Sunday, February 9, 2020

Oscar Reactions

Well, that’s quite a note on which to end. It seemed ready to happen once Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar for Best Director, but the same thing happened last year with Alfonso Cuaron and it didn’t lead to this history-making feat. It’s so nice to see everyone in the audience so incredibly overjoyed for this achievement. I’m particularly excited because this is the first time since 2006 that my top movie of the year also won Best Picture.

I enjoyed the show overall. I don’t think a host was needed, even if some moments of the broadcast lagged a bit. I liked that the nominees in all the acting categories were introduced with a montage of clips of all the performances, and that, even though the show was running pretty late at the end, they didn’t cut any of that. It did feel a bit extraneous to list the nominees after that, but I guess it’s worthwhile to showcase who’s in the audience.

Some of the presenters were better than others, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell pretending they didn’t know what cinematographers did and then angrily chewing out film editors for cutting them out of the year’s top movies as a highlight. Though it wasn’t so clear at first, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig’s bit was funny, and Sandra Oh and Ray Romano joking about what their makeup was really covering up was pretty great as well. Nothing was too cringe-worthy other than Chris Rock hammering Jeff Bezos about his divorce.

The Best Original Song performances were appreciated, particularly the international version of “Into the Unknown,” but it’s a real mystery why the most shocking victor ever to win the category, Eminem, performed “Lose Yourself” eighteen years after taking home the award. He’s 48, which is even more surprising than the fact that he was included.

Eight of the nine Best Picture nominees took home at least one Oscar with, as predicted, “The Irishman” left empty-handed. It’s a nice spread though not too crazy given the high nomination counts for so many of the films. We were spared any real surprises aside from the swell of support for “Parasite” in the top two categories, which was truly wonderful.

I scored 16/24, up one from last year. The film with the most awards was “Parasite,” with four, followed by “1917” with 3, and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Ford v Ferrari,” and “Joker” with 2. I had all those films listed as the multiple win-getters, but not exactly with those numbers. I’m disappointed that Best Animated Feature couldn’t be more creative, but overall I’m okay with the winners.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my final ode to the films of 2019, my top fifteen scenes of the year. After that, you can expect regular coverage of new films and Oscar retrospective articles on this site, and frequent TV coverage over at Thanks for reading!

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