Warren Beatty and Fate Dunaway announcing the wrong winner. Best Actor getting moved to the finale in honor of Chadwick Boseman, only for the dearly departed actor to lose. A streaker sprinting across stage. Step aside: You're all just standard awards pap now, because due to Chris Rock and Will Smith, we witnessed the most surreal and bizarre Oscars of all time.
Oh, and along the way, they handed out some awards too. Maybe? Who's to say.
Technically "CODA" won the night's big prize – plus two other major awards – but who REALLY won? And who REALLY lost? And who REALLY has needs an Advil after trying to wrap your brain around the chaos that broke out midway through the night? I do – but meanwhile here's the real winners and losers of a memorable 2022 Oscars that we'll never forget even if we want to.
Winner: "Fresh Prince" jokes
Huh, I wonder if anyone remembered that Will Smith has that one song about how he got in one little fight and his mom got scared. Oh, everyone did – look at that.
you’re telling me he got in one little fight and everyone got scared???? — Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) March 28, 2022
I got in one little fight and the academy got scared and said “We’re giving you an Oscar but go home to Bel Air” — Brad Williams (@funnybrad) March 28, 2022
Last time Will Smith got in one little fight he had to move to Bel Air — Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) March 28, 2022
Welp, think we got that covered, so let's get into It ...
Loser: Will Smith
Sunday night was pretty much guaranteed to belong to Will Smith – a beloved global superstar finally getting his Oscar. And indeed the night belonged to him, just not in the way he or anyone else could've wanted.
It seemed like a bit at first. Chris Rock, presenting Best Documentary, spices up the moment with some quick cracks at the audience, including a jab at Jada Pinkett Smith's bald hairdo. It was a bad gag – in part because the punchline was somehow a "G.I. Jane" reference happening in 2022 – but one that got worse when Will Smith took the stage to seemingly to fake slap Rock, complete with a full wind-up. Weird comedy routine – but we've seen weirder at the Oscars.
Little did we know that we have NOT seen weirder at the Oscars, much less any awards show. The audio cut out, Rock seems genuinely frazzled and Smith looks stern in his seat. The show stumbles to the Best Documentary category – but no one saw any of that. They were down the rabbit hole on Twitter as the moment was revealed to not be a bit but a very real outburst of anger from Smith, complete with profanity only caught on unedited international broadcasts.
Was Will Smith's outrage about Rock's bald joke because Jada Pinkett Smith's publically discussed her emotionally coping with alopecia – something Rock may or may not have known? Certainly a part of it. Also likely a part of it: Rock's hosting gig in 2016, mocking Jada Pinkett Smith for boycotting the Oscars due to the #OscarsSoWhite debacle leaving Will Smith's "Concussion" performance (and any non-white performances) off the acting nominee list. "Jada’s going to boycott the Oscars?" Rock joked back at the ceremony. "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!" One imagines that was still stuck in the Smiths' craw – maybe a memory they'd moved on that reemerged when Rock decided to target something personal once more.
Surely those questions will have more definite answers in the coming days, but here's something definite: It wrecked the show, and it wrecked Will Smith's once-triumphant night, a worse response to a bad joke.
The show never recovered, the room becoming tense and the actual awards becoming beside the point – especially when everyone realized that the guy who just slapped a comedian on stage on Hollywood's biggest night would be BACK ON SAID STAGE SHORTLY ACCEPTING AN AWARD, COMPLETE WITH AN OPEN MIC. That moment 30 minutes later didn't help his cause, basically saying that his "King Richard" character Richard Williams would approve of his strong approach to protecting his family (between this and Jane Campion's flub of an insult from earlier in awards season, I wouldn't blame the Williams sisters if they never want to set foot near an awards show ever again) then saying that love makes you do strange things. But if that "strange thing" is violence, then that's not love; that's something else. Smith ended the tense speech with apologizing to the show and his fellow nominees and winners for taking away the night's luster, with a final hope that he could come back.
Will he? It's unprecented, an utter decorum destroyer that soured the rest of the night. He's supposed to come back next year to present Best Actress – and he's still one of the famous men in the world, with an awards show desperate for famous faces. But how do you welcome back a man who stepped on the industry's biggest night – and who the public will never see the same way, no longer the cheerful America's dad-like star but someone with a darker, tempermental edge? There's probably enough goodwill to bring him back – heck, there was enough goodwill to give his speech a standing ovation 30 minutes after the slap. But if the audience in the theater was anything like the audience at home, their brains were likely melted from trying to figure out how to feel about everything happening. We'll see what happens when their minds glue back together.
So yeah, Will Smith got his Oscar moment. After decades of hunting for the trophy in films like "Ali," "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "Collateral Beauty" (laugh all you want; it had Oscar buzz!), he has his trophy. A shame not one person will ever remember it.
Winner: Will Packer
A very touching display of solidarity amongst Wills for Smith to wreck the Oscars so hard that no one would remember Packer produced such a shoddy show up to that point (and after that point too, but no one would blame him for not preparing for an precedented celebrity slap fight).
Why did we ditch a third of the awards to save time only to run long anyways with overplayed comedy bits like Regina Hall wanting to molest Hollywood's finest men? Why did we open the show with a performance far from the actual Oscars, meaning the theater audience itself was flat when we finally arrived at the stage? Why did I need to know what BTS's favorite movies are? Why are we celebrating the 28th anniversary of "Pulp Fiction? Is that an important anniversary – and what's the gift for that? Paper mache? And why did even the camera on the presenters and winners feel wrong? Maybe it was closer to the podium to create a sense of intimacy but instead I just felt like I was in everyone's business.
The most important question, though: Why did a person who doesn't seem to like the Oscars take the Oscars gig? Every pre-show interviews with Packer sounded like someone who didn't like even enjoy the awards event he was tackling – not far off from Soderbergh's attitude the year before. Lo and behold, we got two of the clunkiest shows in the Academy's history. (At least the 2021 show had the excuse of COVID weirdness to throw things at the wall.) They say you can't parody something unless you really love it – the same seems to go for running the Oscars, ironic considering this year's theme was "Movie Lovers Unite." Oh, Sunday night united movie lovers all right – in annoyance, watching craft get brazenly passed off to happy hour while Regina Hall drools over hot dudes.
He did bring back acting nominee clips, though, so maybe Will Packer for president actually.
Loser: Anyone who won (or did anything whatsoever) after The Slap
Allegedly Chris Rock handed out an award after getting his face rearranged by Will Smith. I wouldn't know – nor would anyone else. Whether you were searching the internet for the best reactions or explanations or just merely stunned that a celebrity slapped another celebrity in front of a room full of celebrities like an old timey duel, nothing on the Oscars registered after that moment. And sure, it was fascinating television – especially when everyone realized that Smith would almost surely accept an award and an open mic on the very stage where he'd just assaulted a comedian 30 minutes ago – but an absolutely awful tribute to the night's winners.
Rock DID indeed hand out an award: Best Documentary, to Questlove's very deserving "Summer of Soul," a tribute to the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The whole hook of that doc was that the festival was pushed aside and marginalized by history – and now Questlove watched as his moment, the ultimate stage given to his achievement and to this remarkable event in Black history, suffered the same fate almost instantly. Instead of getting questions backstage about his moving speech or his excellent movie, he was asked about the Smith/Rock feud.
Questlove declines to answer questions about the mood inside the #Oscars following Will Smith slapping Chris Rock: “I’m not talking about that. This is about the Harlem Cultural Festival.” https://t.co/N2VdKSOH2N pic.twitter.com/LxXk6Ssapq — Variety (@Variety) March 28, 2022
The rest of the night's winners fared no better, lost in the fog of the weirdest thing anyone had every seen at an awards show – and there's been streakers. No one will remember "CODA" won. No one heard Jessica Chastain's moving speech. Instead, the night became the most high-profile, star-studded "Red Table Talk" episode in history. They say any attention is good attention and that people are at least talking about the Oscars the next day. I'm sure everyone who won Sunday night, whose life's work and moment in the sun was lost in a haymaker-induced haze that no one will remember, would disagree.
Winner: The three hosts
The show may have been a now-infamous mess – but the hosts themselves weren't the problem. Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes all performed at various levels of admriable, with Sykes coming out as the obvious MVP, Hall being the best possible with middling material (hey, you leave "The Last Duel" alone! It still made more money than "Belfast!") and Schumer scuffling the most but still landing some decent punchlines. (She deserves a gold medal for being the first person to FINALLY address the awkwardness of The Slap, even if about 30 minutes too late.)
Oscars host is the most thankless job in Hollywood outside of playing Adam Sandler's wife in one of his comedies – and thanks to the show's stupid removal of eight awards, it was made even more thankless on Sunday night, each failed gag representing time that could've gone to giving artists' their due. The hosts weren't the solution to ABC's "Oscars problem" – but they weren't particularly the problem Sunday night either.
After years of desperately trying to win a Best Picture Oscar – the one piece of Hollywood legitimacy not within its binge-able grasp – and getting so close in recent years with "Roma," "Mank," "Trial of the Chicago 7" and "The Irishman," the Big Red Streaming Monolith finally saw streaming win the big prize ... just not with Netflix. Instead, it's Apple TV+ who gets to make entertainment history and earn all the prestige thanks to "CODA." And to add insult to injury, despite leading all studios with 27 nominations, Netflix only won a single award on Oscar night: Best Director for Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog."
Part of the reason might be that Hollywood still resents Netflix and its utter disruption of the industry – even if just about all studios have followed suit into streaming by now. Netflix itself is to blame too, though, often running so many horses in the Oscar race that they can't give one single movie the proper attention and push it needs to pull ahead. Apple quickly left "The Tragedy of Macbeth" in the dust and focused all of its energy – and money – behind "CODA" (not including the $25 million the company used to buy it at Sundance). Meanwhile Netflix juggled "Power of the Dog," "Don't Look Up," "Tick, Tick ... Boom," "The Lost Daughter" and that's just in the major categories. In classic Netflix fashion, releasing so much content means none of it gets the spotlight for long.
I, however, like to think its devastating loss Sunday night was karmic punishment for creating "Is It Cake?" and "Sexy Beasts." They know what they did ...
In case you forgot – and I know you have almost certainly forgotten – they gave out Best Picture to "CODA" at some point! And not only Best Picture but also Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur and Best Adapted Screenplay for writer-director Sian Heder, making the Apple TV+ deaf family dramedy one of the biggest winners of the night, a wild turn of events considering the movie was an afterthought just a few months back.
Despite playing like gangbusters back at Sundance in eary 2021, the movie's actual release on the fledgling streaming service came and went without much hullabaloo. Fans enjoyed the emotional force of the heartstring-puller – a young woman deciding between her deaf family's life on the docks or her own ambitions as a singer – but mostly it just seemed like another case of festival brain, hyping up a movie only to watch the general public give it a pass. Come awards season, "CODA" kept appearing on top ten lists, but it was too small, too streaming and too sentimental to get anywhere near the main competition – at the time "Power of the Dog," "Belfast" and, yes, even "Don't Look Up."
Then something weird happened: "CODA" started winning awards.
It started properly with the Screen Actors Guild, where the movie took home the top prize – but that was easy to take less a statement about "CODA" and more a statement about SAG's weak field of nominees. (Remember the days of Best Picture candidate "House of Gucci"?) But the movie just kept winning and winning – which forced people to actual start watching. And what they watched, they liked. It's far from the most complex film, whether from a visual or screenplay perspective, but it's one that goes for the heart hard and effectively hits – with the underrepresented deaf performances and perspective adding some greater sense of purpose for voters beyond "it's a nice film."
With all the prestige, pomp and pretention of awards season – with the recent wins for the likes of "Parasite" and "Nomadland" – it's easy to forget the Academy's preferred dish is actually comfort food, something "CODA" serves quite nicely. Ironic it would win on such a profoundly uncomfortable night.
Loser: "The Power of the Dog"
Netflix's best chance to finally win Best Picture was treated like a dog Sunday night.
Despite getting the most nominations of any movie with a dozen, "The Power of the Dog" only came away with the one Best Director trophy. So what happened? Likely a bit of the frontrunner's curse. Jane Campion's take on the western was an early favorite for the top award, which puts a target on one's back from rival movies and puts expectations at a high from viewers. And when viewers saw the movie, they found a beautiful but often dark, chilly and audience-unfriendly movie with an elusive ending – aka the exact opposite of the crowd-pleasing, big cathartic feels of "CODA." "Power of the Dog" always felt like the smart Best Picture choice but rarely the heart's Best Picture choice – and when a satisfying alternative made itself present, voters took it.
Too bad: Now "The Power of the Dog" will never get to join the ranks of "Green Book" and "Driving Miss Daisy."
Winner: The speeches
For all the handwringing about finding new ways to make the Oscars entertaining, what was the most engaging and entertaining part of Sunday night's show? (The most INTENTIONALLY engaging and entertaining part, I should say.) The awards and the speeches – you know, the stuff the producers were desperate to cull.
Even after seeing him give similar speeches on his undefeated run through the precursors, watching Best Supporting Actor winner Troy Kotsur take his big moment was wonderful. Complete with "Minari" winner and presenter Youn Yuh-jung watching close by utterly captivated, the "CODA" actor's speech delivered genuine humor and emotion, beautifully topped off with the crowd giving him a loving ASL standing ovation. (Plus: Is that the first acceptance speech with a Popeye reference?) Meanwhile, I may have qualms about giving Jessica Chastain her Oscar for a little-seen, little-appreciated movie that's mostly a makeup achievement – and her career is still young, so we didn't have to get her an award now – but her victory speech was moving and pointed without being preachy. Ariana DeBose finished off her star-making run through awards season with her energetic and joyful words. And ... was there a fourth major acting awards speech? Huh, none come to mind – moving on!
The rest of the speeches, from Riz Ahmed and "Dune" editor Joe Walker offered remarkable moments of humor and heart as well – ones the at-home audience only saw in glimpses. In an unpredictable night, the most predictable source of feeling was the part the show was most eager to kill. Let's maybe not do that next time?
Loser: The In Memoriam
I understand the idea of wanting to turn the usually solemn, sad in memoriam into a joyous celebration of life instead. But the way to pull that off was not with a very overzealous choir dancing to bizarrely upbeat song selections, making it hard to pay attention to the dearly departed's names on screen even if you tried. Another example of this year's show trying to fix something that didn't really need fixing – and just making it worse. Luckily, as with everything that happened in the final half, no one really noticed because we were all searching Twitter for more Smith-versus-Rock analysis. Will Smith sure did do a lot of people favors Sunday night – minus himself.
Winner: Casual wear
I don't like living in a world where the sentence "I was more dressed for the occasion than Timothee Chalamet" is accurate – but while I, in a rare moment of adulting, remembered to wear a shirt and comb my hair Sunday night, the "Dune" star did not.
Sure. While Chalamet did his best Machine Gun Kelly impression on the red carpet, Best Actress nominee Kristen Stewart wore hot pants to the show – Chanel hot pants, mind, but hot pants nevertheless.
Somehow I'm finding myself waxing nostalgic for the days of Bjork's swan dress.
Loser: Beyonce's opening number
Wait, wait, wait! Before everyone sends me to a pop cultural tribunal to answer for my crimes against Bey-manity (if I'm all caught up on my entertainment law, I believe putting "Beyonce" and "lose" in the same sentence is a minimum five years in prison) let me just start by saying Beyonce's actual performance wasn't the problem. Singing "Be Alive" from "King Richard" from some Compton tennis courts, the pop royal impeccably performed her very solid Oscar-nominated song complete with beautifully precise choreography and a beaming yellow-and-green production that was somehow both simple yet rich with thoughtful detail.
The problem was, while the performance was great, it didn't really give the show and the house with the energy a live stage show needs. The song is triumphant, with the powerful beat to match – but Beyonce is trying to pump up a crowd that's not there while the Oscars audience in the Kodak Theater is just watching a distant concert from a seemingly passive remove. There was no audible crowd reaction or cutaways – so when the show finally arrived at the Oscars stage, the performance felt less like an proper intro and more like its own strangedly isolated Beyonce tribute.
Again, the performance itself was good – this isn't on Beyonce, but on the Oscar producers for not thinking about what a live show open needs. And considering Beyonce's performance was overall better assembled than anything that came after, maybe they should just let her do the rest of the show next time.
Winner: Denzel Washington
We already knew that Denzel Washington was one of the most important people in Hollywood – but this past weekend revealed just how valuable the actor is. First, the guy handed Samuel L. Jackson his Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards over the weekend with contagious joy, complete with the world's most satisfying congratulatory hug ever registered.
I think you want to see just a little more of how excited Denzel and Samuel L. Jackson are now that the latter has his honorary Oscar pic.twitter.com/O0h8j75RDa — Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) March 26, 2022
Fun fact: These awards, including beautiful moments like the one above, used to be in the live show! But really, who would want to watch Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson, two of the world's biggest stars, hug it out and celebrate one another on a stage? That's time we could use to dangle Amy Schumer from the ceiling in a Spider-Man costume!
But we didn't realize the depth of Washington's importance to Hollywood until Sunday night, when Washington was a key part of getting Will Smith to settle down and get his act (somewhat) together post-fronthand slap, seemingly the emergency therapy the star needed to give the night something resembling order in the theater.
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2 — Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022
This man is not just a beloved and insanely talented star; he's clearly the glue keeping Hollywood together – and considering his ability to handle the highest of highs along with the lowest of lows, he clearly should host next year's show. Probably with a TikTok celeb, though. You know, for the youths.
Loser: Sean Penn's Oscar
Today in rational thoughts: The "Mystic River" actor and activist announced that if Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy wasn't on the Academy Awards broadcast, he would smelt his Oscars. Because apparently Penn thinks Zelenskyy has nothing more important to do while fighting off a hostile invasion than pop on an awards show and ... I don't know, crack a joke about how he thought "No Way Home" should've gotten a Best Picture nom too?
Anyways, Zelenskyy ending up RSVP-ing no due to reasons of war. So bad news, Sean Penn's Oscars: You're about to become a very shiny and prestigious puddle. I hope you've learned your lesson, Russia!
Not that you'd know it thanks to the Oscars shunting more than a third of its awards to before the live show and awkwardly wedging them in around commercial breaks, but Warner Bros' sci-fi blockbuster won the most awards on Sunday night – six in total, all in technical categories including Score, Visual Effects, Sound, Cinematography, Production Design and Editing. Love to complain about how there's not enough popular movies at the Oscars, then push the most popular film of the bunch off the main show! Make it make sense! The award-winning artists had some pretty entertaining speeches as well – not that you'd know thanks to significantly trimmed versions that actually made it to air.
DUNE editor Joe Walker delivers the funniest speech of the night, about how his kids used his Oscar nomination to expertly clown on him pic.twitter.com/CYItMjHBgm — Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) March 27, 2022
Hopefully "Dune: Part Two" is just as good and technically mesmerizing so the Academy can give them proper appreciation next time.
Loser: Twitter polls
Who could've possibly guessed letting the internet decide anything would be a bad idea? Apparently nobody in the Oscars production room heard about Boaty McBoatface, beacuse they decided the best use of time Sunday night was to invent two prizes – a fan favorite 2021 movie award and a most cheer-worthy moment award – for Twitter to vote on.
So Twitter did what Twitter does: make a mockery of things.
Director Zack Snyder's formidable online army of fans voted the glum Netflix zombie epic "Army of the Dead" as its best picture – narrowly beating out the Camila Cabello "Cinderella" most famed for a bad traffic-halting viral stunt and "Minimata," a Johnny Depp movie that truly does not exist. And they weren't done, voting "The Flash Enters the Speed Force" from Snyder's director's cut of a 2017 movie released exclusively as a desperate play for streaming subscriptions as its most cheer-worthy moment. I think we all remember where we were when The Flash entered the Speed Force.
As I cannot emphasize this enough: A hijacked Twitter poll was deemed more worthwhile than giving eight actual award winners their moment. But you know what: It's exactly what the producers deserve – and what Disney-owned ABC deserves, almost certainly nudging this idea forward to give "Spider-Man: No Way Home" more spotlight after getting almost entirely blanked in the nominations. Three Spider-Men are pretty powerful – but they're still no match for the greatest villain of all: the online comments section.
Winner: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Best International Film winner "Drive My Car" is three hours long. The opening titles don't pop up until about the 40-minute mark. Hamaguchi is clearly a man who savors his time – and sorry, random all-star band, that includes acceptance speeches. He doesn't care how many Kardashian fiancés you have on drums.
Anyone who finger-wags the orchestra silent deserves not one but TWO Oscars.
Loser: "We Don't Talk About Bruno"
Poor "Bruno." First Disney ends up nominating "Dos Oruguitas" from "Encanto" over it, not realizing the addictively haunted cha-cha would become the hit of the year. Then the song's highly anticipated live debut at the Oscars failed to live up to expectations, sleepily paced and then oddly remixed midway through into an Oscars hype song with a Megan Thee Stallion verse and a final Academy-focused final chorus. Because the audience needed to be reminded that we were indeed watching the Oscars almost two hours deep into the show?
My guess: "We Don't Talk About Bruno" was supposed to be the show's opening act. The cheerily cheesy shoehorned Oscar verses make more sense as an introduction to the awards show rather than an intermission, and the in-house performance would've brought live electricity into the crowd right off the bat. But when you get Beyonce to perform, you lead with Beyonce – even if it's not what the opening needs. And even if it means pushing a Disney song from a kids movie to almost 9 p.m. central time, potentially past bedtime.
Whether that's the case or it was always supposed to be the mid-show entertainment, let's agree that we don't talk about the Oscars' "We Don't Talk About Bruno."
Winner: Lady Gaga
The final hour of the Oscars desperately needed some good vibes after the cloud of The Slap sunk over the show – and thankfully Lady Gaga was there in the nick of time to put some genuine kind energy in the air. Helping present the no-longer-climactic Best Picture with a wheelchair-bound Liza Minnelli, Gaga gently helped the seemingly nervy "Cabaret" icon through some of the line readings, concluding with a lovely hot mic moment where Gaga leaned down to Minnelli to make sure she knew her co-presenter had her back.
In a night doomed to be defined by violence and uneasy tension, at least we got this small moment of love and comfort.
Loser: The pre-show awards gambit
One more time, just to make sure the Oscars know they screwed up: Shunting eight awards to a pre-show was doomed to be an insult – one everyone saw coming except for the showrunners themselves.
If the goal was to pay tribute to these artists, Sunday night's show failed. Already treated as second-class awards, with reporters and celebs still walking the red carpet outside, most movie lovers found out about the award winners via soulless tweets from either reporters in the building or the Academy itself, making the Oscars no better or worse than the now-dismantled Golden Globes. As for the promised "tasteful" integrations into the main live show, the edited awards were awkwardly placed at random throughout the night with little context and even less of the original speeches – good speeches at that, and in Best Live Action Short's case, featuring celebs that audiences might've wanted to see!
OK, but if the show's goal was to make a tighter and more entertaining show ... they also failed there. Since the audience mostly knew the eight award winners already, their inclusion in the show was awkward dead air – no celebration, no tension, no sense of stakes, no true exultation and no narrative. In 2016, people thought "Mad Max: Fury Road" might actually win Best Picture with all of its technical awards, adding to the night's excitement. "Dune" – the rare popular movie amongst the night's nominees, mind! – could've pulled off the same thrill, winning six tech trophies, but since they were scattered around the show in meaningless ways, no one cared.
But that's OK because at least the show ran on ... oh, look at that, we went even longer than last year because we went 17 minutes without an award at the start for not one but two stand-up sets and Amy Schumer had to make Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst feel awkward.
The Oscars never make everyone happy – very rarely do all your favorites win, very rarely do all the bits land – but congrats to this year's edition for making everyone even less happy than usual.
Winner: Anthony Hopkins
By the end of the night, seemingly everyone watching the Oscars – whether in the theater or at home – left the party confused and shaken. And then there's Anthony Hopkins, who was less shaken and more shakin'.
The man's been near the epicenter of two Oscar debacles and he couldn't care less. Perhaps we should all live like Anthony Hopkins.
Loser: The "new and improved" Oscars
After all the condescending huff and puff about how silly simple-minded movie fans couldn't understand that the Oscars needed to change entirely and how we're all stuck in the past, the much-ballyhooed new, hip and improved Academy Awards ... felt just like the same ol' Academy Awards.
The show still ran overtime; in fact, for all the insistent blather about how the show NEEDED to end in three hours, the show still ran well past last year's ceremony despite including eight fewer live awards. There were still massive spots of dull dead air – not including the literal dead air needed post-Slap – it took almost 20 minutes to finally hand out a single award and it seems the only idea to actually modernize the show was to include Twitter, an predictably terrible idea to anyone who's spent more than five seconds on Twitter. The only thing that made this Oscars feel different was that it seemed more annoying than usual because the stiff comedy bits and obvious filler segments, instead of just getting easily swatted away as the gloriously clumsy show of the Academy Awards, represented time wasted rather than dedicated to the whole point of the show: appreciating film and filmmakers.
Sure, circumstance accidentally left the night's winning films in the dust – but that's how the night began too, with the producers purposefully leaving the winning films in the dust. And if the Oscars can't bother to care about the craft its honoring, why would you think the audience would? So here's to the Oscars remembering the movies next year – and not slaps to the face, both metaphorical and literal.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.