So. Its over. What did you think?
It wasn’t as long as some. And frankly, I didn’t miss the host. Besides, any show that begins with a trialog featuring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph is an instant hit in my book. Why can’t we have these three host every event from this day forward? TV Shows, shareholder meetings, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, etc. You get the idea.
Special recognition must be given to Randy Thomas. “Never seen her,” you say? Probably not. But you’ve heard her. Ms. Thomas is the voice-over talent and announcer who for the last ten years has introduced presenters and vocally escorted winners to the stage with information about previous nominations and wins. For this hostless Oscar ceremony, Ms. Thomas was a star.
Thank goodness they let us hear something from each Best Song nominee. The original plan not to do that was just one of the many blunders the Academy made this year. Not even answering my letter pitching me as host was another. And yes, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper were smokin’ hot as they sang “Shallow” from “A Star is Born.” But as both made clear after social media exploded with speculation that they were an item, it’s called acting!
As for the winners… this is dangerous territory. The last winner I picked was “La-La-Land,” and that only lasted for a few seconds. Women and people of color were recognized is greater numbers than in years past. Spike Lee managed to display both unrestrained joy when he won for writing the screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman” and his usual pique when the film lost out to “Green Book” for Best Picture.
In truth all of the nominated films were “OK” in one way or another. None rose to the level of sure shot winner in this critics mind. Then again nobody will ever get rich making movies that satisfy my taste, as critics of my top 100 films list have noted.
The Academy has a problem. Is it for the audience, which means recognizing the best selling films? Or is it for auteurs, looking for art and technique. Once upon a time films could be both, as in “Casablanca,” my favorite. Today that doesn’t seem possible, as in “La-La-Land” loses to “Moonlight”? “The Shape of Water” wins over just about anything. Maybe “Green Book” is the kind of compromise that industry has settled on. Just like it’s hostless awards telecast. P.S. TV ratings were up. Slightly.