The 93rd Oscars: Bafflingly Bad

Before the Oscars, I bought a package of something I have always had a weak spot for: Orang tic-tacs.

I bring this up for a simple reason: The big container will not be enough to wipe the bad taste in my mouth left by the 93rd Academy Awards.

It is no secret that it would be a different type of Oscars, as the pandemic forced the show back two months and into two separate locations. The producers (lead by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh) were still set on making them somewhat fresh and presentable. As it has been the past few years (since Jimmy Kimmell), there was no host (although this year, they did not have a set of comedians out front to break the ice).

The show started off fine: Regina King presented the first two awards: original and adapted screenplay. I was fine with it, since a movie truly begins with a screenplay. Only a few awards in did I begin to realize something somewhat odd: the winners were not being played off for long speeches. There was no band, but they did have a DJ that could have done the job.

The first big curveball came fairly soon. 7 awards into the show (there was a grand total of 23), it was time for…Best Director?!?! This is highly unusual. As expected, the award went to Chloe Zhao for Nomadland.

There were also two honorees of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award. One of those was Tyler Perry, whose speech was without question the best part of the night. I got texts from friends from both sides of the political aisle praising his speech.

There was also a great Glenn Close dance moment. I will leave it at that. Just look it up and thank me later.

Normally, the previous winner of an acting award would present the current award for the opposite gender. This did occur for the supporting categories (Brad Pitt presented Best Supporting Actress and Laura Dern presented Best Supporting Actor), but not for the leading categories. Yet the leading categories were not what upset me the most. No, it was when they decided to first present Best Picture.

Okay, maybe I am a bit of a purest, but Best Picture is supposed to be the last of the night. Normally, it would fellow the lead acting awards and the director award, but Best Picture has to be last. It builds to that. The award was given to Nomadland, which was a relief for me in that my years of missing Best Picture had finally ended.

It occured to me that they would most likely have the last award being Best Actor, since it was a foregone conclusion that it would be awarded to the late Chadwick Boseman. I was correct, and after the suspense of Best Actress was decided (for Frances Mcdormand in Nomadland), it was then time for Best Actor. I turned to my little brother Grant (who I must admit did better at me prediction wise) and said,

“Can you imagine how weird it would be if Chadwick Boseman did not win? It would backfire horribly.”

Well, the impossible happened: Boseman did not win, and Anthony Hopkins won his second Oscar for The Father (which truly was a brilliant performance). The thing is, Hopkins has not been showing up (not even via zoom), so the idea indeed backfired (the last speech was from McDormand, who gave the shortest of the night). Basically, the show ended at a grinding hault.

Am I just unleashing anger? Probably. Sorry, but this is the worst Oscar show I have seen since James Franco and Anne Hatheway.

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