song.  So, it you bet with me, you didn't actually lose money.  However, no prediction season is a success if you whiff on the winner of Best Picture, and I haven't been right on that one since "Argo" five years ago.

The Winners!
Ali, Stone, Davis, Affleck

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