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Monday, February 25, 2019

The Oscars did not rock me (but Rami Malek did)

The World According to Garp
The Big Chill
The Natural
Fatal Attraction
Dangerous Liaisons
Albert Nobbs
The Wife

Those are the seven films that Glenn Close has received Oscar nominations for - and she holds the record for the actress with the most nominations without winning. The lady deserves to have a gold statuette, but once again she went home empty-handed last night as first-time nominee Olivia Colman won Best Actress for The Favourite. Now although I think Ms. Colman is a wonderful actress, it was Glenn's year to finally hear her own name announced. And it was pretty much the only reason I tuned in to watch this year. But I do have a silver lining to report - both Geraldine Page and Al Pacino won Oscars on their eighth nomination, so maybe Glenn just needs to give us one more outstanding performance.

As for the ceremony itself, overall I found it to be a bit boring. I really didn't miss having a host, but many of the presenters made me go "Who?" or "Why?" (which I will address in my comments below). So let's move on to the best and the worst of the 91st Academy Awards:

Best Music Performance: I have to go with Queen and Adam Lambert's opening number of their 1977 hits, "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions," which had the audience swaying and singing along. None of the nominated Best Songs will be so fondly remembered in 42 years.

Best Music Performance Runner-Up: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga did a fine job with the Oscar-winning "Shallow" from A Star Is Born.

Best Music Performance Honorable Mention: "The Place Where Lost Things Go" from Mary Poppins Returns is an okay tune, but the Divine Miss M's lovely rendition made it worth listening to. And you gotta love Bette!

Missing Original Song Performance: Due to "logistics and timing," Kendrick Lamar and SZA were unable to perform "All the Stars" from Black Panther.

Presenters that made me go "Who?": Tom Morello (from the band Rage Against the Machine), actress Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade, which I haven't seen), actors Stephan James and KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk, which I haven't seen) and chef José Andrés

Presenters that made me go "Why?": Tennis player Serena Williams and actress Krysten Ritter (who is best known for her Netflix series, Jessica Jones)

Hollywood Royalty: Thank God 76-year-old Barbra Streisand enjoyed BlacKkKlansman enough to introduce its Best Picture segment because the evening was sorely lacking in Hollywood royalty. And I don't recall any chefs or tennis players as presenters back in the 1970s when I first started watching the Oscars. To see actual Hollywood STARS is one of the main reasons I've always tuned in, but nowadays the show's producers just don't seem to be interested in celebrating the past, which is very sad.

Color of the Night: Although Green (Book) and Black (Panther/kKlansman) won awards, it was Pink that everyone seemed to be wearing.

Best Dress and Best Closer: Julia Roberts, who looked stunning in pink as she presented Best Picture (to Green Book) and found herself having to deliver the show's closing remarks.

Best Dress Runner-Up: Helen Mirren (also in pink)

Most Amusing Dress: Melissa McCarthy's bunny-covered outfit to present Best Costume Design was definitely a highlight of the night.

Hottest Hunks: Javier Bardem, Paul Rudd and Rami Malek

Hottest Hunk Wearing Glasses: Director/Co-Writer Guy Nattiv, who won Best Live Action Short Film.

The Oscars Love Mexico: Considering how our current President feels about Mexico, it seems only fitting that Roma became the first Mexican movie to win Best Foreign Language Film.

Best Entrance: Keegan-Michael Key, who "flew" down from above with an umbrella in order to introduce the performance of Best Original Song nominee from Mary Poppins Returns.

Best Retro Comedy Bit: Dana Carvey and Mike Myers' presentation of the Bohemian Rhapsody Best Picture segment made me laugh (the Queen song was featured in a scene in their 1992 film, Wayne's World).

Nice to Be Seen: It was great to see 79-year-old actress Katharine Ross in the audience with her husband, Oscar nominee Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born). She hasn't aged a day since ABC's The Colbys (1985-87).

Deserved to Be Seen: Wouldn't it have been nice to see 94-year-old Cicely Tyson receive her Academy Honorary Award? Instead it was given to her at the Governors Awards in November 2018 (which you can watch below), but the Oscars used to present these awards during the telecast.

The Always Controversial In Memoriam Segment: This tribute should be limited to only Oscar nominees and winners AND every actor should be featured because the TV viewing audience may actually have heard of them. So last night actor James Karen, who never received a nomination, was included, while Carol Channing and Sondra Locke, who both received nominations for Best Supporting Actress, were not. I do not understand how something like this happens. As for director Stanley Donen, who died on February 21, apparently the tribute cut-off date was February 16 so he will (hopefully) be featured next year.

Best Speech Runner-Up: Rami Malek, who won Best Actor for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Best Speech: Although I was deeply disappointed that Glenn Close did not win, I did enjoy Olivia Colman's amusing speech (she was obviously quite surprised to win).

And that, folks, is my review (click here for a complete list of the winners). I correctly selected 12 out of the 24 categories, but I only predicted 2 out of 9 in this year's Razzie Awards, which were announced on February 24. Below are the "lucky" Razzie winners:

Worst Picture: Holmes & Watson
Worst Actor: Donald J. Trump (As Himself) in Death of a Nation and Fahrenheit 11/9
Worst Actress: Melissa McCarthy in The Happytime Murders and Life of the Party
Worst Supporting Actor: John C. Reilly in Holmes & Watson
Worst Supporting Actress: Kellyanne Conway (As Herself) in Fahrenheit 11/9
Worst Director: Etan Cohen for Holmes & Watson
Worst Screen Combo: Donald J. Trump & His Self Perpetuating Pettiness in Death of a Nation and Fahrenheit 11/9
Worst Screenplay: Fifty Shades Freed
Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel: Holmes & Watson
Razzie Redeemer Award: Melissa McCarthy, who went from a multi-Razzie darling to a critically acclaimed Oscar Nominee for her out-of-caricature role in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

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