Greetings fellow oscar-philes! It’s time for HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT!!! ™
I have been an Oscar junkie since I was a teen. When I was a budding young film snob, I looked to the Oscars as a guide to “good” movies. Of course, as soon as I started watching the actual best pictures, I realized just how middlebrow and dull a lot of Oscar fare was. Still, things have gotten better as the academy membership has gotten younger and more diverse. Films like Parasite, Nomadland, and Shape of Water would never have won 50 years ago. Of course, things like Green Book still sneak in there…
I am a big fan of Everything Everywhere All At Once. Will it keep its streak of wins alive, or will more traditional Oscar fare like The Fabelmans pull an upset?
Let’s find out!
7:57 pm Early Oscar odds:
Over/under on awards for EEAAO: 6 (Over)
Over/under on Movies are Magic montages: 1.5 (Over)
Over/under on Mentions of THE SLAP: 8 (WAY OVER)
8:01 pm Oh joy. Jimmy Kimmel has inserted himself into the Oscar montage. This was hacky when Billy Crystal was doing it over a decade ago.
8:05 pm Good Nicole Kidman line: “Thank you for convincing people already at the movies to go to the movies.”
8:08 pm Kimmel’s doing fine with the monologue, but it reminds me of how much I didn’t miss a host in the years they went without one. Nothing of value was lost.
8:11 pm First reference to the Slap! Drink! (A joke about the irish cast of Banshees getting into a fight onstage)
Of course, last year’s awards were most notable for Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock after Rock made jokes about his wife’s alopecia. The reaction on twitter was fascinating.
White film twitter: “They should arrest that brute Will Smith!”
Black twitter: “Chris Rock’s mouth wrote a check his ass couldn’t cash.”
8:15 pm: Oh, here we go, heavy Slap joke time. I think we just passed the over already. Maybe not drink after each one, since you’ll be dead if you do.
8:18 pm: After the slap, the most jokes are about how long the oscars are. Hey, I know how we can cut it down…
I do like the idea that we’ll have the Naatu Naatu dancers usher you off stage if you go long.
8:20 Our first award goes to… Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. I love that we have to add the GDT qualifier so we don’t confuse it with the horrible Disney remake.
8:26 pm: Our first Best Picture nominee is Avatar: The Way of Water. It looks great, but I’ve felt no real compulsion to go see it. I’ll probably catch it at home on Disney+, just the way James Cameron intended
8:28 pm: Troy Kotsur and Ariana DeBose present the Supporting Actor awards. And no jokes about her BAFTA rapping! Amazing!
8:30 pm: I am pulling hard for Ke Huy Kwan to win. He was the heart of the movie, and his “laundry and taxes” speech breaks me every time.
And he does! I do not have to burn Hollywood down! Hooray!
His speech is wonderful. And his role in the movie is a beautiful reminder that positivity will trump nihlism. Which is a needed message
8:35 pm: Supporting Actress has no clear favorite. While all are great, I am rooting for Angela Bassett because, come on, it’s Angela Bassett.
8:37 pm: Jamie Lee Curtis wins in a minor upset! She hadn’t won any of the precursor awards. Even though I thought her role in EEAAO was pretty broad compared to the others, I’m fine with her winning. This was her first nomination after an impressive career and it’s as much a lifetime award as anything else.
And if EEAAO is winning here, it could be an 11-for-11 kind of night.
8:40 pm: Our first Best Song entry is from a film I guarantee you’ve never heard of. It’s Applause from Tell it Like a Woman. This is perfectly ok, generic pop song. It’s aggressively fine. It was only nominated because it was written by 14 time nominee Diane Warren. It’s annoying because it kept the far better boy band pastiches from Turning Red off the ballot. I mean, they’re all going to lose to Naatu Naatu anyway, but still…
8:48 pm: Our next nominee is Tar! This looks great and I’ve been meaning to watch this. Probably the only nominee that has had more memes about it than tickets sold.
8:50 pm: Best documentary time, which was the award Rock was presenting when Will Smith, well, you know. So of course, more Will Smith jokes! (Seriously, stop drinking. You’ll hurt yourself.)
I’ve seen none of these nominees, so I hope that the winner – Navalny – is good. I hear good things! It’s on HBO!
8:54 pm: They better not play off the wife of the political prisoner…
8:55 pm: I haven’t seen the live action shorts, and neither have you. Make an effort to seek them out! La pupile is on Disney+! The winner is An Irish Goodbye. So at least some Irish people will get an award tonight if Banshees gets shut out.
The directors using their time to sing Happy Birthday to one of their team is the most Irish thing that could happen.
8:58 pm: So Disney is really going to use the Oscars to promote their Little Mermaid remake, huh? Tacky.
And I can’t be the only one who thinks of Halle Berry every time they introduce Hallie Berry, right?
9:02 pm: All Quiet on the Western Front is nominee #3. I loved the book when I read it in high school, not sure if I need to see yet another War is Hell movie.
9:04 pm: Jonathan Majors is rocking the tailcoat and I am here for it.
9:05 pm: Cinematography has a couple Oscar-baity films that did not get any other nominations – Bardo and Empire of Light. Sorry, but they don’t win here. All Quiet picks up the award here.
9:08 pm: The next song is from EEAAO, This is a Life, by David Byrne. And I love that they have David Byrne wearing the hot dog fingers. I don’t love how bad he and Stephanie sound together though.
9:15 pm: The next nominee is Women Talking, about a colony of Mennonite women who are debating whether or not to leave the abusive men in their community. I’ve been a fan of Sarah Polley since I saw The Adventures of Baron Munchausen years ago, so I hope she wins a screenplay award.
9:17 pm: Time for hair and make up. I hope Elvis wins, but the Academy loves it some fat suits, so the Whale probably wins.
And the Whale wins. Ugh. “It was so hard to dehumanize this guy! Thank you!”
9:21 pm: Wow, it must grind Disney’s gears to a Warner Brothers 100th anniversary feature on the Oscars! Don’ t they know it’s Disney’s centennial! How dare they!
Anyway, here’s our first Movies Are Magic montage.
9:23 pm: I haven’t commented much on the clothes the presenters are wearing. That’s because they’ve mostly been.. fine. People are too afraid of being made fun of on E! and Twitter to revive Bjork’s Swan Dress.
9:25 pm: The next nominee is The Banshees of Inisherin, and I have heard that it is both a funny black comedy and extremely depressing. So, very Irish.
9:27: Costumes are next. For once, we don’t have a ton of period dramas in here, which usually win because they look complicated. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever wins here, just like the first Black Panther did.
9:31 pm: It’s Naatu Naatu time! I loved RRR, and this song is the only one nominated to take place in the movie as part of the plot. (If you haven’t yet, go watch it NOW.)
9:33 pm: New rule: If your song doesn’t have suspender-based choreography, what are you even doing?
9:35 pm: My wife: “Look at the cameras panning around trying to find Asian people in the audience.”
9:39 pm: Time for AMAPS to pat themselves on the back. Oh, and hype the museum. Slightly less tacky than Disney hijacking the telecast for their trailer, but still. Does this count as a Movies are Magic montage? Sure, why not.
9:42 pm: Hey let’s get two international actors to present best international film! That’s not tokenism at all! All Quiet picks up the award as expected.
9:45 pm: So far, the ceremony has been fine. No huge surprises, but no train wrecks either. Last year was horrid, even before The Slap. The academy was trying desperately to be “hip” and “edgy,” presenting the minor awards before the telecast, having dumb internet polls that got manipulated by Zach Snyder fans (The Flash Enters The Speed Force should be a phrase that lives in infamy in the halls of AMPAS), and presenters like famous movie stars Shaun White and Tony Hawk. So competent and fine is a huge step up from all that nonsense.
9:50 pm: The Fabelmans is the next nominee, Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical film about a young Jewish boy who wants to be a director. It’s funny, I’m old enough to remember when people were asking “why is the Academy constantly snubbing Spielberg?” And now, he’s essentially Oscar royalty.
9:52 pm Documentary short! The Elephant Whisperers wins. I wish they could do a little bit more involved introduction to each of these nominees since 99% of the audience has not seen any of them.
9:54 pm: Animated short! My Year of Dicks and An Ostrich Told Me The World is Fake and I Think I Believe Him are the two best titles of the year. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse wins. Wow, super long titles in this category.
9:58 pm: Lady Gaga performs her song from Top Gun: Maverick. Shallow was legitimately one of the best Best Song winners ever, so this might be the only real competition RRR has in the category.
10:06 pm: Up next, the satiric black comedy Triangle of Sadness. It’s on Hulu now, and I’m excited to watch some rich people get eaten.
10:07 pm: It’s Four Weddings reunion with Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant! Hugh is as fumblingly charming as ever.
Production Design is next, and All Quiet wins its third award of the night. Hmm, this won big at the BAFTAs, is this the movie that takes down EEAAO? I’m skeptical, but a little surprised it’s won as many as it has so far.
10:11 pm: Best Score! If All Quiet wins here, there could be a real upset brewing…
And it does! Will this portend some major awards later in the evening, or is it this year’s Dune, cleaning up in the technical awards?
10:21 pm: The next Best Picture nominee is Elvis. I am a big fan of Baz Luhrman’s wild aethsetic, and I was thrilled to let it wash over me in theatres.
10:23 pm: Elizabeth Banks and Cocaine Bear come out to present Best Special Effects. And, gotta say, the effect-free Cocaine Bear is not without its charms. Avatar wins here, stopping the All Quiet train, at least momentarily.
10:27 pm: Oh joy. Crowd work. Top notch comedy, Jimmy.
10:29 pm: The final song nominee is Lift Me Up, by Rihanna, from Wakanda Forever. I know this is a tribute to Chadwick, but it’s kind of a dirge.
10:37 pm: Everything Everywhere All At Once is the next BP nominee. And I really love this movie. It’s my favorite film of the year and I am frankly amazed that the Academy gave 11 nominations to this weird, SF action-comedy. And not only that, it’s favored!
10:39 pm: Screenplays! EEAAO could win here, but both Tar and Banshees have strong supporters.
And EEAAO wins! I am feeling better about their chances and less worried about yet another war movie winning. And Daniel Kwan’s jacket is awesome! (See? A rare fashion post from me!)
Adapted screenplay is next, and I am really hoping Sarah Polley wins. She probably won’t but, hope springs eternal.
And Women Talking wins! Hooray! And her tux looks great! I thought writers were supposed to be schlubby. I mean, that’s always been my excuse.
10:46 pm: Ok, we’re down to the last 6 awards and the In Memoriam montage. Hopefully we get done before 11:30 because I still have to watch The Last of Us and do a recap. (Uh, by the way, editors, that TLOU recap’s gonna be a lilttle late…)
10:50 pm: The last BP nominee is Top Gun: Maverick, aka The Film That Saved The Movies. Ok, if we’re giving this sequel a nomination for Best Pic because it made a lot of money, they why didn’t Spider-Man: No Way Home get a nomination last year? If you suggested that, you were utterly unserious, but Tom Cruise saved movies, everyone.
10:53 pm: Best Costume was just taken back from Black Panther and given to the designer who kept Janelle Monae’s boobs in her dress.
10: 54 pm: Best sound goes to Top Gun, and that movie lives or dies on the jet engines so I am not surprised.
10:56 pm: Best song! RRR! Really, the only logical choice. This is the first Indian song to win and it’s well deserved. Go watch that video again! The songwriter says he grew up listening to the Carpenters and sings a delightful acceptance speech.
10:59 pm: It’s time for the In Memoriam section. Which name will be left out and cause an uproar on twitter? John Travolta does a nice intro, working in a shout out to his late co-star, Olivia Newton-John.
The shocking part of this montage is always seeing someone that I had forgotten had passed away. (Irene Cara? Wolfgang Petersen? Oh right…)
In past years, they’ve done some silly camera work, panning around the stage with the names on a screen in the background. Thankfully, they just show the names without distractions.
11:06 pm: Editing! EEAAO deservedly wins, which means it has now tied All Quiet for most overall. Just the big four left!
11:11 PM: Idris Elba and Nicle Kidman come out to present Best Director. Man, Elba looks so dapper. It’s a crime he didn’t get to play James Bond yet. (New Luther movie on Netflix, though!)
The Daniels win for EEAAO! Hooray for weird SF movies getting their day! (If you haven’t, be sure to check out Swiss Army Man. It’s the previous film these guys made and features Harry Potter’s farting corpse being ridden like a jet ski by Paul Dano. No I will not explain.)
11:20 pm: Lead Actors! Usually the past year’s winners present these awards, yet Will Smith isn’t here… Strange. I wonder what happened…
People really want Brendan Fraser to win an award, but it’d be a shame to give it to him for such a maudlin and fatphobic movie. He’s in a Scorsese film this summer! Why not wait till then?
Ugh, the Academy cannot resist “brave” performances and fat suit acting.
“Bold movie.” Yes, fat suit acting is very bold in Hollywood. Eye roll.
11:25 pm: Best actress has been a two person contest between Cate Blanchett for Tar and Michelle Yeoh for EEAAO. Although it would be hilarious if Andrea Riseborough won after her nomination came out of absolutely nowhere powered by a social media campaign of actors.
Michelle Yeoh wins! Which means that EEAAO has won three of the four acting nominations it received, only losing to itself in Supporting Actress. What was the last movie to win three acting oscars? Google tells me that it was Network, and the only other one was Streetcar Named Desire. That’s pretty illustrious company!
Yeoh’s speech is as inspiring as you’d hope it to be. In fact, all the speeches tonight have been pretty good. It’s nice to see a good solid B ceremony after the psat couple of years.
11:30 PM: Time for Best Picture! I’m a little nervous. EEAAO is the favorite, but All Quiet has won enough that an upset isn’t out of the question. But Han Solo is presenting the award, and Han Solo wouldn’t let me down right?
He does not! Everything Everywhere All At Once is your Best Picture for 2022!
This is honestly such a pleasant surprise for me. I grew up watching one bloated historical epic after another win Best Picture – Gandhi! Out of Africa! Chariots of Fire! It’s honestly amazing that something with world-destroying bagels and butt-plug karate won. Heck, it wasn’t that long ago that a film like this would’ve had to be content with a Best Screenplay nomination and nothing else (like another weird SF comedy romance that was my favorite film the year it came out, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.) So congratulations to this wonderful movie!
11:37 pm: And that’s it for the 95th Academy Awards! Thanks for hanging out!
Overall, this was a vast improvement over the chaos of last year. Even without the Slap, last year’s broadcast was full of stupid gimmicks and stunts that only alienated the core viewership in order to chase a larger audience of mythical cool kids. This year, they kept the schtick to a minimum and instead focused on the awards. (Shocking I know.)
For the most part, Kimmel kept it moving. The show never dragged, there weren’t any truly bad jokes or cringey moments. A very competent effort, and after last year’s F I will happily take a solid B.
Good night everyone! See you at the afterparty!