Musings on 2020 Oscars – The Good, the bad + the WTF

Per tradition, I don’t really watch red carpet show, I just sort of let it play on my iPad while I was making dinner.

If I had to make one comment about fashion though, it’d have to be Natalie Portman‘s … what a statement she made with her outfit she wore to the Oscars!

Here are the snubbed female directors embroidered on Natalie Portman’s cape:

  • Scarfaria (Hustlers)
  • Wang (The Farewell)
  • Gerwig (Little Women)
  • Diop (Atlantics)
  • Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
  • Matsoukas (Queen & Slim)
  • Har’el (Honey Boy)
  • Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire)

Now, I’m glad I’ve properly sat down by the time the opening song/dance started with the Janelle Monáe celebrating some of 2019 biggest hits… many of which weren’t nominated (Midsommar, Dolemite Is My Name). Miss Monáe almost had a wardrobe malfunction of sort, but she recovered well and delivered a fantastic rousing performance!

First Oscar is oh-so-predictable… I have no issue w/ Brad Pitt but honestly, I don’t really get all the fuss about his performance in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood [shrug] I suppose Brad’s done plenty of great things as a producer and championing diverse storytelling, so I’m not totally upset by his win.

So here are some of the highlights…

THE GOOD

Both screenplay winners go to filmmakers of color. Woo wee!!! So happy for Bong Joon Ho and Taika Waititi!

///

 …

Now, I haven’t even seen 1917, but still that doesn’t mean I can’t be rooting for Roger Deakins! I saw this featurette and a few other BTS videos of 1917 and just amazed at that man’s creativity!


It’s fitting that these three amazing women introduced the first ever female composer to conduct the 42-piece orchestra… Eímear Noone, the Irish conductor and composer behind the World of Warcraft scores, made history tonight. Then THIS happens…

Now, I thought initially Joaquin Phoenix was hight and he’d go all Brando on us… but I thought towards the end his speech was quite moving… he also gave tribute to his late brother River who introduced him to acting.


THE BAD

I’m gonna keep it positive and not dwell too much on the bad, but I have to mention a couple…

  • I’m not gonna bother embedding the video in order to spare you the agony… honestly, I’m glad I haven’t seen FROZEN II but what is with that horrendous song?? And am I the only person who can’t stand Idina Menzel’s voice? I appreciate inviting many singers performing the song in different languages, but they all sound off-key to me.
  • What is with the horribly redundant and unnecessary introduction of every single nominees, on top of the 3-min montage!! I honestly would rather see winners getting an extra 30 seconds for their speech than dragging the winner announcement this way, ugh!

THE WTF

  • Ok we’re all swooning for Keanu Reeves… and rightly so, the dude is all kinds of awesome. But what’s up w/ Diane Keaton walking down memory lane?? A little tipsy perhaps?
  • Now this is a WTF but not necessarily in a bad way… apparently Eminem’s Lose Yourself won Oscar in Best Original Song in 2003. He didn’t attend the ceremony but now, 17 years later, he got to finally perform it! The reactions from some celebrities in the audience is pretty fun to watch too.

  • Now THIS is the best WTF ever!!! PARASITE made history!!!

And I LOVE the wonderfully real and moving speeches by its female producers giving tribute to the supporting Korean community. This film has been unanimously embraced by the world, and it absolutely deserved ALL the kudos!

What an ending to a largely uneventful Oscar telecast!! Such a refreshing surprise after the highly predictable acting winners. I was flabbergasted when I heard Jane Fonda said the word PARASITE… I’m convinced that 1917 would’ve won since it’s rare to see a Best Foreign Language winner also winning Best Picture!! But hey, if there was gonna be a big upset of the night, I’m glad it’s THIS one!

Go party, Bong Joon Ho and Parasite team!


SO what are your thoughts on Oscars 2020 winners (and losers for that matter)?

11 thoughts on “Musings on 2020 Oscars – The Good, the bad + the WTF

  1. As usual, I didn’t watch the Oscars show, just went on Twitter to find out about the winners afterwards. That’s pretty cool that Portman wore a dress with the names of the snubbed women directors. I rented Parasite the night before the Oscars, pretty great work by Bong as usual. I still think Memories of Murder is his best film, hopefully now that he’s blown up here in the west, people will seek out his earlier work. I wonder if he’ll work in Hollywood more now that he’s an Oscar winner. I remember he didn’t really like working with a Hollywood studio when he made Snowpiercer, they wanted him to make the film more for the western taste.

    Funny that for so many years, people felt bad about Deakins not winning the Oscar, now he’s won twice!

    I somehow thought Brad Pitt already won acting award but glad he finally won one. It took a while for me to warm up to him but I really enjoy his performances in a lot films I’ve seen in. Also, like you said, he’s been busy behind scenes with getting films made that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten made had his name wasn’t attached to them.

    1. Hey Ted! I love when fashion is used to make a bold statement, I SO want her gorgeous dress and cape now 😀

      Is Memories of Murder an English-language film or Korean? I want to see more of his films and OKJA is on Netflix, that one looks bizarre! I think he said he’s got two films in the works already, one in English and the other in Korean, so it remains to be seen if he’ll make more movies here. He seems super likable and you could tell even the big directors and cast all rooted for him, that’s a testament to him as a person, not just as a filmmaker.

      I’m thrilled Deakins won again! Man that guy should’ve had at least a half dozen Oscars!

      I think Pitt has done much, much stronger performances than the one in OUATIH. I thought he was excellent in Babel and Tree of Life.

      1. Memories of Murder is a South Korean film, it’s one of Bong’s earlier films back in 2003. He’s basically unknown to most western film fans back then, I had to import the DVD back in around 2004 to see it since I follow Asian cinemas. The film was available to stream on Amazon Prime last year but I think it’s gone now, it’s kind of hard to find. I’ve recommending it to people who are now interested in his films. Mother is another great one. Bong became known to some film fans here in States when he made The Host in 2006, I liked it but I don’t t think it’s one of his best work. Same with Okja, it’s just weird to me but it starred some well known Hollywood names such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton and Paul Dano. I say watch it and see what you think, I thought he went a little overboard with his messaging in the film.

        1. Hmmm ok, that’s too bad that Memories of Murder is hard to find 😦 Well I’ll watch Okja as the premise sounds intriguing to me. I think you mentioned Mother to me before, not sure if I’m interested in that one.

          1. I just read that a distributor here in the US just bought the rights to release Memories of Murder on Blu-ray! I’m sure it will be available to stream soon since Bong is currently a hot item in Hollywood. If you like mystery thriller with a strong female lead then I think you’ll like MOTHER, it’s not violent or anything. Just a great mystery thriller with a gut punch of ending.

  2. I have to say Eminem showing up was the most WTF moment for me. He was lip-syncing, I guess so they would know ahead of time when to bleep him. I loved Natalie Portman’s dress, of course. Next year, they should have Janelle Monae host. They obviously trust her because she started the show. I like the nods to films that deserved to get nominated in that number as well. And yes, they could have done without either the montages or the redundant reading of nominees names before EVERY category.

    1. Yeah I was like ‘what? what year is this??’ But then I remembered 8 Mile was nominated for Best Song. Still it’s SO weird that he finally did it 17 years later [shrug]

      Yes, Portman’s dress itself is breathtakingly beautiful but it’s her cape that made such a bold statement. I’d love to have miss Monaé host, she’d kill it! Maybe have her and Cynthia Erivo split hosting duties!

  3. Natalie’s cape was awesome and kudos for her to support women filmmakers. I’m happy for Taika, Laura Dern, Brad Pitt, Sir Elton and Bernie. I’m also happy for Hair Love which I saw nearly a week ago as that is a great short. I was elated for Bong Joon-Ho and for Parasite as that is a win that not only felt right but it also felt truly deserving though I was kind of pulling for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I saw the reaction of the young kid from the film as that made me smile as I’m also happy for the Korean film industry as the 20 plus years of this Korean New Wave that has emerged has finally paid off. Now I hope everyone gets a chance to see more of Bong’s work as the only one I need to see is Okja.

    I was baffled by the memoriam section as I was like “where’s Scott Walker?” since he did some film scores but I was more shocked over Luke Perry’s snub. That was a total diss yet having Billie Ellish mumble through “Yesterday” made it worse. Is mumbling a new thing nowadays? I know Michael Stipe did it in the early years of R.E.M. due to his shyness but this? I don’t get it.

    1. I remember a couple of years ago when only male directors were nominated, she made a jab while presenting saying ‘here’s all the MALE directors’ Love it!

      I’m SO thrilled Parasite won. You’re right, it felt truly deserving as it’s so original, well-written and well-acted all around. I’m glad OUATIH practically went empty handed apart from Pitt winning, same w/ Joker too. I’m actually not crazy about Joker’s score, but still happy that the composer win, which is another historic win. There are SO many great female composers that are even more ignored than women directors!

      I actually didn’t watch the In Memoriam part, had to take a bit of break… but that’s sad that some people were overlooked.

  4. THANK YOU for listing the names on Natalie’s dress. I couldn’t make them out and I needed to make sure Heller didn’t get snubbed again. 🤣

    Diane Keaton was wasted. There is no other explanation for that. They should’ve just had Kelly Marie Tran up there with Keanu.

    1. Hey Brittani! I happened to stumble on that tweet that list the names on Natalie’s dress. Yeah, glad Heller’s name is on there!

      Ahah, well at least it was amusing to watch Keaton and Keanu on there. Keanu should always be invited to present as he’s just such a breath of fresh air to see in such a stuffy event.

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