I hate to say it, but this was the most depressing, unimpressive Oscars in all the years I’ve been watching them. There were only a handful of highlights, (if even that many,) and the entire evening had an air of sadness and desperation.
Yes, many of my choices did win, but that not enough Academy members voted for Andra Day for Best Actress is despicable. No other performance by a female came even close to hers! (In case you missed my mini reviews of this season’s films, here’s the link to the one where I featured Miss Day: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/movie-reviews-mini-movie-reviews-of-2021-contenders-part-ii, and this is the link to the rest of them: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/movie-reviews-mini-movie-reviews-of-2021-contenders-part-i.)
Here’s a small preview of some of the other problems with the show: there were shamefully few movie clips, (they wasted our time with clips from a duo of upcoming musicals, but where were all the introductions of the Best Picture nominees by a cast member or two?,) no song nominees performed on the show, (I found-out later that they were shown on the one pre-show I didn’t get through the entirety of,) most of the show was waaaaaaay too wordy, and there was dreadful camera work, on every level!!! (The camerawork was worse than Public Access. And I should know!)
And they went with a DJ instead of an orchestra. And he was told to not play off any long-winded speeches, which the participants were actually encouraged to give, by the way! Crazy.
Beyond everything, though, the show really needed a host!!! An amusing one, especially to set the proper tone right up front, which first presenter Regina King far from did. (My thoughts will be more detailed as we get to each point.)
At least there was none of the usual stupid, uncomfortable, forced banter between presenting duos.
And one tiny non-specific observation, for all awards shows these days: I feel like many people don’t vote with his or her critical mind anymore; they all vote for a certain outcome, to have the winner be a certain color or sex, basically.
I’m sorry I didn’t live-tweet the show this year, but let’s look on the bright side—there’s so much more for me to cover for you right here! Yay!
I’m tempted to not go in order, (which I always do,) so I can just get to the very few highlights right away, but, after debating it for about an hour, (I know—great use of my time, right?) my linear mind won’t let me do it that way. So, here we go, in order of the many pertinent TV shows on Oscars Sunday:
I didn’t get to all of them, but most.
On the very first ABC preview show, the female host, Janai Norman, (I have no idea who she is, either,) rocked the best dress of the entire day, while the male host, Chris Connelly, looked like the biggest shlemiel ever!
Paul Raci, deserving acting nominee for Sound of Metal, was smart to get there early so he got to do all the interviews. And I was thrilled that he signed his answers along with speaking them, since losing one’s hearing is the topic of his film. But he forgot to do it for the first half of his first interview. I kept yelling at the screen for him to do that, so I was so happy when he finally did. I’m sure that gesture was appreciated by so many. (His, of course, not mine.)
Youn Yuh-jung, who won for Minari, actually looked the best to me. Her simple gown was adorable, elegant, comfortable, and perfect! And brilliant for the occasion. So she won an Oscar and my Fashion Award on the same night! Major chughahabnida to her, all the way around.
When talking to an interviewer, Leslie Odom Jr. listed The 40-Year-Old Virgin as a current and predominantly-black movie!!! I can’t even figure out what he meant. (If you can, please let us all know in the Comments section below.) [Update!: A reader got the bottom of it for us, so please read her comment at the bottom of this article. I stand corrected. Thanks, Noelle!]
Glenn Close looked great, and was smart enough to wear gloves as fashion, but I have a feeling it really was mainly to be safe from other people’s touches, thus making her the smartest person there!!!
Some idiot woman from the upcoming new West Side Story, Ariana deBose, who was a terrible host on the third ABC pre-show, was so annoying that I had to turn away from that show, even though Lil Rel Howery was also on it! [Note: I just got a gander at her many and major performing credits, so I’m impressed with those, but she should stick to performing and not talking. And this is weird—it turns-out she was on So You Think You Can Dance many years ago, pre-nose job, but she must have been pretty unspecial back then for me to not remember her, at all!)
Songwriter Diane Warren always seems like such a normal person. I actually met her for a brief moment a few years ago, so I knew of her regular person-ness back then. I was at a reception for a few Oscars songwriters, and was chatting with Common. Some rude woman handed me her camera, and insisted I take a picture of her with Common and Ryan Tedder, and Diane just ran over and put her arms around the guys, and said, “I want to be in the picture, too!” How much more normal than that can you get?
I adore that Leslie Odom Jr. corrected the idiot woman from E! She said that he and his wife had just “welcomed a four-week-old baby.” He said if the baby had come out as a four-week-old, that would have been crazy, and that instead, his wife had the baby four weeks ago! I love that!
An absolute highlight of my entire eleven hours of Oscars-day-viewing was seeing adorable Alan Kim of Minari. What an amiable, honest kid!
I didn’t think I could like Riz Ahmed more than I already did, but when I saw him fix his wife’s hair for a photo—OMG! What a guy!
Zendaya looked awful. Her hair looked like mine before I have it flat-ironed, which I would never go out looking like. And she’s actually way too skinny. That hideous yellow outfit didn’t help!
At this point, I noted that “the red carpet is sort-of depressing.” And the broadcasts only got worse, trust me. Shame.
I’m glad some people were honest about how nutty this whole event is this year, including nominees Glenn Close and Lee Isaac Chung and Stephen Yuen, (the director and star of Minari.) But many said it’s been a year and a half at home, which is weird because it’s been only thirteen months since the stay-at-home orders. That’s definitely long enough, but still, it’s five months shorter than they all stated.
Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley, who co-hosted part of E’s coverage, spoke so well and had excellent info to share. Every correspondent should be like Jacqueline!
I hate to be the one to say this, but it was sort-of rude of Nomadland director Chloé Zhao to show-up in sneakers and a schmatta dress and those braids she can’t seem to get enough of, like she was going to the 99 Cent Store. She seems nice, but come on—make an effort, for goodness sake! Or maybe she was going for a tribute to Sacheen Littlefeather. (Research it, if you don’t know of what I speak. It’s an excellent reference, if I do say so myself.)
But it was so sweet that she and her surprisingly attractive husband kept smiling at each other; adorbs.
Viola Davis looked downright awful!!! She had dark circles under her eyes, horrible eye make-up, (which looked to have smudged underneath,) no lipstick, and her head shaved on the sides. Someone, please get this woman a stylist!
I’m not a fan of Viola’s, (although I wish I were because we both studied at RIC and we’re both still friends with our acting professor there, Dr. Bill Hutchinson,) but I love what she said on the carpet about the late Chadwick Boseman: He “did not mistake his presence for the event.” Perf.
You know I love Andra Day, so I’m sad to say this, but her outfit looked very chintzy. Her stunning self could, and should, have done a zillion times better.
THE ACTUAL OSCARS SHOW
I loved the new colorful credits, which gave me false hope for a really festive and fun show to come.
Regina King sure can strut!!! But she should not have brought the room down right off the bat by discussing the Derek Chauvin trial! People watch the Oscars, (well, the very few who did this year, anyway,) for escapism, not to be reminded of all the conflict we’re experiencing in the world. This was absolutely not the correct place for preaching. (By the way–she spoke the truth, but it still was not the right platform for it, especially right at the outset!)
Regina also stated, “We’re following all the rigorous protocols.” But they were not, at all!!! There were no masks nor much social distancing. And it was beyond weird that they sat so many disparate people at tables together! I wonder if it was as uncomfortable to be living that circumstance as it was to watch it being done!
Marlee Matlin should have been facing the other way at her table, so she could have seen the stage and her sign language interpreter. (She looks amazing, by the way—at least a dozen years younger than she actually is! And she’s had four children! You go, girl!)
DJ Questlove went really formal for the Oscars–no comb sticking out of his head!
How is the Borat sequel an adapted screenplay??? Adapted from what source was it adapted? And it was mainly improvs, so where was the writing for which the script was nominated?
Mr. X and I loved, loved, loved Florian Zeller’s speech!!! (He’s the Frenchman who won for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Father.) But why didn’t they allow his co-writer, Christopher Hampton, to also speak??? [Note: I’m looking forward to their follow-up film, The Son, which will star my still-crush, Hugh Jackman.]
I can’t decide if I love or hate Laura Dern‘s crazy gown. But it’s most likely the latter. (You need to see it in movement, with the shoes visible, to appreciate it.)
Thomas Vinterberg, the winner of Best International Feature Film for Another Round, and his wife are an attractive couple. But he has such a sad story. This was the one time I was grateful they didn’t play someone off—he was talking about his teen-age daughter who got killed by a texting driver just four days into the shooting of this film. Heartbreaking.
That Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won for costumes is a disgrace. The movie featured one costume for each character, and nothing special at that. The ones for Emma were stunning, and those for Mulan were outstanding. But the best wardrobe, in The United States vs Billie Holiday, was not even nominated!!!
That was a good short speech by the winners of Best Live-Action Short Film, Two Distant Strangers.
At this point, I was wondering why the camera people were shooting so many speakers from the side! That was so weird.
Mr. X commented that the producers, etc., were doing well under the circumstances. But, although the old-timey look of the venue, (it reminded me of the pix I’ve seen of how the Oscars looked in the early years,) and closeness of the participants to the action, were sort-of interesting, I just couldn’t admire much about the whole shebang. It all just depressed me a bit.
Best Supporting Actress Youn Yuh-jung was the only bright spot in the entire show up till this point!
Reese Witherspoon looked like some crazy villain! Her make-up was smudged under her eyes so much that it looked like she slept in it the night before!
Halle Berry looked the worst ever. How did that stunning woman look so bad? That hair!!! Her stylist needs to fired pronto. (I’m thrilled to see I’m far from the only one who’s brave enough to say something about it.)
Some years go by with no Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award given to anyone, and this year they bestowed two! That’s strange, but the circumstances of recent life demand it, I guess. I’m glad to see that so many are actually doing kind work. (It went to Tyler Perry and the Motion Picture Fund.)
Tyler Perry is some speaker! I could listen to him all day. And I’ve never seen even one thing he’s ever done in the business!
Best Actress nominee Vanessa Kirby looked so strange. She’s such a pretty, smiley girl, so why did she choose to look so wan and severe at the Oscars of all places??? She looked like a Victorian school headmistress. And not a pleasant one! I had no idea that was Vanessa until almost the end of the show!!!
One of a team of a trio of winners for Best Score, Jon Baptiste should have let the others talk!
Where were the songs and clips??? Instead of encouraging long drawn-out speeches, how about doing the parts we actually like about the Oscars?!
The biggest highlight was Glenn Close doing the Da Butt dance! She’s always so lovely and such fun, and the person I’d most like to be friends with there. And she looked great!
It was strange that Angela Bassett began her In Memorium intro before the show was back from commercial! I like her, but why does she have an English accent all of a sudden? That’s not attractive. And neither was her crazy blue-all-around-the-eyes make-up! [Note: I’m beginning to see a pattern here—did someone put out a memo that all eye make-up is supposed to be smudged around the entire eye this year? If so, these people were morons to follow it! It goes back to the old question—if your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it, too???]
It’s sad when the nomads (who were the real people in Nomadland) look better than the star and director! But I worried the whole time about how hard it would be for them to go back to their simple trailer lives the day after having people get them all glammed-up, and rubbing shoulders with the stars.)
Still, Best Actress winner Frances McDormand dressed-up…for her. And looked more appropriate than her also-Oscar-winner director, Chloé Zhao. But her gray-hair-on-top was it’s usual mess. I think we can all agree that she’s just a weirdo, in general.
Now let’s discuss that crazy ending! I was behind a bit, and speeding through the commercials. I actually thought I had sped-up too much when all of a sudden, they went out of order for the final three awards! Best Picture is always last! It’s the biggest award of the year, for goodness sake!!! I couldn’t imagine how I had missed Best Actress and Best Actor! When I realized they were doing those three out of order, I was literally aghast. I think the producers thought they were being innovative, but they were far from it; doing it wrong does not make it better. It makes it worse.
I have a feeling that they changed it up because they expected the late, and very loved, Chadwick Boseman to be the Best Actor winner, and they wanted what would have surely been an emotional scene to be the lasting impression of the telecast. I know that even the producers aren’t privy to the winners before the audience is, but in this extreme case, they maybe should have taken a peek at the envelope beforehand! That whole ending was anticlimactic, and uber-depressing, even though I wanted Anthony to win.
Anthony Hopkins soooo deserved the win for Best Actor; as I’ve said and written many a time, his performance was a master class in acting! But yes, it was a shock; just about everyone was expecting the Oscar to go to Chadwick because it would be his last chance at one. But at eighty-three, it just might be Anthony’s last chance, as well. You never know.
So I’m extremely disappointed that the producers would not let him be there on Zoom. They had put out an edict that they would not allow Zooms, so that all the nominees would have to attend the show. But they knew that Anthony had been at his home in Wales for a month now. And at his mature age, he couldn’t take the risk to travel to one of their “hubs,” such as London or even Dublin. But they had other nominees on-hand at locations around the world, so they should have had a remote ready for him in Wales, as well. Major shame on them for that omission!
I met Anthony very many years ago, (at Lynn Redgrave’s house, as a matter of fact,) and he was lovely. And we currently share a business manager. So, I was especially saddened that he didn’t get the chance to grace us with an acceptance speech on the show. But you can find his very brief, (thirty-eight seconds, to be exact,) next-day speech, all over the internet now. I appreciate that he took the time to make one, and lauded Chadwick during it. And, of course, I congratulate him on his very deserved win!
I was so glad that Andrew Rannells corrected the idiot announcer on how to pronounce his easy-as-pie last name! She should have checked how to pronounce the names of people she’s going to announce!!!
Andrew and fellow actor Colman Domingo turned-out to be really good interviewers!
So, to recap: The highlights of the Oscars were: Youn Yuh-jung’s charming and hilarious acceptance speech, Glenn Close’s whole Da Butt bit, Florian Zeller’s perfect speech, adorable little Alan Kim’s red carpet chat, Andra Day’s very honest cussing assessment of Prince’s old snub by the Academy for his classic song, Purple Rain, Tyler Perry’s wonderful-as-always healing speech, and Anthony Hopkins very deserved win for the master class in acting that his performance in The Father was.
And the lowlights? Everything else!!!