I watched the “Return to Normal” Oscars so you didn’t have to.
We are a family of cord cutters, so I actually signed up for a free trial with FUBO-TV in order to watch it. Canceled it as soon as the show was over. I have enough streaming apps in my life.
It was as terrible as expected, with some shining moments to make it bearable. We’ll get to the worst first.
Thanks to the Woke takeover in 2019, comedian Kevin Hart was canceled as host for the 2019 Academy Awards show over 10-year old tweets that were considered homophobic. Way to go, Woke Mafia.
Since then, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been having much trouble getting real comedians for the show. Anyone worth their salt will pull a Ricky Gervais and call everyone out. Bill Burr or Dave Chappelle would have the chops, but neither of them would touch it with a 10-foot pole, nor would the Academy touch them. So, the organizers of this snooze-fest opted for two comediennes and a comedy actress to host the show: Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall.
Oscars: How can we collapse our ratings lower and get even more people to hate us?
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 28, 2022
Amy Schumer was as unfunny as ever. Seriously, who thinks this woman has talent? She obviously ignored any consultation on wardrobe choices. Her half-dress/half tuxedo combo with overflowing breasts (she opened the show in this) was as tacky as her comedy. Mercifully, she wasn’t on screen for too long. When she reappeared toward the end of the show to do a poorly executed “seat filler” sketch and introduce actor Antony Hopkins, it was like having a bucket of cold water thrown at you. That jarring.
Regina Hall is a lovely actress who is funny in films. Tonight? Not so much.
Wanda Sykes is truly funny. I may not like her politics, but her instincts and comic timing are spot on. Her spots received the only genuine laughs of the night.
One of the most depressing and gag-worthy moments: The presentation of three cast members from the movie Juno: Jennifer Garner, J.K. Simmons and Elliott Paige, who, when the movie was made, was a female named Ellen Paige.
I consulted with a biologist on this, so trust me.
It was strained and strange, to say the least, especially since they showed a clip from Juno with the three actors in scene. A disconnect, to say the least.
Were Jason Bateman or Allison Janey not available to present? Good job, Academy on ruining what was a pretty good movie.
The “In Memoriam” segment was a departure… and not a good one. Instead of one, well-selected song, undergirding the images of those filmmakers who have gone on to the great beyond, a gospel choir and dance team was on the stage in front of the screen to sing a variety of songs including, “I Will Remember You,” “Spirit in the Sky,” and “Thank You For Being A Friend” (the theme song from Golden Girls). Tyler Perry set off a handful of individual tributes—his to Sidney Poitier. Bill Murray for Ivan Reitman, and Jamie Lee Curtis for Betty White. Frankly, it detracted from the viewers ability to remember and appreciate. Instead of being focused on those departed filmmakers and their talent, we got whiplash trying to figure out what was going on, which song was being sung, and having half the images blocked by the action on the stage.
Poor planning, poor execution. For those who couldn’t enjoy it in the actual awards show, catch the video later on the AMPAS website.
The biggest upset of the night was when comedian Chris Rock (who twice hosted the Oscars) recognized nominee Will Smith (for King Richard), and then decided to make a crack about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair.
Pinkett-Smith has been sporting a low-shave for a while, and reportedly has developed a condition where she is losing her hair, hence the new “do.”
Rock’s joke: “Jada, can’t wait to see you in G.I. Jane II.”
Awkward. Pinkett-Smith was visibly unhappy, and so was Will Smith, who walked onto the stage and punched Chris Rock. When he sat down, he shouted something at the top of his lungs. But quick on the switch—American television killed the sound for about 30-45 seconds, as the verbal altercation happened.
An Australian tweep was industrious enough to pull that segment and give the real skinny on what we in the U.S. could not hear:
UNCENSORED WILL SMITH FOOTAGE AS SHOWN ON AUSTRALIAN TV pic.twitter.com/NcRfdjWxqe
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 28, 2022
According to the tweet, and the posted video, Smith yelled at Chris Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your [email protected] mouth.”
Cleanup on Aisle 4! Rock presented the award, but most of the hall was stuck in that moment.
Good thing Will Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard. He even used the protective moment in defense of his wife in his Academy acceptance speech.
Well played, Will… Well played.
As cringe-worthy as the actors from Juno presenting was, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, and John Travolta, the actors from Pulp Fiction, turned the tables back to fun and fond reminiscence. It was almost a palate cleanser… almost.
Jane Campion won the Woke Oscar, otherwise known as the Academy Award for Best Director for her film The Power Of The Dog.
Dune won big on the technical side, but failed to move any needles on the performances.
Jessica Chastain, who is a really fabulous actress, won the Academy Award for Best Actress (biologist confirmed) for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Along with King Richard, this was the only other film I actually watched. However you feel about the Bakkers or Tammy Faye, I feel Jessica Chastain played her with respect and in a multifaceted way. Not a lot of actresses could do that.
Well deserved, but as-per-Woke, Chastain used her speech as a paean to the LGBTQ community.
Conservative friends who are also filmmakers have given CODA rave reviews, so I can’t wait to stream it. Actor Troy Kotsur won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor—biologist verified.
Kotsur made history as the first deaf man to win a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. Kotsur gave a truly heartfelt, precise, and well-delivered speech through an interpreter. The last time we saw this was with Marlee Matlin, who won the 1986 Best Actress Academy Award for Children Of A Lesser God. Writer and director Sian Heder, who is not deaf, brought up a CODA cast member to sign during her verbal acceptance speech. Heder won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and improv’ed, “I’m so glad I dressed as a disco ball!” Then gave the second fabulous speech of the night, giving homage to her husband and her family (so un-Woke). The Academy should hire Heder and Kotsur next year to do speech coaching for all the nominees. They brought it.
And the icing on this fairly crappy cake: CODA won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
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