Two weeks ago, I discussed my predictions for the winners in the “big five” categories of best Picture, Actor, Actress, and Supporting Actor and Actress. This week, I’ll discuss my thoughts on the ceremony.
Although four of my predictions were correct, I was flabbergasted at the Best Actor award. I had predicted Bradley Cooper (or Michael Keaton if not Cooper), so I was blind-sided by Eddie Redmayne‘s upset. My thinking is that Bradley Cooper was a victim of a complete smack down on American Sniper. Not that Eddie Redmayne or any of the other nominees didn’t have a strong performance. Best Actor was very competitive.
But Redmayne didn’t receive two back-to-back Best Actor nominations as Cooper did in 2012 and 2013. And “Theory of Everything” didn’t bring in over $300 million of the $600+ combined gross that the Best Picture nominees accounted for, as did American Sniper. And since there was no way Sniper would win Best Picture, the “logical” nod to what Hollywood is really all about (high grossing films) was for Cooper to win Best Actor.
Let’s move on…
First, there’s the red carpet. I didn’t see as many gowns this year as I recall seeing last year. Possibly because the red carpet is optional and perhaps a lot of folks skipped it because of the “#askhermore” campaign complaining about the “who are you wearing” question that actresses get but often little else while actors are asked more “substantive” questions. In fact, I did not hear any actress asted “who are you wearing?” this year.
Nor am I interested in “who.” All that matter to me is whether the gown looks good. Who designed it is irrelevant.
From what I did see, I think Lupita Nyongo’o blew the roof off with her 6,000-pearls gown. And I have to go to confession over Rosemund Pike’s gown. Finally, ABC reporter Robin Robert’s gown was right up there with the actresses’ outfits.
Then there’s the ceremony itself. I liked last year’s host, Ellen Degeneres, much more than Neil Patrick Harris. Ellen seemed much more relaxed than Harris. I found his back and forth with Octavia Spencer about his envelope of Oscar predictions locked in a glass box to be ridiculous.
Coming out in his “whitie tighties” was even more ridiculous.
I was pleased that my favorite film of the “Best Picture” nominees, Grand Budapest Hotel, managed to win four Oscars: for costume design; make-up; production design; and score. Hotel (along with Guardians of the Galaxy) was one of the most enjoyable (“fun”) films of the year. I’ll probably buy the Hotel DVD and Galaxy’s soundtrack, although I don‘t have a cassette player. ;)
I was surprised that Lady Gaga’s performance was songs from “Sound of Music” (50th anniversary of it‘s 1965 release) rather than some of her own music. But Julie Andrews coming out after that to announce the winner of Best Song was a nice touch. And it was…moving.. to see some audience members with tears streaming down their face as the winners sung “Glory” (from “Selma’).
This and other “social” issues seemed to be a much more prominent aspect of the ceremony than in other years. I was genuinely surprised when Patricia Arqudette ended her acceptance speech for Best Actress with a call to arms for pay equality for women and the camera jumped to a very animated Meryl Streep who jumped up cheering her on and roars from the audience.
A similar audience response ensued when Graham Moore (who won for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Imitation Game”) mentioned how he attempted suicide when he was 16 because he felt so “weird” and encouraged anyone who felt the same way to “stay weird.”
I liked Julianne Moore’s speech.
After the ceremony is the Governors’ Ball dinner. This was Wolfgang Puck’s 21st year as head chef, with 300 assistant chefs and 800 waiters for 1,500 guests. For enquiring minds interested in the “numbers” of the meal, it included, among other things: 7,500 shrimp; 600 Maine lobsters; 1,250 stone crab claws; 30 pounds of edible gold dust; and 100,000 pieces of dark chocolate.
Some of the 30 items on the ’tapas”-style buffet menu included: Kobe beef burger sliders; baked potato topped with caviar; lobster BLT’s (bacon, lettuce and tomato); beef latke topped with duck pastrami; smoked salmon shaped like the Oscar statute, chicken pot pie with black truffles (Meryl Streep’s favorite); and chocolate Oscar statutes covered with edible gold.
OK, I gotta go get something to eat! And it’s not going to be a PBJ sandwich either. Unless Wolfgang Puck makes it… ;)