I should probably have posted my Oscars commentary yesterday instead of my New Orleans recap, but, well, I didn’t feel like it. So you get it today.
1. Let’s talk pre-show first: did anyone else see that hysterically awkward interview with Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith? Oh. My. God. Melanie Griffith was so stilted and disapproving, and Dakota Johnson was super passive aggressive, and the whole thing was totally bizarre. Taking your mom to the Oscars is sweet, but when she seems all disappointed in your life choices, I don’t know. Maybe take your BFF instead?
2. But the pre-show awkwardness could not solely belong to the Johnson/Griffith family. After all, John Travolta was present. Between grabbing Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet and weirdly fondling Idina Menzel’s face on stage, John Travolta wins the Oscar for Total Creeper.
3. So, Neil Patrick Harris.
I really enjoyed the opening number — there was a shout-out to Clue! — and a few of the jokes landed for me, but on the whole? Eh. Which is too bad because I really like NPH — I mean, the dude’s likable — but I found the majority of the jokes awkward and the one about Dana Perry’s dress in pretty poor taste. (I mean, I didn’t like the dress either because it was terrible, but the woman had just finished talking about her son who committed suicide. Maybe wait five minutes before we start making fun of her?)
Regardless, I still wouldn’t call Neil Patrick Harris the worst Oscar host ever or anything. I don’t really think anyone’s ever going to take that crown from James Franco. (I won’t include Anne Hathaway in that. I still feel sorry for her.)
4. Although NPH did kind of fail in his duties to keep things running on time. 8:20 comes along and there are at least seven more awards to give, but by all means, dude, keep casually going on with that briefcase joke. (Which mostly didn’t pay off, except the part where he made fun of John Travolta. That made me laugh.)
5. The big showstoppers that everyone was talking about: Common and John Legend singing, “Glory,” and Lady Gaga doing a medley of The Sound of Music.
To be fair to Lady Gaga, I think she did a tremendous job in her performance. Everyone’s been buzzing about her voice, and rightly so. I think my problem has more to do with the timing. “Glory” was such a beautiful, moving, and meaningful song that to put anything after it seemed like a waste. Lady Gaga’s performance itself was impressive, but songs about nuns and whiskers on kittens just don’t have the same kind of weight.
6. As far as the awards go . . . per usual, there weren’t a lot of big shockers. Like Eddie Redmayne getting the Oscar instead of Michael Keaton. A tiny bit surprising, maybe, but it’s not like Steve Carrell won or anything. (Also, Redmayne was pretty adorable.) I’m still annoyed that Birdman won over The Grand Budapest Hotel for Best Original Screenplay. Admittedly, I wouldn’t have picked Birdman for Best Picture, either, but screenplay specifically annoys me because I don’t think the script was all that impressive.
Also — and keep in mind I haven’t seen either movie — but how did Whiplash beat out Boyhood for Best Editing? Boyhood had, like, over a decade of footage to go through. I kind of thought that was a shoo-in.
7. The best speeches of the night were surprisingly political or inspirational. Common and John Legend spoke super eloquently, while Patricia Arquette managed to get the unusual combination of Meryl Streep and J-Lo on their feet screaming HELLS YES. (Everyone wants to see them in a buddy cop movie now, right? I’d watch that. And Streep might as well do it — she’ll still manage to get an Oscar nod out of it. I kid, but only a little: I know it’s not fair because I haven’t even seen Into the Woods yet, but come on. Meryl Streep doesn’t need to be nominated for EVERY single thing she does.)
Still, I think the most powerful speech to me was Graham Moore’s. That was a very brave thing he did, and I was quite moved.
8. I was less moved by the In Memoriam section, unfortunately. Maybe we’d have more time to include actual clips of peoples’ work or, you know, mention people like Joan Rivers if we cut out some of the more annoying, extraneous stuff, like the ongoing briefcase joke or that fucking memorial song. Seriously, screw that song. Over the past few years, the In Memoriam section has come to feel like it’s selling something, and I hate that.
9. Finally, let’s talk fashion. (I know there’s a movement for people asking actresses more interesting questions than “Who are you wearing?” on the red carpet, which I support, but I’m never going to want to get rid of the fashion talk entirely. I like perty dresses. I won’t lie about that.)
I would imagine that pulling off a dress made out almost entirely of pearls would be kind of hard. But Lupita Nyong’o looks pretty damn amazing here.
I rarely put men on these lists because their suits are usually so boring, but I kind of adored this red number. Good on you, Mr. Oyelowo, for doing something interesting.
It kind of looks like a slinky bathrobe, I know, but there’s a whole noir quality to it that slowly grew on me. (I still hate the necklace, though.)
She kept posing with this, like, modified Angelina Jolie leg that kind of drove me nuts. Still, the dress is pretty and looks great on her.
I don’t think I actually know who this is (although I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her on Fashion Police before), but I love the old school white dress with the awesome hair. I only wish the dress was tailored a little better — I don’t think it should be quite as wrinkly.
It’s still a little busy for my tastes. (Although for Keira Knightley, it’s clearly tame). But is has kind of a soft, romantic sensibility to it that I enjoy, at least on other people.
From the front, I actually quite liked this. From the back . . . we have problems.
Well, I suppose it wasn’t boring, at least. Still. This is pretty awful. Can we forever retire the baby blue men’s suit? Please? And oh my GOD, man, do something about your hair. Pull it back, trim it, something.
I think this made a lot of people’s Best Dressed, but wow, not mine. The black spots at the waist seemed really misplaced to me and, anyway, mostly reminded me of mold. Not a fan.
Again, apparently people liked this, but I don’t get it. It’s like two dresses in one: Oscar splendor and Vegas showgirl, which, okay, sounds neat . . . but the execution leaves something to be desired. The dress somehow makes her look really wide (which, yeah, she’s not), I hate the double necklines, and the slit strikes me as too much on an already complicated dress.
This dress was already on my worst list because of the multiple bows . . . and then I saw the bottom. No.
Oh, honey. The 80’s called and they’d like their prom dress back.