Lupita Nyong’o looked beautiful as she gave out the first award of the evening. She stumbled once, saying “And the actor goes to…” The audience laughed, trying to break the tension, but you know anyone who actually cared about that award was not having it. They were just like, “Bitch, did I WIN?!?!” Anyway, she’s lovely and had an awkward handshake-or-cheek-kiss? moment with J.K. Simmons, whose speech was nice. I thought, “He’s come a long a long way since that Hitler moustache in Spider Man.” Also that episode of Nip/Tuck where he got female breast implants for the shit of it.
As Neil Patrick Harris did a bit with Octavia Spencer (actually, I think he more did a bit at her, since she seemed mildly annoyed by the whole thing), I thought about The Help, which had some great performances but didn’t really add anything new to the conversation about race in the 60s. Except the part where Octavia Spencer stuck it to her boss by shitting in a pie and feeding it to her. WHAT?! Who wrote this stuff? And can we just process the fact that Octavia Spencer shit in a pie and won an Oscar? If that’s all it takes, I should be an Oscar winner 3 times over!
Bradley Cooper brought his mother to the Oscars, which is sweet. And listen to J.K. Simmons (and Mr. T), folks, and treat your mama right! But I think Bradley Cooper is gay. Gay, but not publicly out, possibly for fear of losing leading man roles. I spend a lot of time on gay gossip forums at work (because life is short, dammit, and we find joy where we can), and I am simply convinced he’s gay. Though, I’ve wanted to believe it ever since I saw him have sex with Michael Ian Black in Wet Hot American Summer. I think it was meant to be funny, but that was not the effect it had on my 13-year-old self—just beginning to dip my toes in homoerotic waters and, man, the water was fine! Anyway, my point is I hope Bradley Cooper is happy and that he gets what he wants out of life.
I don’t like J. Lo, but I liked her dress a lot. And how does she still look so youthful?
The blood of her back-up dancers.
Also, J. Lo and Meryl Streep seemed to be having a surprisingly fabulous time sitting next to each other. When Patricia Arquette took the stage and said some things about equal rights and wages, Meryl Streep stood the fuck up and was like “YASSS GIRL!” which was fun, and J. Lo seemed excited, too. Though I think she was more excited by Meryl’s energy. How couldn’t you be? Meryl’s like a chill older dog that’s seemingly been around forever, and you think “This old dog ain’t got any new tricks. I’ve seen all your tricks, dog,” but then the dog will bust out some hind leg work, or star in a couple movie musicals, and you think, “Huh. Well, you’ve still got my attention.” Go Meryl.
There was an elaborate ruse where men dressed like lobby boys from The Grand Budapest Hotel would escort lady presenters to the mic to distract from the fact that they straight up couldn’t walk in their dresses. Take a cue from Shirley MacLaine, ladies, and just go full Minnelli with a loose sequined pant!
Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island came out to sing some “Awesome” song from The Lego Movie. It was very loud and colorful, and I felt like I was being visually assaulted by subliminal meme and internet imagery and I did not like it. And I just felt bad for all the older people in attendance. Clint Eastwood is a tough dude, but I bet even he sat through this with a bewildered expression, remembering growing up with a victrola. It’s a miracle Maureen O’Hara and Harry Belafonte didn’t full on seize in the aisles.
The best part of The Oscars may have just been my dad’s commentary. At one point Jared Leto came out and my dad said, “If somebody killed him, he’d be alive three days later.” And he was right. Jared Leto really did look like Jesus. Jesus in a Carrie prom tux.
They should give out an Oscar for “Best Nervous Energy” to the more reserved halves of Oscar-winning teams. This was the first time in all my years of viewing that I mainly focused on people who had just won Oscars, but had to wait their turn to speak while their more eager partners delivered fucking monologues into the mic. Their faces were canvases painted with elation and anxiety: “I won! Oh my God! I can’t believe it! Ok, Jeff, you almost done? Wow, this is great. Ok… we know there’s starvation in the world, Jeff, just let me thank my family!”
Michael Keaton and his gum share a love that can’t be denied. Any time the camera cut away to Michael Keaton, there he was just a-chompin’ away. Theater etiquette be damned! Michael Keaton was in a kick ass movie and did his mama proud and he’s back in our living rooms after too long and he’ll chew gum if he damn well pleases! I was donezo after about an hour of The Oscars but I once I saw Keats and that gum, I vowed to stay awake to see him accept Best Actor while chewing Nicorette.
Rita Ora came out & sang a song that wasn’t particularly exciting. My dad can confirm this.
Big Hero 6 won Best Animated Feature and I was like, “Not Frozen?” And then I realized… Frozen came out in 2013!! And people still can’t LET IT GO! Womp womp. But seriously, after a full year and some change, it’s still the most talked about, sought after, parodied animated movie around. That’s how starved America was for another Disney princess. There’s only so many “Which Disney princess are you?” quizzes you can take before you just don’t know anymore. Finally, Disney bestowed a generation of young women who waste of countless hours of their life on the internet with a princess who has no self-control. Elsa is our rightful champion. Though I have to say, I’ve always felt drawn to the darker Disney movies and Quasimodo will forever be my own version of a Disney princess.
So the voice-over artist who says things like, “This is Jennifer Lawrence’s first win and second nomination,” and “The 87th Annual Academy Awards will be right back. Sponsored by JC Penney. When it fits, you feel it!” Which by the way, GROSS. Worst slogan ever. Or best? Depending on how jaded and disgruntled that ad person was.
Anyway, that announcer actually fucked up! And I have never once heard that happen. The presenters are always unpredictable when it comes to reading the teleprompter and pronouncing foreign names, but the actual announcer lady whose voice is so clear and whose cadence is so perfect she’s almost robotic ACTUALLY MESSED UP! I think she said “Mominated” (Freudian slip?) and then backtracked a little and corrected herself. And my brain shut down a little. My world changed a little. And that woman hit the bottle hard that night. You know it’s true. She sat in a sound booth digging her nails into the palm of her hand, bleeding a little and trying not to cry before she squeezed out the last syllable. “Fuck you, MOM! YOU DID THIS TO ME! I “MOMINATE” YOU FOR WORST PARENT!”
And later that night, she crossed paths with Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy, who was like, “It’s been a great run, hun, but we have a reputation to maintain.” Meanwhile, Sean Penn presented Best Film like a cavalier, glassy-eyed dildo and made an immigrant joke and everyone’s like, “Whatever, it’s Sean Penn.” And poor announcer lady whose name I don’t even know (how unfair is this business?) drank herself into oblivion that night and drove her car off a bridge while Pearl Jam’s “Last Kiss” blared from the radio.
This is my own mythology, by the way. I’m sure she’s fine and Cheryl Boone Isaacs probably didn’t care. But you know that moment sucked for her and her impeccable track record.
Not lastly, but close to lastly (consider this the written version of the Oscars wrap up music, if you will), I would like to address John Legend and Common’s performance which was absolutely the best of the night. Everyone stood up, everyone cried, Chris Pine cried beautiful tears out of his pretty boy eyes.
John Legend is a sexy man, so that’s what I would want to call his voice, but the mental images I have when I hear him sing are of eating a good stew in the winter or watching a kitten play with a ball of yarn. And it’s confusing to tie that imagery up with “sexy.” I think what I’m shooting for is more comforting and satisfying. That’s what his voice is. This post is going off the rails. The wrap up music is swelling and crescendoing—get off the stage, bitch! Ok, just a few more things!
When The Sound of Music segment began, I thought “Jeeeeesus, who better to commemorate The Sound of Music than Lady Gaga?” and was internally eye-rolling. But homegirl BROUGHT IT. LORD. I had no idea she an upper register like that and she appeared to just be having a ball twirling around in her dress and swinging her arms around with her crazy gray (?) hair flying everywhere. And then Julie Andrews came out and I couldn’t handle her interacting with Lady Gaga. I was jotting down notes for this post and actually wrote this:
But I really was touched by the moment Julie and Gaga shared. They had a warm hug that was just so familiar, like they knew one another’s journey. Well, I can’t speak for Gaga, but Julie Andrews definitely had some words of wisdom for her about that time she showed her boobs in a movie in the 80s.
Also, I’ve had my qualms about Gaga in the past, but I admire how hard she worked to reach the I don’t give a fuck stage of her career. Most performers don’t get there until well into their 50s, and Gaga is fucking living it at 28. Many young female performers start strong, have a career lull, and try desperately at comebacks. Gaga started strong, kept coming back stronger, and now is like, “Maybe I’ll be 20 pounds heavier for awhile. Maybe I’ll be BFFs with Tony Bennett and just channel 1980s Cher for awhile.” She was a painful perfectionist in every way for about four years, and frankly seemed a little batshit. Girl still seems crazy, but seems like she’s having fun and doing what she wants! And let’s marvel for a moment that she’s reached the IDGAF mentality before Miss Britney Jean!
John Travolta tried to make fun of himself and just set himself up for more of the same by cooing at Idina Menzel and touching her face like she was a small child or pet. It was weird. And he has all the sex appeal of a youth pastor.
Matthew McConaughey presented, and appeared to be preparing for his upcoming role as Father John Misty.
Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor and I was kind of bummed Michael Keaton didn’t win, but Eddie’s speech was lovely and gracious. And then he started talking about ALS and I was just waiting for one of those faux lobby boys to enter stage right with a tub of water so he could cap off his speech with the Ice Bucket Challenge. Because that’s just the kind of year we had.
And Julianne Moore won Best Actress. And God saw that it was good. And God saw The Kids Are All Right and really liked it. “That Mia Wasikowska’s gonna be big,” He said.