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Monday, February 27, 2017

89th Oscars: Best & Worst

Lets get this out of the way first: Holy shit, I cannot believe that happened. I'm not counting this as a "best" or "worst" because while I think that Moonlight was the best of the nominated films and I'm glad it won, I feel bad for the La La Land team who thought they won only to have it snatched out of their hands in the most public way possible, and I feel bad for Warren Beatty because this moment will be infamous and there are probably people out there who will only know him for this and not for Bonnie and Clyde or any of the other great movies he's made.

Best: Asghar Farhadi's speech, delivered by Anousheh Ansari. I know that there are people who hate it when the winners of awards get political, but no winner had greater reason to get political that Asghar Farhadi, who was directly affected by the Muslim travel ban. His words were blunt, to the point, and absolutely necessary.

Worst: The million hour broadcast. 2 hours into the show, I made this notation: "12 awards left to give out." 2 hours in, there were also two performances for Best Original Song left to perform, and the In Memoriam. The Oscars always run long, but daaaaaaaaaamn this was slow and unnecessarily padded with bits that went on way too long.

Best: The ongoing feud between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon. It's been going on for over a decade and it will apparently never not be funny. I'm not sure what was better, "Ben Affleck and guest" or when the orchestra started playing Damon off while he was presenting.

Worst: That O.J. Simpson joke. A joke made in poor taste can only be saved by being funny. That was just bad.

Best: The women of Hidden Figures presenting with Katherine Johnson. Just a very nice moment for a woman richly deserving of the spotlight.

Best & Worst: Jimmy Kimel's hosting. The monologue was fine (though at this point hosts should really start by thanking Meryl Streep for providing the easiest, most reliable joke possible), but most of the bits scattered throughout the telecast suffered from going on too damn long. Plus I couldn't help thinking during each of the "feed the audience," "bring in random regular people off the street and surprise them by putting them on the Oscar stage," and the "interact with the audience" portions: "Ellen did it better."

Best: The In Memoriam. Good song choice, great performance, well done all around.

Worst: John Legend's two Original Song performances. I like John Legend. I liked La La Land. But, man, that performance was so low key I almost fell asleep.

Best: No clean sweep. La La Land won a lot, to be sure, but it wasn't a clean sweep. Speaking personally I find it preferable when the awards are spread out a bit, celebrating a bunch of different films, rather than one film completely dominating the night.

Worst: Suicide Squad can now advertise itself as an Oscar winning movie, for winning Best Makeup, no less, despite Jared Leto's Joker look accounting for at least 30% of how obnoxious his presence in that movie is.

Best: John Cho and Leslie Mann. A surprisingly great presenting duo.

Best: Michael J. Fox, as ever.

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