Oscars 2020 — well, that’s three & a half hours of my life I’m never getting back again.
I subjected myself to watching the Oscars last night — one, because I’m a passively suicidal masochist, and two, because I’m a word ho for hire.
Thankfully it was for my awesome and amazing friend Evan’s blog, (go show her some love and “like” her “Daily Candid News” Facebook page peeps — she rocks) and so she let me write my genuine thoughts, and in my own voice no less — so refreshing after the past few months of laboring in “content” writer for hire hell.
I’m rather proud of it actually…. I know nobody bothers to even read past the headline these days, but try and force yourselves to, hey, you might even find it entertaining.
Or not, whatever.
An earlier version of this post was first published on DailyCandid News.com
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 his several scathing tweets throughout the night.
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 fuck, 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. I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”
#OKBrad. Right on, woke dude.
Pitt went on to call creepy 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”, with Joon-Ho vowing, through his interpreter, that he was going to “drink until tomorrow”.
Good on him.
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.”
However, for me, all the awesomeness vanished the moment Toliver paid tribute to Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash on January 26, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers.
“May we all have a second act as great as Kobe’s was,” Toliver said.
Now, I don’t want to trash talk the dead, and of course, the crash was an absolute tragedy, but has everybody just conveniently forgotten that Bryant was accused of raping a hotel employee back in 2003?
Federal charges were filed against the NBA legend, but the case was dropped after the alleged victim refused to testify, which may (or may not) have been motivated by the fact that Bryant paid a reported $2.5 million settlement to his accuser.
But, hey, boys will be boys, right?
Anyway, enough with all the “icky” anal rape stuff, and back to the matter at hand.
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 really was that bad.
Wiig and Rudolph were back again all too soon though, and oh sweet lord, now they were singing……
Will somebody, will anybody, 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 horrorfest that was “Cats” but 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 — the look on her face said it all.
Oh, we feel your pain girlfriend, we feel it.
Then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse some bird in a black dress, Chrissy Metz apparently, started performing a breathy ballad, threatening to “be there wherever” and vowing that “you can try but you can’t lose me”.
Somebody needs to tell this chick that there’s a very thin line between being a supporting lover and being a creepy stalker.
“I’m standing with you, [whether you want it or not]”
With great hindsight, 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 I was, because, Oh sweet Jesus, proving things can always get worse, up popped a video montage, featuring Greta Thunberg AND Michael Moore — talk about a sanctimonious “twofer”.
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! (Editor’s 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.”
Next up was the award for Best Documentary Short Subject — yawn — but hottie Ruffalo was back again, so, who cares? “Learning to Skateboard in A War Zone if You’re a Girl” scored the win.
“Blah blah blah Frank Capra handed me a student award in 1977, blah, blah, blah,” one of the female recipients bleated on during her acceptance speech. “Blah, blah, blah…..thank-you everybody…blah, blah, blah, thank-you Adam Kitchener the man behind the women, blah blah blah.”
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, 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 materialized suddenly, walking through the audience, dressed in what appeared to be a waiter’s outfit, declaring that his “journey” here tonight felt like magic—he clearly didn’t take the 405—going on to “give it up” 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.”
Nice one mate!
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 IMO — and finally, Eminem in “8 Mile”, back when he was still a worthy candidate for sexual objectification.
Back to the Oscars ceremony again though, and oh shit, wait, whaaat? Who was the dude on stage performing “Lose yourself”? He sounded just like Eminem but he 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 however, looked suitably confused and unimpressed by the surprise performance, like, “what the fuck is going on here?”
Then, just like that, it was over, and time for the Sound Editing and Mixing award, the moment everybody had been waiting on the edge of their seats for.
Co-presenter, Salma Hayek didn’t disappoint on the breast front, in a clingy one-shouldered Grecian number.
Va va voom!
Some old white dude, Donald Sylvester, won surprise, surprise, for “Ford vs Ferrari”. He went on to thank a ton of people nobody has ever heard of, in addition to his “wife of 24 years” (you’d get less time for murder mate).
Sylvester concluded by praising the aforementioned wife for giving up all her hopes and dreams in order to stay home and raise their kids so he could work on his sterling career. How inspiring for all us little ladies out there.
Then, a youngish white dude, Mark Taylor and an old white dude, Stuart Wilson, won the Sound Mixing award for “1917”.
Boring, boring, nobody cares.
Talking of boring, viewers were then subjected to Randy Newman on the piano, performing his “Toy Story” song. My ears literally felt like they were bleeding.
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.
Awesome, time for the Achievement in Cinematography award, yet another exciting category that has everybody enthralled.
Some really old white dude, Roger Deacons, who looked eerily similar to Jimmy Saville, won, resulting in yet another boring as fuck rambling acceptance speech mentioning a ton of people nobody’s ever heard of.
Then, Academy Director, David Rubin, who, let’s face it, absolutely nobody knows or cares about, was up next, banging on about the soon-to-be-opened Oscars’ museum ….snore…..
Dude looked like a poor man’s Stephen Colbert, but without even a hint of the wit or humor. Oh, and brace yourselves, because Tom Hanks suddenly popped up 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.
By the way, the museum is opening on December 14, 2020, apparently, and well, don’t know about you guys, but I simply can not wait—form an orderly line folks.
“I am Spartacus” Hanks announced as his parting shot, for some utterly bizarre 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 slightly, James Corden and Rebel Wilson ambled on to the stage, dressed in their “Cats” costumes to announce the winner of the Achievements in Visual Effects award, accompanied by a suitably awful and unfunny skit.
Hideously painful doesn’t even begin to describe the horror that unfolded.
Continuing with the hideousness, Ray Romano and Sandra Oh were up next, and she was clad in the most appalling dress ever — think grandma’s knitted toilet roll cover — presenting the award for Best Make-Up and Hairstyling.
Two chicks and an Asian dude won, for “Bombshell” and he was the one to speak, of course. He gave heartfelt thanks to Charlize Theron, “you are amazing, your compassion love and care made this film possible.”
It left the actress in tears. Cry me a river honey.
Penelope Cruz was up next, looking stunning, it has to be said. She was presenting Best International Feature Film, which went to “Parasite”, their second win of the night.
The speech was in Korean again, but thankfully his trusty interpreter was on hand to translate the whole boring thing.
“I want to congratulate all the great artists here tonight…. Blah blah blah…”
“I’m ready to drink tonight until tomorrow,” Bong Joon Ho concluded, in English, once again.
It was Elton John time next, the singer was wearing his trademark comedy glasses and a natty purple suit as he performed on the piano, prompting Rita Wilson to bust out with some serious shoulder rocking.
(Fun Boast: I was once a plus one at a wedding and Elton John performed at the reception, in front of just 80 guests, for an hour and a half–just Elton and his piano. It was amazing. Anyway, enough of the bragging.)
Best Music Original Score award was up next, which included a slightly bizarre speech by co-presenter, Sigourney Weaver.
“Afterwards we’re going to start a fight club. Guys are welcome, but no shirts allowed. All women are superheroes.”
Hilda Gudnadottier won for “The Joker” prompting yet another breathy, gushing, teary speech and more “journey” bullshit, in addition to thanking every single member of her extended family and their neighbors and milkman.
“To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up, we need to hear your voices,” she ended.
Somebody, please make this end.
Elton John was back again, this time with Bernie Topin, to accept their award for Best Original Song. “Wow, this doesn’t suck. Well I’ll be brief.” Bernie vowed, before launching into a speech that was anything but brief.
Meanwhile, it appeared that Spike Lee had borrowed Eton John’s jacket, which he paired with a jaunty leather cap, to present Best Director.
Bong Joon-Ho won yet again, and his speech was basically a love letter to Martin Scorsese. Oh, and also Quentin Tarantino, “I love you” Joon-Ho declared to the “Reservoir Dogs” director—presumably for stealing all the best parts of his films over the years.
“I will drink until tomorrow, thank you,” the South Korean concluded yet again. Dude’s going to have a really serious hangover at this rate.
Steven Speilberg yawnfest alert as it was time for the “lost legends” segment. Oh lord, get ready for the inevitable Twitter outrage over somebody or other that nobody’s ever heard of being left off the list.
Oh god, this really isn’t ever going to end is it?
Billie Eilish performed a rousing rendition of “Yesterday” as alleged rapist Kobe Bryant flashed up on the giant screen. Meanwhile, shit, Terry Jones and Doris Day died? WTFF? How did I not know that?
Olivia Coleman was the star presenter of the night with her joke prior to presenting the Best Actor award.
“Last year was the best night of my husband’s life. He actually said that and I’ve given birth three times. So I just hope you’re all having as good a time as he did. And I did.”
Joaquin Phoenix won his first Oscar for playing an incel sociopath in “The Joker” and definitely also deserved to take home the award for weirdest, most rambling and bizarre acceptance speech.
“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then, we take her milk, that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal, and I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up.
“But human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.
“Now, I have been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with and ungrateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance.”
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 (cough cough) 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.
“When we look to our heroes we agree. Venus, Serena, Harriet, firefighters, 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.”
FINALLY, it was time for the Best Picture award, thank fucking 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 ABSOLUTELY HAMMERED…
“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.
Let’s end as we began, 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 considerably shorter period of time than this year’s Oscars ceremony was.