Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.
The 94th Academy Awards have officially ended and my bottle of wine will have as well by the time I finish these reactions. Most will be paragraphs and some will be blurbs but it will happen as the show goes on. While most will only want to talk about the slap that will be given just one section, as in my opinion that’s all it deserves.
First to brag in the slightest, my score ended up being 18/23 correct in my predictions, which is an improvement from last year. My losses came down to not having as much faith in Dune and risky picks in documentaries and short films.
Naturally the pre-show winners were leaked or simply spoiled, taking the suspense out of their wins and making it difficult to care due to a lack of suspense. However, to credit the show, the pre show awards were edited in a seamless fashion. Yet, this did nothing to help the time of the ceremony and it should therefore be a strategy ditched for next year in honor of every category getting the attention and respect it deserves.
The opening musical number with Beyonce was in a beautiful setting with that musical number was incredible and a great way to start the show. Billie Eilish had a great musical performance for “No Time to Die” with a passionate voice and great lighting. The other musical performances ranged from fine to incomprehensible. “Dos Oruguitas” and “Somehow You Do” were generally boring but fine. However, the “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” rendition was unnecessary, inarticulate, and a complete bastardization of the song that is overplayed and loved by so many.
Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall were great as hosts, dashing in a few quick hits in the beginning with a couple of comedic sketches throughout, never seeming to fill up too much time. Each host seemed to have their own role. Schumer came out with solid funny one liners, Hall then did the live comedy sketches playing a great character that brought hilarity, and Sykes worked through off site jokes and costumes that everyone joined. They did the typical host job, told jokes in the beginning, a skit here and there, and then got out of the way to race to finish.
One very important aspect of the show is in the introduction of nominees…clips are back! It’s a small thing but audiences got to see why something or someone was nominated and it helps those that may not have seen the movie to enjoy it.
The actual construction of the stage was new and exciting. It was more intimate where cameras could get right in the face of presenters and winners and capture their speeches and excitement… the problem were the actors did the exact same thing.
Ariana DeBose won the Oscar and gave a beautiful speech full of inspiration. It would have been nice to get a camera on Rita Moreno for the moment but it was a beautiful moment nonetheless.
The Best Movie Cheers segment was actually a lovely moment that united movie fans with little time lost and could be a fun segment for future ceremonies. However, the Best Five Movies of the year felt a bit more like a troll job for reasons that don’t feel necessary to get into right now.
Troy Kotsur’s win was one of the more beautiful moments of the night. There were tears and emotion and gracious nature, especially with a lovely moment of connection with last year’s winner Youn Yuh-Jung
Kenneth Branagh winning Best Original Screenplay was a career win but quite earned and another great moment of the night with a speech was classy and quick, holding both national importance and personal gratitude.
Sian Heder winning for Best Adapted Screenplay showed where the tide was turning in terms of winners and her bringing up the ASL translator was a huge statement for awareness and disability activism.
Hans Zimmer figured out a loophole to being left out of the actual show by not showing up to accept his award and therefore it was technically selected live on the Academy’s behalf and not in a pre show…so take that producers!
We have now come to the moment you have all been waiting for… where Chris Rock presented Best Documentary but first cracked a few jokes, one of them was about Will Smith’s wife and how she was bald due to alopecia. Smith then approaches the stage and slaps Rock. Up until this moment, it seemed like a goofy joke until the sound cut off and Smith began screaming “Get your wife’s name out my mouth.” to a stunned Rock who was visibly shaken after. The energy was off after that as Rock continued with the scripted introduction for Best Documentary and Questlove wins for Summer of Soul and yet no one cared as the general public began to parcel what happened.
Will Smith ruined the Oscars last night. He created the memes and made people talk about the Oscars and I will laugh at them and share them hypocritically but he put a dark cloud over the night overshadowing Questlove’s emotional speech, an iconic Godfather reunion, and a very well put together In Memoriam tribute. As people instead began sharing links of uncut versions of the event and parceling that out instead of caring about the other awards winning. This is a program about celebrating films and not about thin skinned celebrities handling disagreements like schoolyard children. For those that think Rock went too far with his joke just remember that the response also went too far.
Smith was heavily favored to win and therefore he did just that. He barely apologized while also slightly justifying his behavior and hardly to the right people and explained his behavior while weirdly relating it to his character, a real person whose daughters were in the audience. It’s evident that he felt remorse for his action but it didn’t seem like he demonstrated enough of that remorse, especially by laughing at jokes made about it later that night.
Jane Campion winning her Oscar for directing was legendary but it would have been great to see Chloe Zhao hand the Oscar to Campion highlighting the back to back win for women in this legendary and history-making moment for this category, but it is still a wonderful accomplishment..
Jessica Chastain took home the deserving award for Best Actress and she took on the role of the political speech of the night with stances that were political yet palatable mentioned mental health at the hands of LGBT oppression and how it tied to her character. It’s the speech that non-viewers usually roll their eyes at, but it was necessary and quite well stated.
There is always a Hollywood legend that presents Best Picture and Liza Minelli was a wonderful choice and brought Lady Gaga to assist her as a current star and the two had a chemistry that bounced off each other.
These two amazing women helped introduce CODA as Best Picture and it was truly a beloved movie that was wonderful for all audiences. It may not have many of the technical awards of the others but it has a story that reaches the human spirit. Its win was a beautiful moment where the waving hands of applause drowned out the violence of an earlier slap.
I am exhausted and never saw this night coming, but I still love watching the Oscars, whether I am the last viewer to watch, the 9,000,001st viewer, the 10,000,001st, or the 20,000,001st. I love to celebrate movies and celebrate what those movies mean to the community and while they should improve and move on from this year did still celebrate the movies.