Years of Oscar watching have dulled me to the blood sport of it all. I tune in now only for the glimpse of true shimmer, that brilliant vein that runs through a community of uncommonly creative worker bees. Maybe there will be a speech, scripted (of course) yet burst through with joy, or a surprise performance jolting me off the couch “RIGHT ON SISTER!”, bawling at a poignant moment.
I live for the wit revealed, the warmth uncovered.
Was there enough last night?
Forgive my scribbles. This brain is readjusting from beach rat speed, where a mango crush is a Oscar trophy without all the wardrobe, makeup, or hair marathons. The only accessory for this show is a straw. I’d like to thank the beach bartender…
Okay, okay, I’m back. Oscar highlights:
Twitter backlash or not, Neil Patrick Harris is a monster talent. So he didn’t land all his jokes and blanked a few too many times. The whole Oscar prediction prank didn’t pay off, but that underwear gag, spoofed off one of the best scenes in Birdman, took balls. Literally. This job of hosting is a beast few harness. The guy sings and dances as sprightly as a court jester; timing to match. Maybe he started reading all the snarky tweets early on and it got to him. I say give him another year or let my boy Fallon at it.
Family time, cried director Alejandro González Iñárritu as he jumped aside from the microphone to ensure those sharing his Birdman best original screenplay award got their chance to thank family members. This often perfunctory element of speechmaking seemed more genuine this year with none of that embarrassing “OMG, she forgot to thank her husband!” drama. J.K Simmons gushed about his wife and “above average kids” before instructing viewers around the world to call, rather than text or email, their parents. Others thanked family for putting up with the long hours and frequent absences, not to mention fragile egos that suddenly become supersize. But the very best family moment for this married writer was a teensy tiny one. Upon hearing that his wife, Julianne Moore had finally won an Oscar after two decades in the biz and five nominations, Moore’s husband kissed her then indicated he was going to help her up the stairs. I’m a good lip reader. Eavesdropper too (required writing tools). Their little walk to the stage was brief. She glided up and he darted back, but it spoke to a union that clicks in a million ways.
Why do some actors get to present by themselves? How do they pair presenters? Is there an Officer of Chemistry that plays matchmaker in sizzle? Best of the night: Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba. Somebody hurry up and put these two gorgeous creatures in a
eroticromantic love story.
If there were skeptics in the crowd, Lady Gaga wasn’t feeling them. Who suspected a tattooed pop diva could deliver a brilliant rendition of a beloved film score? What followed the Sound of Music medley and film clips was one of the evening’s sparkle moments and yes, I was sniffling along with the millions. Julie Andrews came on stage as if by magic and won over the audience the minute she spoke. I blinked and suddenly here I am, the 80 year old twinkled about the film’s 50th anniversary. Put up your hand if you loved seeing those movie clips. Those who don’t like the movie can be dismissed right now. You’re in the wrong class.
Canadian duo Tegan and Sara were laughing along with everyone else at the end of their wacky Everything is Awesome performance. Throwing all those performers on stage for that crazy number was not justice for omitting The Lego Movie from the best film nominations. For a minute or so, the house was a kid zone and yellow Lego Oscars their favourite new toy, that is, until they peeked inside the nominee gift bag. This year contents included a laser vibrator. Yes, you’re still on Planet Earth.
Melanie Griffiths revealed her Joan Crawford side, admitting to the world in the televised red carpet preshow special that no, she hasn’t seen her daughter’s starring performance in 50 Shades of Grey because” it would be strange.” That’s right Mom. Tell the world you’re jealous of my success. Yes, that would be a pout on daughter Dakota Johnson’s face. Not the faux sexy one needed for the film either.
Sparkle moment again from Meryl Streep who didn’t disappoint (does she ever?) in her note perfect opening to the In Memoriam segment:
Through their work they shared a piece of their soul and so we will miss them with the same sadness that we miss an old friend. But their work will stand and remind how lucky we were to have them with us for awhile. There will never be anyone like them, each and every one.
Beautifully delivered. Bring on the bucket. I’m a goner again.
John Legend and Common won best song for Glory, from the film Selma and brought many in the crowd to their feet with a stirring speech, one of the best of the night:
This bridge was once a landmark of a divided nation, but now is a symbol for change. The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy.
Best speech, if not the most elegant, goes to Patricia Arquette who won Best Supporting Actress in my favourite film of 2014, Boyhood. I have watched this woman win countless awards this season and she is like the pro workhorse, bringing her notes, assuredly thanking every person that counted. Last night, she kicked it up a notch as one should. This is a moment for the ages. She spoke for all of us, in a way that the misdirected #AskHerMore campaign does not.The red carpet is for fashion. Yes, ask about their work and upcoming projects, but if you are expecting weighty discussions beyond designer gowns, the red carpet whirl is hardly the place-the very nature of the thing is fluff. Duh.