My observations on the Academy Awards presentation this past Sunday evening.....
- I will start by acknowledging what has been almost universally hailed as the highlight of the evening, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper calmly leaving their front row seats and going on stage to sing "Shallows", the Best Original Song Oscar winner.
- It was a great performance, and the fact that it was presented on television from the stage, even with and behind the performers so as to see the audience, made it even better.
- I didn't miss the fact that there was no host for the show. That certainly made the show move quicker as it eliminated the need for said host to crack lame jokes every time he introduced the next presenters.
- That said, I did miss an opening monolog. They are usually pretty funny.
- I also missed the host coming on at about 10:45 in the night and saying "well, we've reached the halfway point, folks." That joke is like DiMaggio's streak: it's been told at 56 consecutive Academy Awards shows, and now it's over.
- One critique that I read of "Roma" leading up to the show was that, while it might be a wonderful piece of film making, it was also self-indulgent and the "most expensive home movie ever made". Had it won Best Picture, I might - might - have felt complied to see it. Now, I don't have to.
- I have not seen "The Favourite". Perhaps Olivia Coleman deserved that Best Actress Oscar, perhaps she didn't (and, hey, she did give a great and heartfelt acceptance speech), but I feel really bad that Glenn Close did not win it. This was her seventh Oscar nomination, and she has never won. She turns 72 next month, and you wonder if she'll ever get another chance.
- I expressed my thoughts in this space a few days ago stating that of the three nominated movies that I had seen, my vote for Best Picture would have gone to "Green Book", so, say it with me now.....I believe I had that!
- Department of How to Make the Academy Awards Show Shorter.....The performances of four nominated Best Original Songs took ten minutes and twelve seconds. Yeah, I timed them (what a nerd). Don't perform those songs every year and you shorten the show. Of course, you do that and ABC cannot promote an appearance of Lady Gaga (or, in prior years, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, or Lin-Manuel Miranda to juice up the ratings). And of course, if you did that this year, we would have missed what was the best part of the evening (see first bullet point above).
- I realize that the death of Stanley Donen on Saturday happened too close to the show to get his name and photo included in the filmed In Memoriam tribute, but wouldn't you think that someone, anyone, could have mentioned the loss of this industry giant at some point during the course of the show?
- In closing, a salute to the four Oscar winning actors of 2018....
Rami Malek, Olivia Coleman, Regina King, Mahershala Ali