If in the future, the Oscars decide to go with no host, may I be the first to say I am fine with that. Coming in at an ultra-lean 3 hours and 10 minutes, the show was watchable and didn’t have a lot of the awkward clunky moments of Jimmy Kimmel trying to be funny without offending anyone. Gone are the days of Billy Crystal nailing literally everything he did. There are few people if any that could pull off Oscar hosting and most of them don’t want to do it any more.
I was really shocked how much I did not miss the host.
As suspected there were plenty of surprises, right down to Best Picture.
Bohemian Rhapsody took home the most awards with 4, Green Book, Roma and Black Panther each had three. Its not unprecedented to the film with the most awards not to win Best Picture. The two most notable examples : Stars (6 wins) losing to Annie Hall (4) and Cabaret (8 wins) losing to The Godfather (3). More recently Mad Max Fury Road (6) losing to Spotlight (2).
When Roma was announced as winning Best Foreign Language Film, I wanted to change my ballot. It seemed like it was getting that as a consolation prize. I predicted a shut out of The Favourite and was right about that until …
The biggest shock of the night, and you could tell by the look on her face, was Olivia Colman winning Best Actress for The Favourite. Glenn Close was the odds on favourite in pretty much every poll and pundit site and it appeared that Olivia did not even prepare a speech. It was a great moment.
I am happy that I was able to see Spike Lee with a well deserved, very overdue Oscar for writing BlacKkKlansman. His speech did not disappoint and neither did his jump hug with Samuel L Jackson. The two collaborated on Lee’s first major film, Do The Right Thing. Lee’s speech was like his screenplays, relevant and unapologetic.
I will scratch my head over Rami Malek’s win for a long time. We have an Oscar winner for lip syncing. The overdone false teeth kind of ruined if for me. Overall, I was too distracted by the grave historical inaccuracies of that movie to enjoy it.
Green Book is an odd Best Picture. It has a great deal of controversy regarding its historical accuracy, it was not in the top 25 critically acclaimed movies of the year and grossed under $30 million. Its an audience pleaser but had a very small audience. However it is very much an actor’s film and the Academy is more than 2/3 actors.
That said, even though I predicted it to win, I am glad Roma did not take home top prize. It is a triumph of style over substance and for the majority of film watchers (including me) a difficult slog. Its a least an hour into the film before anything happens. “Hard to get through” should not be a way to describe a best picture. I think a lot of voters like to look at the mark they are leaving on movie history and Green Book is the kind of film they want to be remembered for honouring.
If you check the movie and critic websites, you willl see “worst best picture in a long time” mentioned often, probably since “The Artist”.
Another shocker for me was First Man winning Best Visual Effects. The movie was not good, over long and dull.I actually nodded off at one point. I feel the Oscar should go to a pic where the effects serve the film to make it better and in this case it did not.
If you look at the 8 best pic nominees by critical acclaim (weight average of about 300 certified critics top 10 lists they went as follows
The Favourite (3)
Black Panther (6)
A Star is Born (9)
Green Book (32)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Not in the Top 50).
My favourite moments
- Spike Lee’s Speech
- Olivia Colman’s wonderful speech
- Cooper and Gaga singing apparently the theme from “We have Sexual Tension”
- Wayne and Garth
- The Samuel L Jackson / Spike Lee hug
- The great John Williams music during the memorial
- The fact that there was not a host.
As for my pics, bad year. 14 for 24. Missed picture, actor and actress.