Let’s face it, the Academy Awards haven’t been a highlight of the film industry in quite a long time. Frankly, it has become more of a running joke just how bad they have become. Yet, somehow this year we have had one of the most polarizing events in Oscar history. Today, let’s break down the highlights of what may become an unforgettable year at the Oscars.
WORST: Awarding Categories during the Red Carpet and splicing them in
One of the biggest insults of the year was the Academy’s idea of prerecording the celebration of EIGHT different categories, which were – makeup and hairstyling, production design, animated and live action short, documentary short, film editing, sound, and original score. Not only does this show a disgusting lack of appreciation for multiple extremely important contributions to film, but also a severe under representation of the hard work these creators have done. To add salt to the wound, they had the arrogance to insert the prerecorded segments randomly into the broadcast and used “movie magic” to make it seem like it was given away live.
BEST: Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli awarding Best Picture
One of the greatest thing that can happen during a live broadcast of an award show are the unscripted sequences of kindness. During their segment, Liza Minnelli (famous for her role in “Cabaret“, which she won an Oscar for) began to have issues continuing her part of the announcement. In a swift and gentle turn of events Gaga grabbed Minnelli’s hand and let her take a breather, enjoying her moment on the stage. Gaga even whispered in Minnelli’s ear saying “I got you”, which she replied, “I know.”
WORST: Amy Schumer in her Entirety
I think one thing most people can agree with is that Amy Schumer is one of, if not the most annoying “comedian” in existence. Known as being a thief of jokes, Schumer has continued an impressive streak of starring in controversy and unfunny films and shows. Makes you wonder why an already declining program would hire someone of such blatant lack of skill. Examples of this are not even hard to find, her distasteful joke of Kirsten Dunst being a sit in after the highlight of the show and her falling from the ceiling as a makeshift Spider-Man with silly string.
BEST: CODA‘s Best Picture win applauded in Sign
For years the Oscars have been known as very white focused, excluding many tremendous films and performances of people with disabilities, people of color, different orientations and more. But in a stunning moment of love, the crowd stood up as Gaga and Minelli announced the winner for best picture, and applauded in sign. This moment showed that being respectful and considerate of other people’s cultures and communities can truly be a heartfelt moment.
WORST: Every Performance, especially “We Don’t Talk about Bruno”
Every, single, year we are forced to listen to live renditions of songs made specifically for films. For an award show that is already too long to begin with, they some how find the need to include minutes long, stage filled performances to mostly mediocre songs. How about you focus on the actual awards instead of songs you can listen to any time you please, and on a personal note, having the Bruno song played even though it wasn’t nominated was an utter waste of time and goes to show how Disney would rather further their brands than host a good show.
BEST: Kevin Costner’s Speech about “How the West Was Won“
In a rather unexpected turn in an otherwise shameful Oscar show, Kevin Costner spoke about the power of storytelling and its impact. In his nearly three minute speech before presenting the Oscar for Best Direction I was both entranced and shattered, truthfully shedding a tear. And as he spoke this line, “And as I sat in the dark that afternoon, sixty years ago, all I really knew was that I was in careful hands,” it felt as if the world stood still, because he understood what is so magical about the cinematic experience.
Check out the whole speech down below.
WORST: Oscar’s Fan Favorites
Gosh, this one was a mess. In an attempt to broaden the appeal of the Oscar’s, the Academy started a new segment titled “Fan Favorites” which included “Most Cheer Worthy” and “Fan Favorite Film”. Now, the idea itself is not terrible, but its execution left some to be desired. The poll was easily spammed by bots because of the winners, which let me tell you, were odd. For Cheer Worthy we have, Matrix‘s Bullet Time, Dreamgirls “I’m Telling You”, Avengers: Endgame – Assemble, Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s Three Spidey Swing, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League – Flash Entering the Speed Force. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Flash scene, but to have it above the immensely important Avengers Assemble and Spidey Swing is a joke, and clearly shows the Snydercult at full force. Same as the Fan Favorite film being Army of the Dead, another Zack Snyder film. Again, I truly love Zack Snyder’s work, always have, but to win Fan Favorite over Spider-Man? Insane. If they wish to include this in further shows, it needs some refinements.
BEST: Troy Kotsur’s Oscar Win
After nearly a third of its run time came and went, I started to wonder if this show would deliver anything of meaning. Yet, when last year’s Best Supporting Actress (Minari), Yuh-Jung Youn came on stage and announced Troy Kotsur’s name in sign I felt an overwhelming sense of joy. As I said before with the CODA win, it was inspiring to see so many embrace the usage of sign for the winners, but the clear love and compassion Youn had for learning how to sign just so she could include Kotsur was just phenomenal. Not only was that moment such a tearjerker, but his speech as well. As someone who has a very strong bond with my father I became a disgusting mess when Kotsur delivered his emotional speech about his father who lost the ability to sign after being paralyzed in an accident. And as his speech came to the end he signed “I learned so much from you, I’ll always love you. You are my hero.”
WORST: Will Smith’s Acceptance Speech
After what ended up being the best part of the night, Will Smith somehow was still able to receive his first Oscar. Not only was his speech odd and full of excuses, the man used God as an out for his act of violence. He took too long, spoke about nothing, and refused to apologize to the man he just assaulted on stage. Which brings us to –
BEST: Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock
Yeah, I think everyone expected this. I won’t get into details cause I’m sure everyone and their mothers already know about it, but since its a large debate right now online, I thought I would spew my two cents.
Now, who’s side am I on? Neither. I feel as if both parties took bad approaches to their actions tonight. While yes, humor is subjective and something that you must tread carefully, especially with today’s culture, Chris maybe shouldn’t have poked fun at a person’s medical issues. However, Smith should not have assaulted the man on a live broadcast. Not only is it a criminal offense, but one that he received no consequences from. He spoke about how his love and rage lead him to do this, but at what reason? Was this not an issue you could have settled off stage, after the event, or just in private? You made a mockery of yourself, your marriage, and this already shameful program. At the end of the day, they both messed up, but it’s how they choose to move on from here that has me curious.
Oh, and if you wanna watch the uncensored clip check Twitter, it’s everywhere.
So, did you watch the Oscars? Agree with my list? Let me know!