And so we reach another end of another Oscars broadcast. This one was fairly enjoyable, as far as Oscars broadcasts go. It did feel odd to me that the situation in Ukraine was really only brought up a couple of times (and one of those times was when an actor said, “To the people watching in Ukraine.” Um . . . dude? Ukraine’s got much more serious stuff to deal with at the moment than the Oscars.), but overall I had a fun time. Ellen was her usually reliable self. Some people might have thought the pizza schtick and other random interactions were lame, but I thought it brought a breath of fresh air to an event that takes itself way too seriously. Loved seeing how some of the actors/actresses would interact with her, and some just clearly wanted to be anywhere else but there.
As for the winners, seems like Gravity was an inescapable force–right up until the final award. I loved the fact that they gave the Oscar to 12 Years a Slave–it was a great twist ending to what seemed like an inevitable conclusion. Also extremely nice to see some diversity up on stage. Latin Americans, Kenyans, French–the Oscars should be about more than white American men winning golden men trophies. And last night seemed like a great step away from that.
And any night that includes Bill Murray giving a shout out to Harold Ramis is a successful night in my book. (Bill–when did you start looking so old? That’s not allowed. NOT ALLOWED!!)
Then again, whose bright idea was it to have Better Midler sing Wind Beneath My Wings after the In Memoriam section was over? I mean, did they brainstorm for all of three seconds for that gem? Bring back Yo-Yo Ma–though on another bright note, it seems they muted the audience for the Memoriam piece, so we didn’t have to listen to the Applause-o-Meter to see who was most popular (or who everyone was most glad was dead . . .?) That was a good idea.
Oh–and John Travolta. What in the world were you trying to call Idina Menzel? Because it sure wasn’t anything remotely close to her name. And then Ellen tried to smooth it over by calling her “Eye-dina.” Way to go, Hollywood. I expected more from Travolta.
I will say it felt very long to me this year, and that’s never a good sign. But I was watching with friends, and there was plenty to talk about or make fun of, so time goes faster that way, too.
But of course I know the reason you’re all here. You want to know if I defended my Oscar Hat trophy. It was a close year this time–the result wasn’t sealed up until almost the very end, but I squeaked out a victory: I got 19 out of 24, and second place was 18 out of 24. Phew! (Though there’s been some rumblings of changing the scoring system for next year–rumblings I might be in support of. Perhaps a three tiered system, with obscure awards getting 1 point, major awards getting 3? Something like that. We shall see.) The fact that I got as many picks right as I did is likely a testament to how predictable this year’s crop of nominations was. I don’t get to see the new releases very much these days, so I have to rely on reviews and word of mouth to make my picks for me. (If you’re looking for a much more in-depth live blog review of the show, might I suggest my agent’s blog? I always enjoy reading his reactions, and one year, it would be great to watch it with him–though the drive down from Maine in February ain’t exactly a sunday jaunt.)
But without further ado, I present to you this year’s winner (yours truly) in all his Oscar winning glory.