With all the depressing bickering, petulant, and bigoted rhetoric flying around, I can't lie, it is taking its toll on me. Those that have read my blog for years now, I've taken a big break because there's little to add to the noise and just complaining seems redundant. We are all feeling the fear and pain and WTF moments. So, last night, came in the nick of time. Actually, something new and meaningless to complain about....
The Oscars! Chris Rock as the host was f**king incredible. Edgy, funny, and pointed. Better than I could've hoped. He took on the ""all white" Oscars head on and made incredible observations and cutting remarks. He didn't lower himself to classless humor, but smart and thoughtful. Not everything he did hit out of the ballpark, but on the whole...an A. The show is always too long. The producers tried with their ridiculous thank you crawls underneath the winners' announcement but fell completely flat and useless. I do commend them for trying, but won't be back I'm sure. They could cut many of the clips and combine them into one. Show a clip of the movie, the actor, etc. all at the same time. The clips they showed for the writers didn't work for me at all. It's difficult to show the writers' contribution in a clip so it just took up too much time. The opening clip montage was 3 minutes that I couldn't get back and didn't add anything. We were all waiting for Chris Rock's monologue. The montage could have been cut, too.
Without any doubt or hesitation, Lady Gaga was the high note both emotionally and visually. Her performance was heart wrenching, singing her Academy Award nominated song, "Til It Happens to You," co-written with Diane Warren. It is the song from the documentary, The Hunting Ground, which focusses on all the sexual assaults on college campuses. Vice President Joe Biden introduced the song with a call to action and a very impassioned speech. Gaga's performance reached a climax when dozens and dozens of survivors of campus sexual assault walked downstage. There wasn't a dry eye in the house or here at home. Deeply moving and puts so much in perspective of real problems and issues. When they went to commercial and off-camera, Brie Larson hugged each and everyone of the survivors as they passed by her. What a highlight! What a month Gaga's had her gorgeous Star Spangled Banner, her tribute to David Bowie and now this.
As Mad Max kept winning for just about every technical award, the show lagged. Feeling left out, having not seen either Mad Max movie. Thrilling that there were a couple of huge surprises late in the evening to pick up the excitement and energy of the home viewer. Stallone the presumptive Supporting Actor winner, lost out to the stupendously talented Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies. Thrilled beyond measure on that one. Not against Stallone, just love and appreciate the huge talent that is Mark Rylance. Not a fan of The Revenant, I started to slump down and feel like the evening was over, then Leonardo DiCaprio made a glorious speech when he won for The Revenant (which I didn't think was his best performance by any means, but a fine actor deserving of praise. If you never saw one of his earliest movies, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? do yourself a favor). And then, Best Picture....Again, The Revenant, which hands down deserved Best Cinematographer, was not my favorite movie of the year at all, but had won so many previous awards during the season, I figured I could nod out...but the greatest thing occurred. Best Picture went to Spotlight!!! What a great movie! What an important topic and incredible investigative reporting, which seems to have gone the way of cursive writing. Well-deserved. I hope everyone sees it, if they haven't.
In Memoriam, David Grohl sang beautifully Blackbird over and over and over again while the photos displayed above him. Notably absent and surprisingly so...Abe Vigoda. A very long career and so memorable in one of the best films of all time, The Godfather. I don't really know why someone doesn't just write down a list of names from January 1-Deccember 31, or whatever dates they include, so that people don't get forgotten. Just shouldn't be that hard, but every year people get missed.
All in all, I give the evening two thumbs up. If they could just streamline the show, it could be the most fantastic celebration for those in the theatre and those at home. Keep trying next year.
Sidebars: Sigh, Super Tuesday tomorrow and that's all I can say. Well, obviously I could say more, but trying to stay above the fray. -- Saw the current production of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway. Not without criticism but if you haven't ever seen it, it's definitely worth the price of admission. Danny Burstein is wonderful. He owns his Tevye. -- Tonight is The Bachelor. Can't wait. Fantasy Suite night. That really helps me forget what is going on in the world. LOL! -- The Voice begins its new season tonight, too. Christina Aguilera is back instead of Gwen Stefani. -- Sorry to see Melissa Harris-Perry gone from MSNBC. She brought a different voice than the rest of the talking heads. MHP, you will be missed by this viewer. -- That's it for now on this Leap Year Day! Enjoy the extra day. It won't be around for four more years.
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