The 92nd Academy Awards was broadcast live from the Dolby Theater at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood Sunday night, and oh boy, the Oscars 2020 was every bit as terrible, insufferable, smug and boring as all the others over the decades.
Before it had even kicked off the show had already stirred up a fair bit of controversy–yet again–as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was slammed for its lack of diversity. With pretty good reason, seeing as only two of the twenty actors and actresses nominated were people of color, and no female director was nominated.
Then there’s the fact that out of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture, “Parasite” was the only one to feature a predominately non-white cast, and “Little Women” was the only one featuring a predominantly female cast.
As usual, Ricky Gervais summed it up best, in one of several scathing tweets throughout the night.
“It’s great to see such diversity in the room tonight. Rich sex pests of all shapes and sizes” he quipped.
The one saving grace was that at least this year we were spared from having to suffer some dreadful vanilla host attempting to crack jokes throughout the inevitable snore-fest—sorry, show. Instead, Janelle Monáe opened the ceremony.
Monáe was her usual formidable self, out, proud and making it crystal clear that no matter what the old white dudes at the Academy might want, inclusion WOULD be showcased.
“I’m so proud to stand here as a black queer artist telling stories,” she announced before launching into an awesome jazzy song-and-dance number.
Things took somewhat of a bizarre turn however when Monáe morphed into the late great Mr. Rogers to perform “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”…yeah, really. And, it was pretty much all downhill from that point onwards.
Cue Steve Martin and Chris Rock, both previous Oscars hosts, who managed to prove exactly why the role is redundant nowadays, during just one short appearance on stage.
“They don’t really have hosts anymore, why is that?” Martin asked.
“Twitter. I mean everybody has an embarrassing Tweet, I know I have,” Rock shot back, before launching into a skit about homelessness, racial inequality, Jeff Besos’ billions, and, ermmmm…. vaginas.
Holy f***, it’s going to be one hell of a long night.
Cringe-fest finally over, it was time to get down to business as the first statue of the night was handed out. Regina King gave the Best Supporting Actor award to Brad Pitt for his role in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.” And, yep, it was definitely good old fashioned Oscars time as Pitt kept it “real” during his acceptance speech.
“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” he said. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.” OK, Brad. Sure thing.
Pitt went on to call Quentin Tarantino an “original” and “one of a kind” and pay homage to all of his amazing costars and colleagues. He finished by reminding everybody to “look for the best in people, expect the worst, but look for the best.”
Somebody wake me up when this nightmare is over.
Meanwhile, proving the Oscars are not ALL too white, Bong Joon-Ho and Han Jin-Won landed the Best Original Screenplay award for the South Korean movie “Parasite”.
Then, the ex-NFL player Matthew A. Cherry, and Karen Rupert Toliver won Best Animated Short, for “Hair Love.”
“We have a firm belief that representation matters,” Toliver explained during her speech. “We wanted to normalize back hair.”
Taika Waititi won Best Adapted Screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit” and then Idina Menzel (or Adele Dazeem as John Travolta likes to call her) joined International Elsas to perform “Into the Unknown”.
Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig took to the stage for one of the most painful appearances in Oscars history–and that’s really saying something, given the past 92 years worth of shows.
First, there was a cringe-inducing “acting” segment that went down like a lead balloon with the audience, it was so painful to watch that I was almost excited when it came time for the Best Production Design award.
Yeah, it was that bad.
Wiig and Rudolph were back, and oh sweet lord, now they were singing……just shoot me, please.
The two presumably thought it would be hilarious to sing the Best Costume award nominees, rather than just read them out. Basically, the result was like the movie “Cats” on steroids, and without the camp, bad movie, comedy value.
Wiig’s on-screen co-star, Billie Eilish definitely wasn’t “feeling’ it, that’s for sure—her look said it all. Oh, we feel your pain girlfriend, we feel it.
Thankfully, I had decided on a drinking game before the show started, vowing to down a shot of mezcal every time the words “authentic, inspiring, honest, journey, or brave” were mentioned, so by this stage, I was already pretty wasted. And praise the Lord, because, Oh sweet Jesus, up popped a video montage, featuring Greta Thunberg AND Michael Moore.
Thankfully, Mark Ruffalo took to the stage next though, to hand out the award for Best Documentary, and at least he’s still hot as fuck. “Four movies were directed or co-directed by women,” he announced to loud cheers from the audience.
“American Factory” won, the first movie funded by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, and a woman, Julia Reichert is one of the co-directors…..double yay! She appears to be going through chemo, however, so now I can’t make any sarcastic comments or quips about her….boo. (Editors Note: Reichert is fighting terminal cancer.)
In fairness, Reichert’s speech was actually pretty awesome, and authentic (oooh, mezcal time!) as she explained that while the documentary narrative focused on Ohio and China specifically, it could apply to all people who “put on a uniform, punch a clock, trying to make their families have a better life.”
“Working people have it harder and harder these days, and we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite,” she concluded.
Next up was the award for Best Documentary Short Subject—yawn— but Ruffalo again, so, who cares? “Learning to Skateboard in A War Zone if You’re a Girl” scored the Oscar.
“Frank Capra handed me a student award in 1977, blah, blah, blah,” one of the females said during her acceptance speech. “Blah, blah, blah…..thank-you everybody…blah, blah, blah, thank-you Adam Kitchener the man behind the women,” she concluded.
Next up, Laura Dern, who won Best Supporting Actress for her part in “Marriage Story” and she didn’t disappoint with her gushing, breathy speech–at this rate, I was seriously going to have to open another bottle of mezcal.
“Thank you for this honor to be in this room with such remarkable colleagues,” Dern said. “They say you never really get to meet your heroes. I say if you’re really blessed they get to be your parents. I share this with my acting heroes, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You got game. I love you.”
Then, some dude called Anthony Ramos appeared suddenly, walking through the audience, dressed in what appeared to be a waiter outfit, his “journey” tonight felt like magic apparently. Ramos gave it up for his “main man” Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Miranda introduced a video medley of songs in movies that have had an impact in people’s lives, and even managed to drop in a random Simple Minds reference, “don’t you forget about me.”
There was that ‘Rocky” song, Prince in “Purple Rain”, Patrick Swayze in “Ghost”, sniff….”Wayne’s World”, Mrs. Robinson and “The Graduate”, that creepy kid playing the banjo in “Deliverance”–best movie ever— and finally, Eminem in “8 Mile”, back when he was hot.
Back to the Oscars ceremony again, and oh shit, who was that on stage performing “Lose yourself”? The singer sounded just like Eminem but looked like a bad version of Justin Timberlake and Keanu Reeves’ love child‚— if they were to have one that is. WTF Eminem, step away from the Botox dude.
Well, at least Em’s performance provided a much needed moment of comic relief, watching all the old white woke folks rocking out in the audience, I swear I even saw some old geezer throwing gang signs. Martin Scorsese looked suitably confused and unimpressed by the surprise appearance, however, like, “what the fuck is going on here?”
And, just like that it was over, and time for the Sound Editing and Mixing award, the moment everybody had been waiting for. Co-presenter, Salma Hayek didn’t disappoint on the breast front, in a clingy one-shouldered Grecian number.
Va va voom!
Viewers were then subjected to Randy Newman on the piano, performing his “Toy Story” song.
Is this never going to end?
Clearly not, as Will Ferrell and Julia Louis Dreyfus appeared on stage to perform an extremely unfunny skit about cinematographers. Antonio Banderas seemed to find it hilarious though, and Brad Pitt looked positively enthralled.
The Academy Director, David Rubin, who nobody cares about was up next, talking about the soon-to-be-opened Oscars museum ….snore…..Dude looked like a poor man’s Stephen Colbert, but without even a hint of wit or humor. Oh, brace yourselves, because Tom Hanks suddenly arrived on stage, wanging on about there being plenty of culture to be found in LA…yeah, we’ll have some of what you’ve been smoking Tom.
The museum is opening on December 14, 2020, apparently, and well, don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait.
“I am Spartacus” Hanks announced as his parting shot for some reason.
Cynthia Orevao performed her song from “Harriet”, and wow, girlfriend can really sing, she’s got some major pipes.
But, just when things had started looking up, James Corden and Rebel Wilson amble on to the stage, dressed in their “Cats’ costumes to announce the winner of the Achievements in Visual Effects, along with a suitably painful and unfunny skit.
It was Elton John time now, the singer was wearing his trademark comedy glasses and a natty purple suit as he performed on the piano, causing Rita Wilson to engage in some serious shoulder rocking.
(Fun fact: I was once a plus one at a wedding and Elton John performed at the reception, in front of 80 guests, for an hour and a half–just Elton and his piano. It was amazing. Anyway, enough of the bragging.)
Oh god, this really isn’t ever going to end is it?
Steven Speilberg yawnfest alert as it was time for the “lost legends” segment. Oh lord, get ready for the inevitable Twitter outrage over someone or other being left off the list.
Billie Eilish performed a rousing rendition of “Yesterday” as Kobe Bryant flashed up on the giant screen. Shit, Terry Jones and Doris Day died? WTFF? How did I not know that?
Joaquin Phoenix won his first Oscar for playing an Incel in “The Joker” and definitely also took home the award for weirdest, most rambling and bizarre acceptance speech.
“We have to continue to use our voice for the voiceless,” he said. “I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively. I think at times we feel or were made to feel, that we champion different causes, but for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. “
Gloriously insane and weird all in all, although he did finish on a touching note, “When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. It said, ‘Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.”
Rami Malek was up next, presenting the Best Actress award, claiming all the nominees are “powerful, profound and indelibly etched in our history and hearts”
Chill your boots Rami, they’re multi-millionaire actresses FFS, not selfless humanitarians.
Renee Zellweger won for “Judy”.
Now, let’s see that non-botoxed forehead show some emotion love. Zellweger’s face may have been frozen, but the tears were flowing throughout her breathy acceptance speech, declaring she was so “proud and privileged”.
“I have to say this past year of conversation celebrating Judy Garland across generations has been a really cool reminder that our heroes inspire us, they unite us,” she continued. “When we look to our heroes we agree. Venus, Serena, Harriet, fire fighters, first responders…. when we celebrate our heroes, we’re reminded of who we are as one people united. Our heroes unite us … and that matters.”
Ermmm… OK, Renee.
FINALLY, it was time for the Best Picture award, thank f****** god, at last.
The legendary Jane Fonda (R.I.P. Jerry George, we’ll always have “Klute”).took to the stage to announce the winner, and she looked utterly stunning. ,
It was also time for the biggest shock of the night, as “Parasite” won…yet again!
Dude’s going to be getting REALLY drunk… ‘Parasite” won four Oscars in total, and it’s the first foreign-language film to win best picture. That interpreter chick certainly earned her salary tonight.
Let’s finish with a Ricky Gervais tweet:
Parting fact: It would take more than 21 hours to watch all of the Best Picture nominees, which in fairness seems like a shorter period of time than this year’s Oscars ceremony.