Refresh throughout the night for updates on the telecast.
This year, amid a bevy of attempts to fix things (all of them failing, by the way) the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is hoping to turn around the years-long trend of eroding ratings. If they could not make proper changes, at least this year they have some populist movies up for the main awards.
Three of the titles — “Black Panther”, “A Star Is Born”, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” — combined for over $1 billion in box office revenue. The remaining titles fill out a requisite component of diversity, with women and minorities represented to sufficient levels. (Maybe do not tabulate Asian inclusions.)
That said, this year there does not seem to be a clear-cut favorite. “Star” was initially considered the odds-on favorite, but that has since faded, as it was bypassed in most of the other major awards leading up to tonight. “Rhapsody” has its share of backing, but also controversy surrounding director Bryan Singer and his sexual assault scandal(s). His exclusion from other awards makes the leading support for the film difficult to gauge. Meanwhile “Green Book” has gained momentum, including a crucial win at the Producers Guild Awards, and could be the title to beat, although director Peter Farrelly was not nominated, a usual strong indicator.
As for me, I have a hard time mustering too much excitement considering that, yet again, we will not be seeing a justly rewarded performance.
One of the favorite refrains from celebrities concerning Republicans is how the party is run by white men. Behold these internal numbers from the Academy membership:
7:15 — The question of the night, of course, is “Who are YOU wearing???!!” Myself, I’m in a longsleeve cotton top by Harley Davidson, of Milwaukee, and my tailored slacks are by…well, the label is worn off, but let’s say Levi Strauss.
7:27 — Let’s take a look at the curse that seems to be surounding “A Star Is Born”. This is the fourth time the film has been made, and each one has seen mixed results at the Oscars. The 1937 original was nominated for 6 categories and won two awards – one for the script, and a “speecial” award for the cinematopher (it was not a category that year). The 1954 version with Judy Garland and James Mason was tabbed for 6 categories, and it came away empty. In 1976 Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristopherson starred in the third effort, garnering four nominations but nabbing only the Best Song award (“Evergreen”). Tonight it is up for 8 awards, but really only Best Song seems assured.
7:34 — On the red carpet Brie Larson was caught giving the side-eye when she spotted a male journalist in the lineup!
7:44 — Juliana Rancic was interviewing Lady Gaga, who lapsed into flighty, artsy language to talk about her work in “A Star Is Born”. They started out the interview speaking in Italian, and I wish they had continued doing so.
7:50 – April Reign is the creator of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, and she was invited to the ceremony tonight…for, creating a hashtag??
She was asked if the “So White” campaign was still an issue in 2019, she responded: “My answer is absolutely yes. Until we are no longer having these conversations about firsts in 2019.”
TRANSLATION: “It will continue to be an issue as long as it assures to continue getting me invited.
8:01 — For some true amuseement tonight understand that the GOP-hating celebrities will be giving speeches and accepting awards on a stage that for no discernable reason resembles Donald Trump’s hair!
8:03 – Queen fires things up with a rousing rendition of their songs. It is a rather decent opening. There is no hope for the show to maintain this high level of energy, quality, nor interesst. #LongSlog
8:06 – It takes 30 seconds to get to a joke about The Wall. As I said, #LongSlog
8:10 – Regina King wins Best Supporting Actress, for “If Beale Street Could Talk”. As I selected. I am 100% on my picks. You should listen to me.
8:16 – Best Documentary Feature was one of my Bet-The-Rent picks, for “RBG”. I buggered that, as “Free Solo” won. You can stop listening to me now.
8:26 – Okay, Best Hair & Makeup was another bet-the-rent pick I made for “Vice”, and I made that one. The winners thanked crews from Great Britain and Sweden — so the film outsourced work to depict the President and Vice President they alleged were outsourcing American jobs.
8:30 – “Black Panther” won for Best Costuming, so the cheers for POC and women empowerment were pronounced. Hollywood is feeling good about itself so far tonight.
8:34 – I’m told that velvet suits are the fashion forward design for men this year. I have not been told why, nor how practical these are in the Southern California climate.
8:49 – They just warned audiences that Bette Midler will be presenting tonight. Now we get to see our favorite unhinged Tweeter live on stage!!!
(any excitement about said comment is entirely fabricated)
8:53 – Serena Williams takes the stage to present…wait, what the hell?!?! Well, at least she reads a teleprompter more naturally than half of the professional script readers.
9:00 – No better way to prove I don’t know what I’m saying than by fudging both Best Sound categories.
9:16 – Keeping up with the mystifying presenting choices, the host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah is presenting “Black Panther” as a Best Pic nominee. He had to get a cheap shot at Mel Gibson, someone with much more of reason to be on the stage.
9;19 – “Bohemian Rhapsody” picks up an editing award, in a direct fight now with “Black Panther” for the night’s haul.
9:24 – In a stacked Supporting Actor category I can finally get some footing, as Mahershala Ali grabs the trophy. He wore his designer ski cap for the honor.
9:30 – Minor upset in the Best Animated Feature, as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” takes it. “Incredibles 2” became the most successful animated film ever, and ninth highest-grossing of all time, but it was not woke enough.
9:40 – Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reunite, and the crowd actually perks up.
9:47 – Well, the best documentary short that won was about mensturation, and one of the winning filmmakers mentioned she was having her period as she won. I guess we no longer have to endure lectures on how the Acaademy is not empowering women.
I hope you appreciate my professionalism in NOT making a “red carpet” joke here.
9:57 – They are presenting the Best Special Effects and it really only now hit me that “Solo: A Star Wars Story” has been nominaated for an Oscar. I thought appearing on a Dennys menu was an Academy disqualifier???
10:01 – I got up during the introduction of “Roma” as a Best Pic nominee. It was presented by a celebrity chef, and they blathered aabout borders, etc. I got up at just the right time.
10:06 – Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga performed “Shallow”. They were filmed from backstage, so the audience was in full view, yet those two made it an intimate show. Just a captivating performance — it is unfair how talented Cooper is overall.
10:16 – I just got a huge bailout as I nailed both Original, and Adapted Screenplay, for “Green Book”, and “BlacKkKlansman”. The wokeness of the Academy can be depended upon.
10:26 – Best Song went to “Shallow”, which was pretty much going to happen. Lady Gaga, talented as she is, just is kind of tough to take when she gets talking about craft, and art, and — I need a refill.
10:43 – Allison Janney and Gary Oldman come out to present the Best Actor Award. The Academy was toying with keeping them out of the ceremony. How that idea was even entertained is folly. Best Actor is a HUGE upset, as Rami Malek is the winner for playing Freddie Mercury. Just a shock.
10:59 – Olivia Coleman win Best Actress for her role in “The Favourite”, proving this year was just all across the map. I really gathered this was essentially a mixed bag and that Glenn Close would get the career nod.
11:08 – Alfanso Cuaron wins Best Director for the Mexican film “Roma”. His speech was surprisingly reserved, only really mentioning worker rights, and steering from any overt politics. Just another surprise in a laundry list of them tonight.
11:15 – Julia Roberts presents Best Picture. The winner is “Green Book”, so I have managed to not look completely inept this night. Of course with the largest contingent of people on stage they gave the producers and director one of the shortest speeches.
10:20 – At the end of it all the speechifying was plentiful, but at the same time less overt. While there were not those loud political moments it was just a full time nudge of racial and international politcs. Meanwhile the broad spectrum of the nominees made this year hard to decide which direction the voting would go. I manged to hit on Best Picture, a few other majors, and overall ended just over .500. 11-10 on my picks. Meh – I’ll take it.
Now, we have 11 months of wealthy and famous celebrities hammering us on why this is such a horrible nation in front of us. Gird yourselves! It will only get louder!