Oscars 2023

Another year, another Oscar party! And this year there wasn’t even any physical violence on stage. What a concept! Honestly, I found last night’s broadcast to be very good. It really helped that there were so many positive narratives to see come to a resolution all at once. It was almost like a Brandon Sanderson ending. You had Short Round hugging Indiana Jones (and me discovering Data’s lawyer is Chunk), Michele Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Fraser, and on and on. It was almost enough to make you think it was scripted. I enjoyed the focus on movies, with not too much in the way of politics to distract from any of it, other than a few zingers here and there.

Was it a surprising night? No, it wasn’t. I won the Oscar the Grouch hat in a landslide, with 20 out of 23 correct picks. When that happens, you know there’s not much in the way of upsets. I hadn’t anticipated All’s Quiet on the Western Front to get quite so much love, and I’d given the edge to Angela Bassett over Jamie Lee Curtis. Other than that, it all played out as I thought it would. I was happy to see Everything Everywhere All at Once garner so many Oscars. It was an original, very different movie, and it’s great to see a science fiction film clean up at the ceremony.

Jimmy Kimmel did fine as a host. There weren’t too many really idiotic schticks. (The only one I really found egregious was to try and rope Malala into an inane “ask the audience” routine. Thankfully, she handled it well and sort of slapped it down, as she should have.) The musical numbers were quite good. (Though the one for Everything Everywhere was . . . very different. I loved Naatu Naatu, and Lady Gaga hit it out of the park.)

The two built in advertisements were tedious. One for The Little Mermaid (which was the worst of the two) and one for 100 years of Warner Bros. They should have been straight up ads. Instead, they were portrayed as part of the ceremony, which seemed very cheap. But at least they didn’t have the applause-o-meter going during the In Memoriam segment, so maybe we end up with a wash.

My actual party was a lot of fun, though it was really just a few of us there. I dressed up as The Dude (from the Big Lebowski), Denisa was Goldie (from Fiddler), Daniela was “the girl in green” (from Turning Red), and MC was Hermione. Then friends came as Simba, Elsa, Headmistress Trunchbull, and an 80 for Brady fan. Daniela and I made up a peanut butter banana chocolate trifle which was quite tasty, we had Italian sodas, and fancy cupcakes. How can you go wrong?

Full disclosure: this time I turned off the broadcast at 10:30 while Rhianna was singing, and I watched the rest in the morning once I woke up, because I really needed some sleep. I will likely do that again. Yay for DVRs.

Really, the one thing that’s still changed for me and my relation to the movies is that I don’t see them in the theater anymore. I don’t think I went to a single movie last year (though I watched 104 movies.) I also watched 26 seasons of different television shows, which shows me some of my movies are definitely shifting over to TV. Will I ever go back to the theater? I’m not sure, honestly. There’s something to be said for being able to watch the movie on my big screen, with my great sound system, and not have to worry about being around other people who might talk or check their phone or otherwise annoy me. The big thing I used to turn out for was movies that had a huge fan base. Marvel. LOTR. Harry Potter. Star Wars. These days, it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of “must see movies” coming out, that I look forward to ahead of time and really plan to see. Maybe that will change.

In any case, it was fun to do another Oscar night, and I was happy for a good, classic show with few distractions.


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