And so the 84th Annual Academy Awards have come and gone. The ceremony was one of the best in a few years. (To be fair, it was significantly better than last year’s debacle, so we can’t complain too much.) There’s little I can add to the conversation, so I’m keeping this post brief. Just like the telecast itself.
There were many things I loved: Martin Scorsese’s bored pre-teen daughter, Octavia Spencer’s emotions, a skit by Christopher Guest and company, spotting A.R. Rahman in Pharrell and Hans Zimmer’s Totally Awesome Oscars Balcony Band, Angelina Jolie’s inexplicable need to flaunt her right leg, and…
1. Billy Crystal was a good enough host
Thanks to this age of instant reactions on social media, when people are disappointed we hear about it. Often and loudly. So when people were over Billy Crystal’s opening number, Twitter erupted into a frenzy. (I want to know what they were expecting. The opening was pure Billy Crystal.) Then when Chris Rock made one provocative statement (the stuff you can get away with as a presenter and not the emcee), there were a multitude of “Chris Rock should host!” tweets. When Emma Stone was delightfully energetic, it became “Emma Stone should host!” When Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis smacked cymbals in Brangelina’s face, it was “Will and Zach should co-host!”
But the issue is not that Billy Crystal was a bad host, he just wasn’t “edgy” enough. Whatever that entails. His appeal is lost on most twenty-somethings who don’t recognize his blackface Sammy Davis Jr as one of his SNL characters. (That doesn’t really defend it though.) We’ve reached a point as an audience where a consummate entertainer complimenting Hollywood’s most elite without any bit of snark does not appeal to the Tweeting masses, who will never be satisfied with anything. But, please, this was not “the worst Oscars ever“.
2. Why Viola Davis Lost (Maybe)
Meryl Streep won and Viola Davis was robbed. This seems to be the consensus. It has occurred to me that while the nominated performances were great, the films these actresses were in were mostly mediocre. Great performances in mediocre films leads to the safe choice: Meryl Streep.
3. If you have to present, just go for it
Thank you, Emma Stone, Robert Downey Jr, and the Bridesmaids for making presenter banter enjoyable.
Now if only Natalie Portman and Colin Firth didn’t have to make those awkward “why your performance was so great” remarks to every acting nominee, we would be in business. If the producers ditched them, then the best song nominees could actually perform… with Pharrell and Hans Zimmer’s Totally Awesome Oscars Balcony Band.
4. I absolutely hate it when the technical awards, documentary and animation categories are referred to as a “bathroom break”. The winners of these categories give some of the best speeches and many have been in the business for ages. Like Meryl Streep’s make-up guy, J. Roy Helland. Also, William Joyce won an Oscar, so shut it.
5. A Separation wins Best Foreign Language Film
Frankly, I don’t care about anything else that happened during the telecast because this is exactly why the Oscars do matter.
And one last pointless thought: I would like to thank the Academy for reminding me that Canada is mostly Montana.