Sunday April 03, 2022
The Other Bad Stuff that Happened at the 94th Annual Academy Awards
Before I get into the other bad stuff at this year's Oscars, here's something my onetime hometown newspaper tweeted midshow:
Never. Tweet. Early.
Oscar's producers were lucky in a way. The Will Smith thing obscured/obliterated any other conversation about the Oscars, and that conversation should've been brutal. The people running the show are making the same mistake as the people running Major League Baseball: They're trying to appeal to the people who don't like their product while alienating those who do.
Here are some of the lowlights from last Sunday's broadcast:
- The “In Memoriam” segment: It was not somber. It was New Orleans. They had a choir onstage, and people dancing, and those dancing people often partially obscured the faces of those who died. And occasionally it would quiet down for a live person (Tyler Perry, Bill Murray, Jamie Lee Curtis) to talk briefly about one of those who passed (Sidney Poitier, Ivan Reitman, Betty White). And it was all wrong. Just give us the faces, and occasional clips, and some measure of respect. Please. Think of what Anthony Hopkins said before presenting lead actress: “Let's have peace and love and quiet.” That.
- Twits: Apparently the Academy teamed up with Twitter on two polls: “Oscar fan favorites” and “Most Cheer-Worthy Moment.” The former was for 2021 films, the latter for any moment in movie history. And shockingly, for that, there was a recency bias among the voters. We didn't get Gene Kelly in “Singin' in the Rain,” in other words, but it did go chronologically. No. 5 was the old one from the deep, dim past: Neo dodging bullets in “The Matrix” from 1999. No. 4 was Jennifer Hudson singing “I'm Telling You” from “Dreamgirls” in 2006. Those were the oldies. I mean, who knew they made movies way back then? No. 3: Avengers assembling against Thanos in “Avengers: Endgame” (2019) and No. 2 was the Spider-Men teaming up in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021). As for the most cheer-worthy moment in movie history? “The Flash enters speedforce” from Zack Snyder's retooled “Justice League,” which played on HBO in 2021. Of course. And that should be history for Oscar's Twitter polls. There's nothing democratic in it. It's dominated by those who dominate the platform, and who are organized, and the Zackflaks are certainly that on Twitter. They're better organized than his movies. So much so that he won the other poll, too, as his “Army of the Dead” was voted the Oscar fan favorite of 2021. So fucking embarrassing. Stop it. Just ... stop.
- Regina Hall's sexual harassment extravaganza: Didn't she do it twice? With this group of hunks and that group of hunks? It wasn't funny the first time so I guess they tried it again. Reverse the genders and see how it flies. Seriously, the double standards in our modern world are out of control.
- Jackson Schmackson. But overall the worst of it was what the producers thought worth our time and what wasn't. Lifetime achievements to Samuel L. Jackson and Elaine May? Nah. Kids don't want to see that. Pre-tape it. Oscars for film editing? And sound? And hair and makeup? What does all that matter anyway? Pre-tape. A clip segment of 60 years of James Bond films introduced by three extreme sports dudes who have nothing to do with movies? Hey, now that needs to be part of the show. So fucking embarrassing. Stop it. Just stop.
I liked Amy Schumer. Bring her back.