91st Oscars: Ceremony

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby danfrank » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:20 pm

Anybody besides me missing BJ's posts? In the immediate aftermath of the Oscars I'm wondering what he has to say. His contributions to this board have been a highlight for me, given that his posts are always thoughtful, well-informed, insightful, exceptionally well-written, and very educational. I understand that his buttons got pushed, but I would hope that the rewards of participating in this board outweighs the bad. If anybody has private contact with him, is it possible to launch a campaign to bring him back?

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby Uri » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:23 am

ITALIANO wrote:I don't see any similarity between the two wins, but ok... :D


It's about having at least one proper result which was unexpected or not certain. Very little to ask for - and yet these outcomes are rarer and rarer.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:53 am

Uri wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:But I’d already had my adrenaline shot for the evening, and nothing could take it away.


I'm afraid this is all we can hope for now - an occasional - and rare - Casey-Affleck-moment of pure satisfaction to slip through.
.


I don't see any similarity between the two wins, but ok... :D

I was happier with Best Picture. Like for Actress, the best didn't win, but by then it was clearly Roma vs Green Book, and Roma - the favorite of so many here and elsewhere (complete with black and white cinematography!) - would have been one of the worst wins in recent memory. Ok, Green Book isn't a much better outcome, we all know that, but I think that it's a useful mirror of a certain kind of American way of thinking today. Both the content of the movie AND the fact that it won, I mean. It reflects these times, like Mrs Miniver, and the fact that it won, reflected that era and its - understandable - political and emotional climate.

People here hate it. And this is also interesting. Because Green Book - for all its banality, its obviousness - isn't less banal and less obvious than some thoughts those same people (not necessarily on this board, it's a more general thing) express about that or other urgent topics. The topics ARE urgent, these people are genuine and definitely on the right side - like the movie is - yet their opionions are often too simple, and avoid getting to the roots of the problems, choosing to stay on a more confortable surface (what makes it comfortable, of course, is also that staying on the surface allows them to feel part of a group. Going deeper would be more problematic and more potentially divisive). But seeing all this applied to a movie is disturbing, because it makes such superficiality evident, and they can't accept it.

So, no, the best picture didn't win Best Picture. The Favourite - a more inventive, and decently acted movie - would have been a far better choice, I agree. But in a year without masterpieces, Green Book, sadly, is a clear sign of what we are and where we are. Adrenaline for Best Actress is an easy way out - but Green Book will stay and we won't forget it.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby Uri » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:22 am

Mister Tee wrote:But I’d already had my adrenaline shot for the evening, and nothing could take it away.


I'm afraid this is all we can hope for now - an occasional - and rare - Casey-Affleck-moment of pure satisfaction to slip through.

Cuaron’s win here adds directing to the categories won by foreign-language film (the silent The Artist can’t really count).


Am I wrong - is Cuaron the first director to be nominated/winning for a "foreign", i.e. non English speaking, film AFTER being nominated/winning for an English speaking one? (I don't consider Eastwood's nod for Letters from Iwo Jima as a precedent). I think that although technically his win is indeed a first, him being such an integral part of the American film industry (and his film being a Netflix output), somehow take out the edge of it (the same can be said about Loren, who won in the midst of having a thriving Hollywood career).

Colman is the only standard-issue white person in the group.


Well - as I recommended before - watch her Who Do You Think You Are episode. SPOILER! - she finds out that one of her great-great-great-grandmothers was an Indian (India Indian) woman. And the way this revelation is unfolded is just the best chick-flick you'll see.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:37 pm

Mister Tee wrote:From there, things got better, with the Cooper/Gaga duet as elegantly staged as any musical number I can remember


I just heard from an awards insider that Bradley Cooper actually staged and practically directed that number himself.

Question of the night: so many people addressed Ryan Coogler, I have to assume he was there. Why was the camera-person never able to locate him for a shot?


He was indeed in attendance. There's a video or at least a picture of him meeting Spike Lee.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:47 pm

I can’t break up my reactions, so, here are all my thoughts about last night’s season finale:

It ended up being a Driving Miss Daisy rerun after all. And it recaptured that 1989 (well, early 1990) night for me in a singular way: that year as this, I had gone against prevailing wisdom in a lead acting category (it was best actor, then), and been so elated by both the win and having foreseen it, that the downbeat finale wasn’t my lasting memory of the evening. Don’t get me wrong: I let out a loud groan at Julia Roberts’ announcement. But I’d already had my adrenaline shot for the evening, and nothing could take it away.

Rewind to the start: the Tina/Amy/Maya opening bit had the effect of being an opening monologue, but only occupied 2-3 minutes of show-time (given the low caliber of the year’s movies, that was as much time as they deserved). The show that followed was briskly-enough paced, and offered some minor surprises in the early tech-going, but lacked big moments until Spike Lee took to the pulpit. From there, things got better, with the Cooper/Gaga duet as elegantly staged as any musical number I can remember, then a ton of enthusiasm for the later winners (I thought last year’s ovations would be the most I’d seen for a long time, but all kinds of people rose for Malek and for Colman – the latter both before and after her speech). And it helps the excitement level when two of your last three winners are mostly unpredicted – though of course I was way more enthusiastic about one than the other.

Honestly, as soon as Green Book won its (wildly undeserved) screenplay prize, I said to my assembled friends, “That piece of shit’s going to win best picture”. Worst winner since Crash, for sure, and for basically the same reason: a mediocre film with a retro take on race is more comfortable for the Academy core than competing films requiring aesthetic or subject matter reach. And now we have our fifth film/director split in the past seven years. I’m not sure you can lay that entirely off on the expansion to up-to-ten/preferential ballot – roughly that system existed from 1932-1943, and they had only five splits in those 12 years (and only one past 1937). I think we may be in a brave new world for best picture splits.

This split was notable, too, for expanding the group of films that have won best picture without a best director nomination. When Driving Miss Daisy accomplished the same, the only real precedent had been Grand Hotel (given how the 1927-28 prizes were decided, Wings/Seventh Heaven doesn’t really count). Two such cases in seven years is, again, reason to rethink our metrics.

Although, once again we should note that the Directors’ Guild remains the gold standard for prediction. Excluding 2012 when a match was impossible, it’s been since 2002 that the DGA failed to predict the best director category. And, as many have noticed, Cuaron joins Frank Borzage, George Stevens and Ang Lee as two-time winners who never were attached to a best picture winner.

A side issue: Cuaron’s win here adds directing to the categories won by foreign-language film (the silent The Artist can’t really count). Although we think of such films as handicapped in competition for prizes, they’ve in fact captured wins in a wide variety of categories: actor (Benigni), actress (Loren/Cotillard), original screenplay three times (Divorce-Italian Style, A Man and A Woman, Talk to Her), song (Never on Sunday), cinematography (many times – from Cries and Whispers through last night), costume design (also several, starting with Gate of Hell), production design (Crouching Tiger, Fanny & Alexander, and Pan’s Labyrinth), editing (Z), score (Il Postino and Life is Beautiful), make-up (Pan’s Labyrinth and La Vie en Rose). (If I’ve forgotten anything, let me know.) Best picture remains out of reach, and visual effects (unless I’m missing something) is unlikely, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can fill in some of the categories where they’re shy.

Back to this year. I had no strong feeling about the best actor race – I’d have found anyone but Mortensen acceptable but none of them exceptional – but it was clear from audience response that, for many, Malek was an enthusiastic choice. I did think he gave his best speech of the entire award season, an articulate and moving piece. (Though, who decided to follow his tribute to growing up an immigrant’s son with that jazzy rendition of “I like to be in America”?)

Much as dws1982 said elsewhere, by the time we reached the best actress category, The Favourite had flopped so dismally everywhere that my hope for Colman had dwindled to almost nothing. I actually had a 5-second delay in reaction when McDomand read off the winner’s name – so expecting it (by that point) to be Close that I had trouble registering otherwise. It was the best moment of recent years, for me. (I said to my crowd, “Now I don’t even care if Green Book wins best picture” – my friend Jody quickly rejoindered that I knew that was a lie.) dws, yesterday you expressed dread that Twitter would destroy Colman for “stealing” Close’s glory. But don’t you think her wonderful speech – in all its genuine randomness, fluttering between sentiment and laughs – seriously negated that outcome? By the time she wound up, I loved her even more than previously, and it seemed to me the whole room felt the same. It’s not exactly common for a winner to get a second standing ovation post-speech.

We tend to think of Oscar voters as looking to reward non-winners back for second-third-etc. tries, but they passed on multiple such opportunities this time around. Malek was, in fact, the only first-time nominee in his category (and former winner Bale had won in support, not lead); Close and McCarthy both had histories; and we all know about Amy Adams. Supporting actor was the only category fully packed with first-timers and previous winners.

Ali winning was a slight bummer, just because I don’t like his film (and Richard E. Grant would have been more fun). But he’s an excellent actor, the best thing about Green Book, and (contra recent double-winner Christoph Waltz) can’t be accused of winning twice for practically the same performance.

Regina King was a far easier win to appreciate, simply because I thought she was the best. She gave a perfectly lovely speech – and set an evening-long trend by focusing on her mother. (I know, people have always thanked their parents, but there seemed more emphasis on nurturing mothers this year.)

A couple of things about this quartet of acting winners: It seems like it’s the most diverse group yet – Colman is the only standard-issue white person in the group. And, as has been pointed out elsewhere, three of the four play gay characters (had Rachel Weisz upset, it would have been a clean sweep). And, a sign of the times: all four are involved in current television projects.

Mark Harris pointed out today that the two screenplay winners seem pretty much rebukes to one another. Spike didn’t disappoint, giving a barn-burner of a speech (Samuel Jackson’s clear joy at handing the award to him was a great moment, as well). As for the Green Book team…I’ve written things that are dominated by black characters, so I’m not generally one to critique purely on appearances –- but, given the controversy surrounding the film, it did seem awkward that it was three white writers up there being rewarded for writing the damn thing. (For best picture, they had Octavia Spencer as human shield.)

Below the line, Black Panther won both design battles with The Favourite -– I have the feeling either would have won the costume prize in the past two years. Panther’s third award -– score -– seemed more a signal of weakness on the part of presumed favorite Beale Street: it was, in the end, too much to expect such a low-grossing film (and best picture excludee) to win multiple prizes.

This did lead to a tremendous night of demographic revolution: more women and African-Americans ascending to claim trophies than any year I can remember. This is pretty much impossible to game out; it just seemed to work that way, which is nice.

I can’t believe Bohemian Rhapsody won four of its five nominations. The sound editing one was the least comprehensible…it’s just unlike any previous winner in the category, and suggests dws is right, that too many people have begun to think of the two categories as interchangeable. Maybe if they switched the name back to Sound Effects, people would vote differently? If not, there’s really no point having separate categories. (And, by the way, when they gave out Sound Editing first, the suspense for sound mixing was over.)

As for film editing: Ottman has done, like, all of Bryan Singer’s movies. For him not to mention the guy was a huge statement.

So, Marvel has a great night, winning three for Black Panther and one for Spider-Man…and they still can’t snatch a Visual Effects prize. That category was created, back in the 50s, seemingly to honor films way outside best picture range, but now the general rule of thumb is, which of the candidates came closest to being a best picture nominee? (Ex Machina the only sort-of exception.)

Maybe seeing A Star is Born collapse so utterly as the season went along inured Lady Gaga to disappointment, because she seemed genuinely thrilled to win the only Oscar she (and the film) did. Had she come into the ceremony with truly high hopes, she might have treated it as more a consolation prize, but it didn't come off that way at all.

Letting everybody vote for shorts –- as opposed to only people who’d gone to screenings –- seems to give an unfair advantage to Disney shorts that play with their big animated hits. I only wish this had been in effect a few years ago, when Get a Horse was competing –- the only one I think truly deserved to win.

Question of the night: so many people addressed Ryan Coogler, I have to assume he was there. Why was the camera-person never able to locate him for a shot?

My teeny-tiny gloat: I told you we weren’t going to go 4-for-4 with consensus acting winners. It just felt like the kind of year when there’d be a surprise somewhere.

And I guess that’s a wrap, unless other thoughts come to me. See you at Who’ll Be Back? -- but not before the weekend.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby Reza » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:31 pm

MaxWilder wrote:
danfrank wrote:Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are the big winners. They didn’t need the producers to ruin the show; the Academy voters did that with their votes.

Bryan Singer directed the most-Oscar’ed film of 2018. Ick.


Well he HAS directed some pretty interesting movies in the past. So it's not that his talent as a director gets cancelled automatically just because he has been exposed now as a douche bag off screen.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:47 am

Franz Ferdinand wrote:I didn't mind the host-less situation, it made the ceremony feel quite zippy. If "Rocketman" takes off, maybe they can just get Elton to open next year's show.

I was thinking that, but probably only if the film is nominated for something.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby Franz Ferdinand » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:40 am

I didn't mind the host-less situation, it made the ceremony feel quite zippy. If "Rocketman" takes off, maybe they can just get Elton to open next year's show.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby MaxWilder » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:51 am

danfrank wrote:Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are the big winners. They didn’t need the producers to ruin the show; the Academy voters did that with their votes.

Bryan Singer directed the most-Oscar’ed film of 2018. Ick.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:48 am

Spike Lee reacts to Green Book victory...

"I'm snake-bit. Every time someone's driving somebody, I lose."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2019/ ... -ref-made/
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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:35 am

Everything before Best Picture was the best Oscars I've seen in years. There were a ton of surprises. It was quick, it was suspenseful, it didn't feel schticky or forced. For the first time in my life, the Oscars felt... young. And relevant in a way that didn't feel forced. Because so many of the awards felt up in the air, at any given point I thought a different movie was going to win.

Really good show.
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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby danfrank » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:11 am

Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are the big winners. They didn’t need the producers to ruin the show; the Academy voters did that with their votes. The highlight was Olivia Colman, who was hysterical. Shallow was very nicely performed, as was the song from Buster Scruggs. Not much else to say.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby dws1982 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:40 pm

Have to say that I did not mind not having a host.

Also glad that Bohemian Rhapsody did not get any more tech nominations than those three because it might've one five or six awards if it had.

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Re: 91st Oscars: Ceremony

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:33 pm

Nothing to complain about, really.

The opening by Queen and Adam Lambert set the right tone. The non-monologue monologue by Tina Fey, Amy Pohler and Maya Rudolph was the only introduction I thought could have been trimmed.

All the awards except for Sound Editing were deserved even if there were better choices in some of the categories.

Bohemian Rhapsody may not be a great movie, but it was well done for what it was.

Green Book, as John Lewis knows, gets it right. I'll leave it at that.


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