Coming at the end of Rock’s monologue, which was either legendary or divisive depending who you ask, Dash is introduced as the Academy’s new Director of Minority Outreach. You can hear the crickets in the audience as Dash walks on stage and awkwardly proclaims, “I can’t wait to help my people out! Happy Black History Month!” It’s a kind of joke that seemingly bombed and served no purpose.
It may be one twisted symbiotic relationship but Dash’s appearance is kind of genius. It’s subversive and weird and politically in tune with the entire monologue.
The Academy Award nominations were announced today and for the second year in a row, the acting nominees were all-white. Straight Outta Compton, Creed, Will Smith in Concussion, Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation were all snubbed. And so, like that Hollywood sequel you didn’t ask for, #OscarsSoWhite is back. I’m both disappointed and not surprised. I don’t think anyone is truly surprised. Discussions of race and gender in Hollywood, both on screen and behind the camera, are never-ending. But more importantly, the Oscars are rooted in industry politics and its more clear than ever that Hollywood cannot escape itself.
Expectations are now being placed on host Chris Rock to say something, anything about this year’s Oscar snubs. But before you go down that rabbit hole, keep this in mind:
A five minute opening by brilliant Chris Rock will not make up for over 80 years of erasure of marginalized communities. #OscarsSoWhite
The 87th Academy Awards are in just a few hours. Boyhood will win Best Picture but that doesn’t matter.
As always, the Oscars telecast will be one of television’s great spectacles. Too much attention will given to what actresses are wearing, to how Jennifer Aniston will be breathing the same air as Brangelina, and to whether or not Neil Patrick Harris lives up to the absurd expectations we set for emcees. (No NPH, you can’t top Ellen’s selfie. Don’t even try.)
What we won’t discuss – at least not for any longer than we need to – is the incredibly flawed system (and Academy) that determines the so-called best movies, performances of a given year.
Every year the Oscars nominations incite people and this year that has anger resonated more than anyone could have predicted. The lack of recognition for Selma, its director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo is deeply wrong, damaging and glaringly political. Equally disheartening are the overwhelming number of nominations for white men for the movies they made about white men, their lives and their problems.
6:26 PM – Hello! Cinefille here and it is time to start my live-blog of the 81st Annual Academy Awards.
I’m am, sadly, not watching the Red Carpet on the Big Vowel with Ryan Seacrest right now. But maybe that is a good thing. According to the text message my ex-roommate Freddie just sent me High School Musical has invaded the red carpet. I guess they are trying to bring in the tween crowd this year.
I am also waiting for Freddie to come to Blanchard so we can eat and I can actually start watching the awards. I frankly do not like receiving text messages about Miley Cyrus ruining the Oscars. I prefer to watch trainwrecks in person.
6:33 – Remember last year when Gary Busee mauled Jennifer Garner? That was a great red carpet moment. In fact. You can watch it now.
6:50 – Still not watching, Freddie just told me that Hugh Jackman is performing with Efron and Hudgeons. I think I just had a hernia.
7:09 – I have finally turned on the Big Vowel. I barely caught an interview with Michael Sheen, who plays David Frost in Frost/Nixon. Sheen on Frost: “I can’t get rid of him now.”
7:10 – Interview with Richard Jenkins. This is what happens when Seacrest meets talent. Jenkins could care less about Seacrest and his crappy interviewing skills.
7:12 – SJP is wearing a titanium plate on her chest. I think. Sidebar: Why is SJP even at the Oscars?
7:15 – R PATTZ! I hate Twilight with a passion but I think Robert Pattinson is dreamy.
7:18 – SJP and Broderick. The titanium plate up close. SJP talked about Sex and the City. She claims not to know anything. Lies SJP, lies. Poor Broderick, he’s just an accessory at these things.
7:20 Since we don’t why anyone is actually at the awards unless they are nominated of course, someone like Natalie Portman is listed on an “attendee.” This is fine by me. As long as she’s not singing too.
7:21 – Giuliana Rancic: “I think we have to take a break because I just caught a glimpse of Natalie Portman. I need to reevaluate my life”. Well, Giuliana maybe if you laid off the tanner and worked not being a shitty journalist, you wouldn’t have to do reevaluate your existence.
7:26 – Marisa Tomei! Seacrest to Tomei – “The role you played was a very determined mother.” That’s one way of describing her role as a stripper who is naked for most of the movie.
7:27 – Seacrest is trying to describe what Mickey Rourke is wearing. Based on Ryan’s description, “He is wearing an off-white suit,” he just might not actually be gay.
7:29 – Mickey Rourke is always an interesting interview. Every time he talks about his dogs, I get a little weepy.
7:35 Peter Gabriel just announced that Best Song nominees are going to be performed in medley and that is why he isn’t performing tonight. He felt that wouldn’t do the song justice. I actually respect that because he is the artist afterall, and by asking him to perform a medley with two Bollywood-esque songs is asking him to compromise a lot.
7:38 – I was attempting to do my homework for my film class, when I heard Giuliana Rancic scream. Had Busey attacked Seacrest attacked? No. Brangelina has arrived. AND Angelina is wearing a form-fitting dress. It is still black, but progress is still progress.
7:42 – Ryan Seacrest is interviewing Penelope Cruz. He just said Vicky Cristina Barcelona in a horrible Spanish accent. Cruz’s face is priceless during this exchange.
7:51 – Why I love E! There is always the possibilty of a “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” commercial. Now while Kate Winslet is being interviewed, I am pondering the size of Kim Kardashians ass and whether or not it is shrinking.
7:58 – Brad Pitt is too important to stop and talk to Seacrest.
8:00 – Switching over to ABC Red Carpet… with TIM GUNN!! This is clearly the serious portion of the Red Carpet.
8:03 – Tim Gunn to Amy Adams (I’m paraphrasing here): “You are shrouded completely in black in Doubt and you are competing against
8:05 – I love Frank Langella. He is orgasmic. Ellen to me: “How awesome would it be if Javier Bardem presented the award to Frank Langella? What if they got into a mud wrestling fight on stage?” It’s not nice to tease me like that.
8:06 – Tim Gunn meets Brangelina for a… two-second interivew. AND WHAT IS MILEY CYRUS WEARING!!!!!!!!!! She looks like she’s going to a quincieria in fairy land.
8:09 – Tim Gunn and Valentino. Epic. I just learned something about fashion that Jay Manuel could never teach me.
8:10 – Cast of Slumdog Millionaire! Cute little kids from the cast!
8:12 – Something you will only hear at a women’s college Oscar party: “Zac Efron looks like a butch lesbian.” Thank you, Saskia.
8:23 – Sorry. Got sidetracked. Was talking about Skins with Saskia.
8:24 – Some dude is interviewing Jack Black, Jonah Hill and Judd Apatow at the bar. I guess they’re not important enough to be interviewed on the
8:27 – The musical director is talking about the music that will be used tonight. Benny Goodman. Lawrence of Arabia theme. Are they trying to make me orgasm? After I typed this, Fred leans over my shoulder and whispers, “And then Zac Efron will perform.” Way kill the moment Fred.