Now that the Oscars are over, I have to be honest about something: I have no idea what happened. It's a total whirlwind. I was hate watching so hard that it kind of warped my brain.
So…let's go through my Twitter feed. "Great ad-libbing, Bradley Cooper." That apparently is in reference to the first round of pizza gags by host Ellen DeGeneres. You know Ellen DeGeneres. She used to do stand-up, had a sitcom and now hosts one of those popular "nice" talk shows. She's funny, I guess.
Except for the pizza gags: Not funny. Until Brad Pitt started handing out paper plates. Then it became mildly amusing. Somehow, even though he was only tangentially involved, Harrison Ford sucked the life from the bit. Oh, and just in case anyone doesn't know, DeGeneres ordered pizza for the first couple of rows. I guess that was a joke? Again, it wasn't particularly funny.
At some point I tweeted, "Wow. Rich people taking a selfie made @Twitter history. You should be proud." ICYMI, DeGeneres (with Cooper's help) took a selfie with Jennifer Lawrence and Pitt and Angelina Jolie and a lot of white people that is now the most re-tweeted photo in history. Ugh.
Let's see…Bette Midler sang a crappy version of the crappy song "Wind Beneath My Wings." That terrible song from "Frozen" won Best Original Song.
The theme for the Oscars this year had something to do with heroes, and I think that explains why the montages made no sense and looked as if they were cut together using duct tape while the editing staff was pounding 100-proof whiskey. Of note: Pacific Rim, a terrible movie, was in a lot of the montages (or at least that's what I gleaned from Twitter).
In a slightly more serious vein, the Oscars actually got a few things right this year. 12 Years a Slave—the best movie of 2013 and the best movie in many, many years—had the misfortune of being a great movie with subject matter that makes Academy voters (old white men) nervous. But somehow it won big awards: Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong'o (who currently has a tiny part in the rotten Non-Stop); Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley; Best Picture of the Year.
My faith in humanity is mildly boosted by those three wins. Had Gravity—or, worse, American Hustle—won Best Picture, I would have concluded the Academy Awards, which are already irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, could never be trusted again. But when Lupita Nyong'o is being touted as the seventh black woman to win an Academy Award, and 75 years since Hattie McDaniel won for Gone with the Wind, that's a pretty hollow achievement. The Oscars can do better.
That's why it's mildly disappointing that Chiwetel Ejiofor didn't win Best Actor, though Matthew McConaughey is excellent in Dallas Buyers Club; and downright maddening that Alfonso Cuarón won Best Director. As if we've never seen a space adventure before that had no depth of character, great visuals, and lots of grand special effects.
Whatever. It's the movies, and the movies aren't always fair. If they were, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heath Ledger would still be alive, The Act of Killing would win Best Documentary and Woody Allen would be in prison.
But, 12 Years a Slave did win. To quote my friend and colleague Kristofer Jenson on Twitter, "I don't tell you this enough, society, but I'm proud of you. #Oscars"