Posted by: lylescott89 | February 25, 2015

The 87th Annual Academy Awards

NPHHey kids,

The 87th Annual Academy Awards have come and gone. While I was not completely on target with all of my predictions I did get a few correct, but as we mentioned before this is hardly important. No, what is important is how the show was. We shall start at the very beginning, which is a very good place to start; particularly this year.

I cannot tell you how much I miss Joan Rivers on the Red Carpet. We’ll talk more about Joan in a bit, but for the most part I have to say that the yo-yos they have working the Red Carpet these days are horrendous. Well, not all of them. Robin Roberts is superb. Truth be told I adore Robin Roberts so she could probably stand out there doing jumping jacks and I’d still be okay with it. She is elegant and she understands what her role is at when interviewing celebrities. On the other hand we have this moron Lara Spencer. It comes across that Spencer has seen and loved every movie there ever was and has loved every performance. Theoretically that just is not possible. If you did not like something you don’t have to say it was boring, but you can handle it in a way that does not offend. She apparently has no idea how to do this. Spencer’s worst moment came with her attempted interview with Dakota Johnson and her mother, Melanie Griffith. Now I know this cannot be easy because Dakota has the personality of asparagus, but she is in a big hit movie so you do have to acknowledge her. Asking her mother why she had not seen a movie in which her child is essentially a sex slave is kind of stupid. Who wants to see their child abused and humiliated? Enough of that.

Inside the Dolby Theatre our host, Neil Patrick Harris, began the show with an opening number called Moving Pictures. ItAnna Kendrick featured the lovely and charming Anna Kendrick as well as Jack Black. I am not really sure that Jack Black was entirely necessary, but whatever. It was a standard and solid opening, but since it featured Kendrick I was pretty enthralled by the whole thing. She is just so darn cute. You (and by “you” I mean me) just want to hug her.

The first award of the night went, expectedly, the J.K. Simmons for his performance in Whiplash. I am always interested in what the speeches will hold and he did not disappoint. His words of “call your mother” were wonderful and his adoration for his lovely wife was evident. I also liked how he mentioned their “above average” children. Simmons came across as very genuine and made a great start to the evening.

Now I realize at this point that you are thinking that I am going to go through each and every award and critique them. Well I am sorry to disappoint you, but from this point forward I am just hitting the highs and lows. Let’s start with a low.

The whole bit with NPH sealing his Oscar predictions in a box and having Octavia Spencer watch them was a mess. It was not funny and it did not work. Now I will say that when they finally opened the case the jokes were amusing, but the whole bit he did leading up to the finale was pointless. Just tell us it is there and forget about it until the end. There was no reason to go back to it again and again. This was an Oprah-Uma moment; intriguing at the beginning, but dragged on way too long.

Lady GagaI realize it is a bit morbid, but I always enjoy the in memorium segment. I do wish they’d go back to letting the audience applaud (or at least let us hear it) so we can know who wins the death popularity contest, but those days are over. I was a tad miffed that Joan Rivers was left out because she essentially made the Red Carpet what it is today and without her we’d have no Lara Spencer fawning over everyone. Okay so maybe that would be a good thing. Also left out was the great Taylor Negron. I realize that only about ten people on the planet have any idea who he was, but I did and wished he would have been remembered. Whenever I saw him in a movie I always yelled out “hey, it’s Taylor Negron”. The guy got his start on The Dating Game back in the 70’s, which was odd because he was openly gay, and then moved on to The Gong Show before making his way into films and television. No he never hit it big, but had he not died he still may have.

I knew without a doubt that Patricia Arquette would win, but I had no idea that she was going to mention equal pay for women in her acceptance speech. While I was not as enthusiastic as Meryl Streep, I was still impressed and have a new found respect for Ms. Arquette. I mean what kind of idiot in this country has a problem with equal pay for women? Oh sorry, I forgot about the people at Fox “News” for a second. My goodness I wish I could block them from existence. Every damn one of them. I thought her speech spoke the truth and I was impressed. Hooray for Patricia Arquette.

While I don’t want speeches to go on forever I think that the limits they put on them before they start playing the music is way too short. Most of these winners will never get up there again and this is their big chance to thank all the people that got them there. With that said kudos to Pawel Pawlikowski who won for Best Foreign Language Film, Ida. First of all I loved it when he said ““Aw, God. How did I get here? We made a film about—as you saw, black and white—about the need for silence and withdrawal from the world and contemplation. And here we are at this epicenter of noise and world attention. Fantastic, you know, life is full of surprises.” Then he just talked all the way through the send-off music until the conductor ultimately gave up and just let him finish. Brilliant. They also attempted to pay-off Dana Perry, winner of the Best Documentary Short, Crisis Hotline, along with Ellen Goosenberg Kent. No better way to shut down the music than byCommon mentioning losing a child to suicide. It was a sad moment, but she was right; we need to discuss suicide out loud. I’m also jealous of Matt Kirby who is now getting free donuts for life at his local bakery for mentioning them during his acceptance speech. Lucky duck.

Common and John Legend, winners in the Original Song category for Glory (from Selma) also impressed. Common was the more vocal, but both were inspirational. I’m not old enough to recall the events that inspired the movie and the song, but that does not mean I am ignorant of what happened the impact it had. The song was beautiful and a worthy winner. One would think that 50 years later we wouldn’t still be fighting for justice and equality, but we are. As Legend said “Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now.” He added that America is, sadly, the most incarcerated country in the world. March on.

Let’s finish out the speeches by talking about my last two favorites; Graham Moore and Eddie Redmayne. Moore, who suffers from severe depression, won for his screenplay for The Imitation Game and spoke eloquently about attempting suicide at age 16 and telling kids to “stay weird, stay different”. Words I should probably live by. And for the record Graham is not gay. As he said afterwards, “I’m not gay, but I don’t think you have to be gay to have a gay hero. Growing up, Alan Turing was certainly mine”.

Felicity JonesRedmayne’s win was not entirely unexpected, but his reaction was one of which he truly expected (as I did) that Michael Keaton would be given the award. Redmayne celebrated like a wild man with Cate Blanchett on stage and brought attention to ALS during his speech. He even made a promise to be a good caretaker for his Oscar and promised to keep it polished. Nice.

As far as the fashion goes I have to say that I was most impressed with Felicity Jones. She looked absolutely stunning in her gown and I thought it was perfect. Anna Kendrick looked fabulous as well and she comes in a close second in my book. As for Jennifer Lopez…why don’t you just show up topless and get it over with. Even for a guy like me that enjoys beautiful women I found that outfit to be somewhat creepy.

To keep things fair I shall discuss the men as well. Benedict Cumberbacth looked marvelous in his tux, but to me the clear winner of men’s fashions had to be Idris Elba. First of all Elba is just awesome to begin with and if they ever needed to get a new James Bond he’d be my first choice. The man is the epitome of cool.

Now this is going to come as a complete shock to everyone who knows me, but the best part of the night came from Lady Gaga. Yes, the guy who despises The Sound of Music found that hearing it sung by Miss Gaga was incredible. A little background: when I was a freshman in high school I got a small part in TSOM. I was the bad guy and I did not come in until late in the second half. Despite this fact I was forced to sit through the movie four times plus watch the rehearsals endlessly until my part came up. To my credit I did not complain and I was always on my mark. But it left a horrible taste in my mouth. I loved Julie Andrews and I still do, but our relationship at that time was strained. I developed a hatred for the movie and have not seen it since. That was 35 years ago and I still cannot stomach the idea of watching it.Idris Elba

When Scarlett Johansson came out and began to introduce that segment I knew exactly what was coming and I decided it would be a good time to go get a lovely beverage. Then I saw Lady Gaga and I stopped. Miss Gaga is her own person and a little out there (meat dress) but she has a spectacular voice. The way she sang those songs made them seem new to me. I’m not kidding. Plus she looked spectacular in her gown. Throw in a visit from Julie Andrews and you have a magical segment. Three cheers for Gaga & Andrews!

Overall I did enjoy the show. While I did not like seeing John Travolta touching Idina Menzel’s face so much I did like the way that they were able to laugh about his huge gaffe from last year. It was not the best Oscars telecast ever, but it kept me interested for well over three hours and I was a tad bit sad when it ended. NPH was an adequate host, but not the best. If I may take a moment and again offer up some unique choices for future hosting duties…how about Sarah Silverman or Amy Schumer? What about James Corden or Jimmy Kimmel? Time will tell, but if the producers need some advice for next year I am available.

Namaste

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