Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Academy Awards Part 2

...This is a continuation from yesterday's first blog to cover the 2016 Oscars, which you can find here. It covered everything from Chris Rock's opening to Stallone's loss. Now, on with the show...

Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio, during his Oscar acceptance speech, from Us Magazine at this website. Picture courtesy of Mark Ralston, AFP.

--Louis C.K.'s intro was the best speech of the night so far. And he's right: Makers of Documentary Shorts tell very important, very depressing stuff, and they don't get rich doing so. Because who wants to pay to see such terror, horror and heartbreak? (Besides people like me, that is.) But someone's got to record this stuff, right? To prove his point, two of the nominees were about concentration camps, and women under oppressive regimes who get their faces burned and scarred.

--Chris Rock's performance turned awkward when he shamed celebrities into buying Girl Scout cookies.

--I met Kate Capshaw in the summer of 1995 or '96, when I was an extra in Amistad, directed by her husband, Steven Spielberg. She came on the set to chew him out about something. Even angry, she'd been beautiful--just as much in person as she'd been in Temple of Doom. Now, due to a botched plastic surgery or two, she looks like a female Joker. Shocking. She would've become a beautiful middle-aged and then older lady if she'd let herself. She'd already retired from acting (just one film in the last 10-12 years or so) to raise their family, so she didn't need the surgery to stay active in the profession, which is what so many of them say. I don't get it. She'd been truly gorgeous.

--A standing ovation for Joe Biden?

--Even more surprising: An impassioned Joe Biden?

--Great performance by Lady Gaga. None of the songs wow me this year, and this one was good, with an important message. Worse songs have won. And I didn't know she could play the piano.

--The director's constant camera movements have befuddled many of the presenters and performers tonight. They often haven't known which camera to look into. Lady Gaga got caught a few times looking up into the crane camera. It's been a little too much tonight.

--An Emmy for American Horror Story: Hotel; the best thing about this year's Super Bowl; and now a great performance tonight, and probably an Oscar for it. Lady Gaga's had a helluva year.

--Okay. Whatever. I didn't even like Spectre's song. And I wasn't thrilled with Spectre, either. I gave my better half a thumb's down when the song played during the movie. Surprising loss here.

--At least two of the nominated songs couldn't be performed. Why? Time constraints? And yet we had to be subjected to a few minutes about Girl Scout cookies? If they're pressed for time, wouldn't you rather hear the nominated songs--just like every year--rather than some of the things we had to sit through? Thumbs down on that!

--Two words: Olivia Wilde.

--I don't know if one director has won for consecutive years, but I doubt it. But Birdman and Revenant were incredibly well-directed. Mad Max was, too, and George Miller has had a lot of well-deserved kudos this year. But a well-directed, scenic movie with plot and great acting will trump a well-directed, scenic movie with great technical mastery and stunts, at least at the Oscars.

--Speaking of one movie trumping another--I said it in the last blog, but here's the spot to say it again:

Note to Mr. Trump: The Oscar for Best Director for the last three consecutive years has gone to a Mexican.

--And, oh yeah: The Oscar for Best Cinematographer for the past three consecutive years has also gone to a Mexican.

--So you might want to re-think the value of that wall, big guy.

--I've nailed every movie music or song played throughout the night, while the presenters are walking, or the show's coming back, or the winners are approaching the stage. I'm just sayin'.

--Most amusing of the night: Joe Biden entering to the theme music of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

--Lots of commercials made specifically for this year's Oscars. I don't remember a year so many were made specifically for this evening.

--Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins. For my money, his best performance is still in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

--Not surprised by Spotlight's win. It's a more important movie than The Revenant, and I think the full Academy of voters thought so, too. But I'll bet it was a close vote. I really want to see Spotlight now.

--Michael Keaton, who disappeared for a long time, and then made the it-was-so-awful-I-got-angry White Noise--and who then disappeared for a long time again--has been a major actor in the last two consecutive Best Picture winners. Yes, he's back. I hope he wins one sometime before he's done.

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