I love movies. From the time I was very young and was watching the old Westerns with my grandma, I have loved movies. I can remember growing up with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Ma & Pa Kettle, and, of course, the yearly watching of The Wizard of Oz.
These first glimpses into the movie-making magic have molded me into the person I am today. From the time I was sneak watching Rocky III over and over on my dad’s HBO to all of John Hughes’ brilliance from the ’80s, I couldn’t get enough.
It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized award shows were a thing. Once I hit my 20’s, there was no going back. I have been front and center for any movie award show I can find. I don’t go so far as to host big parties or anything like that. I prefer to watch alone so I can let my emotions flow. So, yes, I will readily admit, I cry through The Oscar ceremony.
The speeches, the causes, the beautiful people dressed up in their best finery, these are the moments in my life that I live for. So, without further ado, I present my best and worst moments of the 2020 Oscar Awards.
Brad Pitt’s Best Supporting Actor win for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.
As an emotional person, you can imagine that I feel very strongly about my favorites. Brad Pitt won my heart way back in his Thelma and Louise days. Boy was he cute, and let’s face it; he has aged like a fine wine.
I have gotten off track in my reminiscing. Brad has done some fabulous work, and he was exceptional as a stuntman in this film. My favorite part of his speech was when he thanked Leonardo DiCaprio. I teared up, and my heart fluttered. He is a class act all the way, and I am happy for him.
Cynthia Erivo’s Stunning Performance of Stand Up from the movie Harriet.
It is with great disappointment that I have not yet seen Harriet. I will rectify this neglect soon. However, from everything I have read, it seems that Cynthia Erivo has got it all. I can only imagine the supreme performance from Cynthia in Harriet, but what I know of her resides in those few moments while she sang her heart out on that Oscar stage.
I wanted to see the movie before the awards, but I didn’t find the time to watch. However, seeing Cynthia’s power and beauty up there in front of the world while she sang, I became a fan. With Harriet looking down on her, I know she had to be proud to know that this strong woman was carrying her memory through to a new generation.
Hair Love Winning the Best Animated Short
In this day of devastating political disharmony around the world, we receive a reward in something so simple as Hair Love. Watching a young black father trying to come to terms with raising a daughter alone would be heartwarming in and of itself. However, a strange obstacle in their journey comes about, and that is the young lady’s untamable hair.
I don’t want to ruin the story for you, but I will say that this is one story that the public should see the world over. It is sweet and loving. I have watched it repeatedly, and it has made me open my eyes to the simple things that people face when they wander into uncharted territory. With the help of YouTube, of course.
The Award Montages
The long, drawn-out montages that gave us little snippets into each role introduced were missing this year. And boy, am I glad that they were. I loved the way the montages mimicked mini-movies. They gave us a better understanding of what each character or movie was about in the grand scheme of the category.
By mixing them, the Academy has finally shown us why they chose the nominees. I was mesmerized and found myself rooting for the whole list regardless of whether I had a favorite in the race or not. The montages brought out the best in the awards, and I hope they are here to stay.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Tribute to River
I am not the biggest fan of Joaquin Phoenix, but I do have an intense fascination with him. He is strange, and from what I already suspected, hard to work with (his words). It is this innate strangeness that makes him so fascinating to me. How can this strange man continue to pump out amazing work over and over again?
Regardless, he does it. And with the acceptance speech he gave at the Golden Globe ceremony, he paid tribute to the late Heath Ledger, where he thanked him for paving the way to Joker glory. Then, at the Oscar’s, he thanked his late brother River by quoting a song lyric River wrote when he was 17 years old that states, “Run into the rescue with love and peace will follow.”
For these fantastic tributes and more, Joaquin Phoenix has earned my respect and adoration. My viewing of The Joker will happen soon.
The New Tradition of Being Without a Host/Hostess
I’m not sure what the award shows are trying to accomplish by not having hosts or hostesses. But, this bizarre phenomenon is one that I just can’t wrap my head around. Yes, many hosts have bombed, but it is only because the Academy gives them canned content and won’t allow the host’s real personality to stand out.
Let’s go back to a time where we have real hosts. Don’t make it a circus show with only politically correct statements. The reason we watch these award shows is that we want to see actors being actors and films being films. A little controversy never hurts, and it may just boost the ratings.
The Show Opener
Janel Monae is a popular lady in the music world. I have no idea what happened to her with this opener. It started sort of okay with the singing of Won’t you Be My Neighbor, but she couldn’t get her jacket off to change into the sweater, and she had to rebutton a button on her blouse. If that wasn’t bad enough, the rest of the performance just went south from there.
I can understand trying to get the audience to participate in your show. Still, none of those in attendance knew what Monae was doing or how they should follow along. I felt terrible for Leonardo DiCaprio when she wouldn’t take the microphone from his face. Then they all laid on the floor in the aisles.
It was a disaster from beginning to end, and truthfully, it made me uncomfortable.
The Cats Presenters
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love James Corden and I enjoy the talents of Rebel Wilson, but their intention to poke fun at themselves while dressed in their Cats costumes fell way too flat. I didn’t know what to expect when they came out, but what followed was horrifying, and I feel a lot of sympathy for James and Rebel for having to go through with that nonsense.
What could have been a lighthearted take on a bad film turned into some weird rendition of an Abbott and Costello sketch. By the end, where they batted and licked at the microphone, it was all I could do to keep watching. Sorry loves, but that was horrible.
Celebrities Announcing Presenters
I am at a loss as to why we needed to lose our hosts. Still, we are bombarded with multiple stars to announce the presenters. I don’t understand what the Academy was hoping to accomplish with this tactic, but for me, it fell flat.
If they wanted more celebrity presenters, why did they not use the folks that announced the presenters to be presenters in their own right? I mean, several of the presenter teams gave away more than one award. These “extra” celebrities would have been fantastic as presenters.
Turning Down the Lights on the Best Picture Winners
Parasite upset the whole film industry with their sweep of the awards, including the biggie of Motion Picture of the Year. Why in the world did the people running the show think that it was a good idea to silence them?
Was it because they had already won too many awards through the night? Who knows? All I know is that it was incredibly uncalled for and disrespectful. And, I also know that if Mr. Martin Scorsese had won that award, the lights would not have gone out. Shame on you Academy.
All in all, I was pleased with the Oscar’s this year. There was undoubtedly more good stuff than bad, but if I had written all the good things from the show, this article would have run as long as the ceremony had.
One last remark that needs to be said but was not a part of the show is that Adam Sandler deserved a nomination for his role in Uncut Gems. This snub includes all comedians everywhere, trying to do good work just because it is funny doesn’t mean that it is not Oscar-worthy.
Thank you and Good Night!