Monday, February 23, 2015 at 5:57 AM

And the Oscar Goes To…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Well, first things first – if you haven’t read “The Oscars 2015: My Picks,” I suggest you scroll down to do so before continuing here.

That said, I’ve read enough reviews of last night’s show to feel utterly vindicated for having written this after watching last year’s show:

I’m never going to waste my time watching The Oscars ever again. Because it amounts to Chinese water torture for the producers to make us sit through three and a half hours of painfully uninteresting TV just to have the four most interesting awards hurled at us in the last four minutes of the show.

No offense to screenwriters, cinematographers, costume designers, makeup artists, et al, but surely I’m not alone in thinking it would make for a much more entertaining show if they presented one of the six major awards every 30-40 minutes….

(“And the Oscar Goes To…, The iPINIONS Journal, March 3, 2014)

Waking up to this headline from The Huffington Post was sweet vindication:

Hollywood’s Biggest, Boringest Night!

25F8327A00000578-2959076-image-a-19_1424657935781On the other hand, after hailing first-time host Neil Patrick Harris as the best thing to happen to The Oscars since Billy Crystal, I feel obliged to acknowledge the chorus of reputable critics saying he sucked: Too much Broadway, not enough Hollywood – with all that entails…?

Whatever the case, this opening line from the Washington Post’s review of his performance said it all:

It was bound to happen eventually. Neil Patrick Harris, the man who can host anything, finally stumbled.

Still, kudos to him for at least trying to make The Oscars look less lily White by featuring so many Blacks, most notably Oprah, in his comedic bits. Granted, the director was trying also by continually panning the audience for Black faces; you know, the way they do at Republican national conventions to give the appearance of diversity.

Too bad Harris came across, insofar as I can tell at any rate, like a White guy trying a little too hard to endear himself on Amateur Night at the Apollo. I mean, enlisting the admittedly Mammy or Aunt Jemima-looking Octavia Spencer as The Help with some running lock-box gag about his Oscar picks? WTF, Neil?!

Ah well.

The Awards

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role: My pick was J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

The winner was J.K. Simmons.

  • Best Actress in Supporting Role: My pick was Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

The winner was Patricia Arquette.

  • Best Actress in Leading Role: My pick was Julianne Moore in Still Alice

The winner was Julianne Moore.

  • Best Actor in Leading Role: My pick was Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

The winner was Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything. Ooops.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 10.28.37 AM

  • Best Director: My pick was Alejandro G. Iñárritu in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

The winner was Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

  • Best Picture: My pick was Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

The winner was Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

I wrote an inordinate number of commentaries criticizing Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks. Therefore, I also feel obliged to acknowledge that Citizen Four, the documentary chronicling those leaks, won the Oscar for Best Documentary. But I gather host Harris’s best line of the night was when he responded to this all too predictable victory by quipping that:

Edward Snowden couldn’t be here for some treason.

(ABC News, February 22, 2015)

That’s a wrap!

Related commentaries:
The Oscars 2015: My Picks
Oscar 2014

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