Monday, February 27, 2017 at 7:29 AM

And the Oscar Goes To…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

I’m on record stating how much I dislike the annual Academy Awards show (the Oscars). Because I have little regard for preening, pampered poseurs showing off their borrowed frocks and bling-bling as a prelude to a [nearly four-hour] show — only six minutes of which anyone really cares about (i.e., the time it takes to present Oscars for actor and actress in a leading role, actor and actress in a supporting role, best director, and best picture). …

And, remarkably enough, the host comedians do little to relieve the boredom of the interludes between these carefully spread-out moments.

(“My Review of the 2008 Oscars,” The iPINIONS Journal, February 25, 2008)

The above explains my contention that this awards show would be much better if it were limited to one hour. Failing that, presenting at least one of the six major awards every half hour would make it far more bearable.

Unfortunately, producers invariably present one of them within the first half hour. They then inflict hours of ancillary presentations and Grammy-envy entertainment, before relieving pent-up frustrations – in an orchestrated frenzy – by presenting the remaining major awards in the last half hour. Which, of course, is rather like pushers giving users a free hit to get them hooked, knowing full well that they will be longing for that next hit, no matter how long it takes.

Incidentally, the way Hollywood stars telegraphed their intent to turn this show into a presidential roast of Donald Trump would have been enough for me to tune out – if I were not already intent on doing so. After all, CNN and MSNBC serve us that political diet every day these days. To Hollywood’s credit, though, reports are that most presenters and winners treated Trump like an orange elephant in the hall.

Meanwhile, host comedian Jimmy Kimmel reportedly did little to ease viewers’ frustrations. To be fair, he followed a slew of far more talented comedians, including Steve Martin, David Letterman, and Jon Stewart, who bombed at this self-sacrificing gig.

I suggested in the 2008 commentary cited above that the only suitable host for this show is one who is as skilled at song and dance and sight gags as he or she is at emceeing and stand up. And, with all due respect to the likes of Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, and Hugh Jackman, the only host to ever truly fit the bill was Billy Crystal.

All the same, last night’s three-hour doldrums would probably have been a little more tolerable if Jimmy Fallon instead of Jimmy Kimmel were hosting.

In any event, the reviews have only vindicated the decision I made years ago to stop watching the Oscars.

That said, the Oscar goes to:

  • Actor in a Supporting Role

My pick was Mahershala Ali in Moonlight. The winner was Mahershala Ali.

This makes him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. But it’s also makes for a dramatic antidote to Trump’s poisonous anti-Muslim policies.

  • Actress in Supporting Role

My pick was Viola Davis in Fences. The winner was Viola Davis.

  • Actress in Leading Role

My pick was Ruth Negga in Loving. The winner was  Emma Stone in La La Land.

  • Actor in Leading Role

My pick was Denzel Washington in Fences. The winner was Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea.

This proves that Trump has normalized sexual harassment/assault … but only if you’re a white guy (see this category in “My Picks” below if you need clarification).

  • Directing

My pick was Damien Chazelle in La La Land. The winner was Damien Chazelle.

  • Best Picture

My pick was La La Land. The winner was Moonlight.

But only after Faye Dunaway caused epic confusion when she mistakenly announced the prohibitive favorite, La La Land. Its producers and cast members were already in the midst of accepting the award when they were informed. I’m sure Steve Harvey was happy to pass the GOAT baton to Dunaway for this kind of onstage mixup. It was an ending clearly worthy of, er, La La Land.

NOTE: Blacks made history by winning half of the six major awards (and a couple of the many ancillary ones too). This validates the cynicism I expressed in “#OscarSoDiverse…?” January 27, 2017.

I feared this would be the all too predictable response to last year’s protest, #OscarSoWhite. Frankly, it’s a wonder the show did not end with the entire audience joining hands and singing Kumbaya, which would have served as a palliative to racism in Hollywood and Trump’s White House in equal measure.

Let’s see how many blacks the Academy features in next year’s presentations …

Related commentaries:
My picks

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

My Books

VFC Painting


Subscribe via Email

Powered by FeedBlitz