Random Thoughts: The 2018 Oscars

RANDOM

I do love Oscar season, but my excitement level for this year’s big show was as low as it has been in decades. One reason is because there was practically no suspense going in. ‘Predictable’ was unquestionably the theme of the night. It also doesn’t help that most of the guaranteed big winners wouldn’t even crack my Top 5 for their categories.

Nonetheless I pushed forward and watched Hollywood’s biggest event. After all it is a tradition at my house. Could I have been wrong? Could the Academy surprise me by going their own way and making the night interesting? Well, NO. For the most part they fell right in line with the other major awards shows. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Nonetheless here are a few random thoughts.

  • Interestingly there wasn’t a runaway winner this year. Well, unless you count “The Shape of Water” which won four Oscars. “Dunkirk” won three and a couple of others grabbed two statues.
  • And speaking of “The Shape of Water”, it took home the big prize of Best Picture. Of the three obvious frontrunners it had the fewest flaws but not by much. It’s hardly a movie I’ll remember from 2017. But Guillermo del Toro’s slight fantasy romance packed a heavy-handed messaging which the Academy could easily get behind.
  • And to go along with it, del Toro won for Best Director. Literally no surprise but I would have loved to have seen a Christopher Nolan upset win. But ‘surprise’ and ‘intrigue’ weren’t part of the Academy’s game plan.

SHAPE

  • Here’s something cool and interesting: Del Toro’s win marks the fourth time in the last five years that a Mexican has won the Best Director Oscar!
  • The head-scratching Best Supporting Actor category saw Sam Rockwell win for giving a Sam Rockwell performance. He wouldn’t have even made my nomination list but c’mon, you gotta like Sam.
  • I love Gal Gadot and it was great seeing her at the show. I’m thrilled she was asked to present since she certainly wasn’t there because the Academy gave “Wonder Woman” any awards attention.
  • Jimmy Kimmel was pretty bland. A few laughs but quite a few dry spells. He could have shaved off a few minutes from his act and it would have been fine.
  • I mean did we really need a group of us ordinary folks once again being surprised by beautiful movie stars? Sure it’s kinda funny, but for a show pushing four hours…
  • That said, I would be pretty giddy if Gal Gadot, Lupita Nyong’o, Emily Blunt, and Mark Hamill walked into my theater. Just being honest.

GADOT

  • The ‘In Memoriam’ segment was just brutal.
  • Almost as brutal as the musical performances from the Best Original Song nominees. 😬
  • Speaking of the ‘In Memoriam’ video, where the crap was Tobe Hooper and Powers Boothe??? The Academy needs to explain themselves.
  • Have I mentioned how much I love Daniel Day-Lewis. A very humble, unassuming presence. The camera only showed him twice, but both times he seemed quite nervous of the attention. That’s rare to see in those settings.
  • Allison Janney wins Supporting Actress for “I, Tonya”. Predictable, expected, no suspense.
  • Great seeing “Dunkirk” win three technical awards. Doesn’t quite make up for the shameful ignoring of it elsewhere in the show. But was anyone surprised?
  • Jordan Peele and “Get Out” wins the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Apparently the Academy can overlook some pretty big flaws if you have the right social commentary. And most of those flaws can be traced right back Peele’s screenplay.
  • While I wasn’t a fan of Peele’s screenplay, he did make some history. He is the first African American to ever win in that category. Let that fact sink in for a second.
  • Notice how they place Meryl Streep in the very front row of every Oscars ceremony? Prime seating for maximum attention.

MCDORMAND

  • Frances McDormand won Best Actress just as she has with every other major award she has been nominated for. Again, isn’t it convenient how all of these groups seem to fall in line with each other? Her speech was manic, scattered and livelier than most of the broadcast. Loved her nod to hubbie Joel Coen.
  • McDormand’s parting two words “Inclusion, Rider” turned quite a few heads. It’s a shame we are in a place where that would even be needed. At the same time it’s potential effect on creativity is curious and a tad concerning.
  • And why not stay on the subject of predictability. Gary Oldman won Best Actor for “Darkest Hour”. I was rooting for Daniel Day-Lewis, but it’s impossible not to see Oldman as deserving.
  • It was a wonderful seeing both Eva Marie Saint and Rita Moreno on stage. It’s nice to see the Academy recognizing stars young and old.
  • “Academy Award winner Roger Deakins”. Talk about something long overdue. It was so good to see Deakins not only finally get an Oscar, but win for some truly brilliant work in “Blade Runner 2049”.
  • While I’m not onboard the Timothée Chalamet hype train, I did love the enthusiasm he showed the entire night. There’s no doubt he loved being there.

90th Annual Academy Awards - Show

  • So is Jodie Foster super short or is Jennifer Lawrence super tall? Maybe both?
  • Wasn’t it kinda weird seeing Kobe Bryant win and get an ovation in light of the #MeToo era? 🤔
  • There was a lot of Academy lip service about “Lady Bird” but Greta Gerwig’s delightful coming-of-age dramedy was completely shut out. Such a shame. Gerwig, Ronan, Metcalf – I would have cheered if any of them had won.
  • As expected the entire broadcast was laced with politics but it all lacked bite. Most of it felt flat and self-indulgent, much like the entire 90th Academy Awards. Here’s hoping for a better show next year.

So I’m with a lot of others, this year’s Oscars was a slog. Remove any suspense and it tends to go that way. Overall a very D+ kind of show. 

36 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: The 2018 Oscars

    • Thanks for reading my random ramblings. Are usually really get into the Oscars. I think last night I only clapped twice the entire show. Everything else was completely expected and rarely applaud worthy. Sounds like they were flat for you as well?

  1. I didn’t get to see the show because of time zones. I just saw a few clips and Kimmel’s monologue and it wasn’t as funny as last year.

  2. I thought it was a good show. The reinvitation of Beatty and Dunaway made me smile. You saw how nervous Beatty was in opening that envelope though!

    Other highlights for me were

    1) McDormand’s win (yes, that acceptance speech was very manic and lively — that laugh was the laugh of an inimitable performer and individual. I was thinking all throughout that moment how cool it would be to meet her).

    2) Deakins, of course! That was a fist-pumping moment. 2049 is such a beautiful movie.

    3) Predictable as it was, Oldman winning was awesome. 100% deserved and he had very tough competition. I’m really on the fence about the subject matter but I know also that DDL will in all likelihood elevate Phantom Thread. Might end up seeing that, it’s bittersweet knowing DDL is supposedly done acting and he didn’t win

    I think for me this year I was just really glad for the distraction. Northern New Jersey and the new england area got smacked with a huge snowstorm and I’ve been out of power since Friday, so me and my dad took a room at a hotel in the area and we spent much of the night getting warm and watching the show. That very well may be why I enjoyed this one more. I know for sure it wasn’t because of Jimmy Kimmel lol

    • Oh man. Sorry for the power problem. I’ve been there man. Living in a rural area the slightest wind knocks our lights out. But adding the cold? That’s tough.

      You should absolutely give Phantom Thread a look. Let’s say it probably isn’t what you expect. It goes in some directions I never saw coming. I’ve seen it (don’t laugh) four times already!

      • Four times eh? So what you’re saying is it has rewatchability, eh? Nice man. I may have to put aside my prejudices against fancy clothes to see what this is all about

    • In a nutshell, because I thought most of the musical performances were bad. I liked a chunk of Blige’s. Otherwise I found them all to be pretty terrible.

  3. It was OK. I heard they skipped over some people during the memorium section such as Powers Boothe, Tobe Hooper, and (what the fuck?) Adam West. That’s unforgivable.

    I’m happy Guillermo won though I was rooting for Dunkirk and Nolan which I think was the better film. Still, I’m just glad Guillermito got his Oscar and here’s a correction. He’s the third Mexican winner. Inarritu won the Best Director prize twice.

    I also wanted Daniel Day-Lewis to win as well but Gary made a good speech.

    Fucking stoked Deakins won…. about fucking time.

    I really hate “This is Me” as it just emphasizes everything hate about today’s music. “Remember Me” was the right choice despite the lackluster performance.

    Next year, have Tiffany Hadish be the host or co-host. She was hilarious and made my mom laugh.

  4. I agree, I expected something more from the presenter and thought this Oscars ceremony has been the most predictable ever.
    I still disagree about the Get Out win. Movies should win for their quality, not because they push forward some social issue or politics. And, it seems like Peele’s agenda paid off because his film is far from being a masterpiece.
    And, the front-row is for nominees, isn’t it? Meryl Streep ends up there because more often than not she is nominated for something 🙂

    • The predictability killed it for me. And isn’t it crazy how all of these awards groups push the exact same movies?

      100% with you on Get Out. I like the idea behind his movie but the execution wasn’t great. Apparently that didn’t matter to many and the message of the movie gave it a big push.

      So maybe the Academy keeps nominating Meryl so they can put her in the front row? A win/win for them! 😉

  5. I too was very pleased to see Deakins finally take an Oscar; hopefully he’ll win more in the future. I would have really liked to have seen Agnes Varda win for Faces Places for Best Documentary, though I didn’t watch Icarus.

    • Icarus was good – a wild doc that starts as one thing but becomes something completely different. Pretty fascinating. I did think Faces Places would win though.

  6. I’m still flat out mad about War for the Planet of the Apes losing Visual Effects.

    The song nominees, aside from the last two sounded pretty bad. I don’t know if they just aren’t live performers or if they had mic troubles.

    Chalamet always looks like the happiest guy in the room. I’m glad the poor kid doesn’ thave to carry around Armie Hammer anymore. lol

    • HA! It’ll be funny to see how quickly Hammer falls back to reality. Who knows though, maybe I’m wrong.

      I liked the BR2049 win in Visual Effects but wouldn’t be mad in Apes had won. It’s so good. Planning on rewatching it this weekend with the family.

  7. Going over the wins , there really were very few surprises . Plus The Shape of Water was really tailored made with its very heavy-handed , knock you over the head messege . I was totally underwhelmed by it and thought it was very one dimensional with its villians . Glad for Oldman winning , beyond that pretty meh list in my view . Plus with the ratings really down , it just said numerous things to me . One being over all , most didn’t really care who won this year . Second, I think some are tired of the condescending comments and preaching from their soapbox.

    • Good comments. I can’t say it enough, if there is no intrigue or suspense it’s pretty much a dead show. Knowing all of the major winners really does strip away the enthusiasm. And take the Best Picture race. There were only three remotely possible winners. And if you can’t root for either of those three, the excitement simply isn’t there.

  8. Sorry to read about your overall dissatisfaction for this Oscars. Gary Oldman’s win was predictable. but I thought Three Billboards would win best picture because of its recognition by critics and other award ceremonies. Now Shape of the Water is looking a bit more interesting. i have yet to see it.

    • It seems this year’s show didn’t resonate with a lot of folks. I read where it was the lowest rated ceremony on record. Several things contributed to it I think. Hoping it gets back on track next year.

  9. One they brought in the 3 women who had their careers destroyed on stage and the audience DIDN’T EVEN STAND UP TO APPLAUD their bravery I was furious and the ceremony just enraged me. Thank God for Frances McDormand and that beautiful moment she gave us

    • That was truly an off moment. If there was ever a time to give a standing ovation it was then. Makes you question the legitimacy of some of their outrage.

  10. Great wrap up!

    Christopher Nolan HAS to win one of these years, right? I would’ve loved for that to happen too (or PTA), but I’m not mad at del Toro winning. Also would not have minded one bit if DDL one his fourth Oscar, but Oldman was due, and good on him.

    • I was definitely rooting for DDL. At the same time you will not hear me gripe about Oldman. Great actor, great performance. As for Nolan, honestly I’m not sure what the guy has to do to get the Oscar recognition he deserves. It’s pretty ridiculous.

  11. I honestly never watch the Oscars, but seems that there was VERY little excitement all round for them this year. Thoroughly enjoyed the read Keith!

    • Thanks so much. Are usually love Oscar season. Lately though it has become a boring and predictable experience. Also doesn’t help that they’ve started awarding more movies that I generally don’t care for.

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