Monday, February 10, 2020


I mostly enjoyed it. After the wardrobe glitches in her "Mister Rogers" opening, Janelle Monae displayed her glorious talent in her usual knockout ways and entertained the shit out of the audience with the rest of the performance. She and others (the rapper from Hamilton for instance) hammered home the disappointing reality of Oscars-still-so-white (in terms of who was nominated) and made the show seem a little more-up-to-date.

Joaquin Phoenix's acceptance speech was long but engaging as he articulated the argument for social justice in every arena including for all sentient beings (to my mind everything is sentient in some way). There were other acceptances that I loved, including Brad Pitt's who's one of the actors I can't help liking no matter what (he's good too), but especially Carol Dysinger's (an old friend I haven't seen in years but am happy for) acceptance for the Best Short Documentary Award ("Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (if you're a girl)"), check it out (yay Carol!).

Among the other highlights for me was Cynthia Erivo's performance of the song from HARRIETT, which she starred in and should have won the Oscar for Best Actress for. What a singing voice! And PARASITE winning so much. It and JOJO RABBIT were the most original movies of 2019, to me, and I would have liked seeing the latter win more than it did (as well as Scarlett Johansson, who was great in it and MARRIAGE STORY, as usual), same for LITTLE WOMEN (I would have liked Florence Pugh to have won Best Supporting Actress, and Greta Gerwig so deserved a nomination for Best Director!).

All in all it was typical Hollywood, which means there were moments of not-so-typical Hollywood to give the appearance of progress (PARASITE!) amid otherwise predictable outcomes. For me the most poignant thing about it was seeing the now old established Hollywood folk—like Jane Fonda, and Al Pacino, and Marty Scorcese (all of whom I've met and in some cases became friends with for awhile back in my "Hollywood years")—and remembering when they first appeared at Oscar ceremonies and how it seemed like such a generational change from the names that had dominated my youth to my own generation, and now they're (we're) the old ones...

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