Oscars Feed

Recapping 2020's Oscar Telecast: Not So Gay

Stage at 2020 oscars


According to Nielsen 62% of the viewers to 2020's Academy Awards telecast were women, so since the Oscars are considered the gay Super Bowl should I infer that the remaining 38% were gay men?  The rating for the telecast dropped 20% from last year (6 million fewer viewers).  Perhaps it was due to the alienation of two viewing groups - those who were upset over the under representation of women and blacks in key awards categories, and those who become tired of the constant harping about this under-representation. 


Besides a dearth of women and blacks in the major awards categories, the same absence seem to apply to those of the LGBTQ persuasion. Unlike the previous three years (when we had Green Mile; Bohemian Rhapsody; The Favourite; Call Me By Your Name; and Moonlight), there were no Best Picture nominations with gay themes.  Furthermore, there weren't a lot of gay "moments" in general during the telecast.  So what gay moments were there?  

  • Janelle Monae shouting out that she's queer
  • Elton John performing and winning Best Original Song
  • A Verizon Wireless commercial with a coming out theme
  • Billy Porter in all his fabulosity  
  • Judy, the movie about Judy Garland, won the Oscar for Best Actress


And now for some highlights/observations:


  • As Janelle Monae made her on-stage entrance at the start of the show, she noticed that the middle button on her blouse had come undone and buttoned it as she sang without giving it a second thought.


Janelle monae's popped button

Janelle monae


  • Mindy Kaling and Kristen Anderson-Lopez stood out in their vibrantly colored gowns in yellow and green.


2020 oscars mindy kaling

 Kristen anderson-lopez at 2020 oscars


  • Bradley Cooper usually attends the event with his mother so I was curious about the fellow sitting next to him, but was unable to find any mention of him in news reports the next day.  It seems the only Bradley Cooper chatter was about him being in the presence of his ex, Renee Zellweger.


Bradley cooper and mystery man at 2020 oscars


  • I chuckled when I saw Diane Keaton's coat because it was similar to a lost glove I spotted on a fence in my neighborhood a few weeks ago.


2020 oscars_diane keaton and keanu reaves

 Lost glove

  • Timothee Chalamet "owned" his offbeat formal wear.


 2020 oscars timothee chalmet


  • Taika Waititi, winner of Best Adapted Screenplay for Jo Jo Rabbit got my Oscar for Sexiest Man On Stage, with Oscar Isaac a close second, and Mahershala Ali third.


2020 oscars taika waititi


  • Disney chairman Bob Iger was in the audience, but may have been upstaged by another attendee, Amazon's Jeff Bezos.  (However, Iger's seat was much farther forward.)


Jeff bezos at 2020 oscars

  Bob iger at 2020 oscars


  • Did anyone else think that female conductor, Eimear Noone, bore a striking resemblance to actress Leslie Mann?


2020 oscars eimar noone conductor

 Leslie mann


  • A touching commercial from Verizon Wireless aired in the middle of the telecast.  It featured a young guy who said that he couldn't talk about his homosexuality face to face with his family, but after moving to New York his mother signed the family up for Group Chat, and now the things they couldn't say to each other in person were a lot easier to say when sent in a text.  He closed his story with, "I've never lived further away from my family, but I've never felt more connected to them."


Verizon wireless gay son


  • It was ironic that the best thing about the movie Rocketman, the performance of the actor who portrayed Elton John (Taron Egerton), was overlooked for an Oscar nomination, yet its bland song won the Oscar for Best Original Song for Elton John and Bernie Taupin.


Elton john and bernie taupin at 2020 oscars


  • Last week I was enthralled by the stunning 50-year-old J-Lo as she performed her physically demanding halftime routine at the Super Bowl, and a week later 82-year old Jane Fonda looked equally stunning as she closed out the ceremonies.  But why did she bring her coat with her - was coat check full?


2020 oscars jane fonda


Now, some final comments ...


  • King & Queen of the prom.


Scarlett johanssen and colin jost


  • Regal ...

Cynthia erivo  2020 oscars


  • Elton must have had a spare pair of eyeglasses.

  Billy porter at 2020 oscars


  • Where have you gone, Dolores Claiborne?


Kathy bates at 2020 oscars


  • The most touching moment of the night was actress Diane Ladd's reaction upon hearing the name of her daughter, Laura Dern, as winner of Best Supporting Actress.


Diane ladd and laura dern



  • Greta Gerwig vied with Mindy Kaling for most exquisite necklace.

  Greta gerwig at 2020 oscars


  • And lastly, as Salma Hayek so amusingly put it, she finally got to hold an Oscar on onstage.

 Selma and oscar 2020 oscars




2018 Oscars - Plodding and Predictable, But Still Enjoyable to Watch

Jimmy kimmel and oscar statue


Since I'm easily entertained I don't bitch and moan about the Oscars telecast since I always find it engaging (and since I record it I fast forward the lame parts of the show and get through it in about three hours rather than four).  I enjoy the spectacle as well as the anticipation of controversial remarks during acceptance speeches.  Furthermore, I enjoy the camera shots of audience reactions, the demeanor of  presenters and their fashion choices.  I've categorized my observations of this year's broadcast into the following categories: Thumbs Up; Thumbs Down; Touching Moments; Gay Moments; Eye Candy; Reaction Shots; and This & That. 




The over-the-top, but stunning, set design (which changed colors throughout the evening)


Reflecting on last year's Best Picture fiasco, Jimmy Kimmel cautioned this year's winners, "When you hear your name called don't get up right away, perhaps give it a minute just to make sure."


Helen Mirren gamely played "Price is Right" model for the jet ski that would be awarded to the person who gave the shortest acceptance speech.


Taraji p henson
Perhaps the night's most provocative look was Taraji P. Henson's, who was in full 'Cookie' mode as she introduced Mary J. Blige.




Christopher walken 2018 academy awards
I don't recall what award Christopher Walken presented because I was just hoping he didn't fall because he seemed so frail. Also, with his pants hiked up above his waist he looked like one of the characters from "The Sunshine Boys."


Gael garcia bernal
The intro to the song "Remember Me" was sung by Gael Garcia Bernal and it was pretty painful (I found it more trying than Fergie's jazz rendition of The National Anthem).

Emily blunt
Emily Blunt's dress was somewhat of a matronly affair, what Mary Poppins might wear (perhaps it was intentional since she's playing Mary Poppins in an upcoming movie). The embroidered space on her bodice looked like it was missing a posting of "Today's Dinner Specials".





Eva Marie Saint's comments before giving out the Oscar for Costume Design were touching and, at the age of 93, she was remarkably lucid.  I got a kick out of her calling Alfred Hitchcock, "Fred".  (Earlier in the evening Sam Rockwell called Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Phil Hoffman").

Timothee and armie
Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer look on happily as James Ivory accepted his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for "Call Me by Your Name."


Frances McDormand's joyous expression when co-star Sam Rockwell of "Three Billboards" won for Best Supporting Actor.


Jordan peele
Jordan Peele's stunned, but happy, reaction after winning Best Original Screenplay for "Get Out".


2018 academy awards
I was smitten by Rachel Shenton, the writer of the documentary short "The Silent Child", which tells the story of a deaf four-year-old.


The performance of the song "Remember Me" (from "Coco") for some reason made me teary-eyed, perhaps because I was thinking of a dear friend who died much too young at the beginning of the year.


Happy at oscar ceremony
Allison Williams watches proudly as her director, Jordan Peele, gives his acceptance speech after winning Best Original Screenplay for "Get Out".




Coco director
Adrian Molina and Darla K. Anderson, the openly gay director and producer of "Coco" (Best Animated Feature), thanked their husband and wife, respectively.


James ivory wins oscar
James Ivory's win for Best Adapted Screenplay for "Call Me By Your Name." And at the


Elio and oliver
One of the clips for "Call Me By Your Name" showed Elio and Oliver passionately kissing. This followed a comment earlier in the evening during Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue directed at our homophobic vice president: "Hollywood doesn't make movies like "Call Me By Your Name" to make money, we make them to upset Mike Pence".


Daniela vega at oscars
"A Fascinating Woman" won for Best Foreign Film and the movie's star, transgendered Daniela Vega, had a regal bearing as she stood on the stage. Later she introduced the Best Song nominee from "Call Me By Your Name."


This is me from the showman
From the movie "The Showman", nominated song "This Is Me" could be adopted as a gay anthem, like "I Am What I Am" or "Born This Way."



(Your tastes may differ)


Oscar at the oscars
Oscar at the Oscars (Oscar Isaac)


Chadwick boseman
"Black Panther's" Chadwick Boseman


Ansel Elgort ("Baby Driver")


Jordan peele oscar winner
Jordan Peele


Oliver and elio
Armie Hammer





Margot Robie ("I, Tonya")


Sam rockwell 2018 oscars
Sam Rockwell


Sam Rockwell and Common


Lupita Nyongo during the show's black & white newsreel opening


Actor from get out
"Get Out's" Daniel Kaluuya


Leslie manville 2018 oscars
Leslie Manville's look brought to mind the glamour of old Hollywood.


Best Actor nominee Timothee Chalemet


Jennifer Lawrence


Viola davis 2018 oscars
Viola Davis claps along enthusiastically to the rousing performance of "This is Me."


Gleeful director Guillermo del Toro after verifying that his movie had indeed won Best Picture.





Annabella s
At first glance I mistook Annabella Sciora for Tina Fey when she came onto the stage.


Viola davis 2018 oscars
The way she hobbled out to present the night's first award, it appeared Viola Davis was walking off a charley horse!


Mexican actor
I had no idea who two presenters were, so I had to Google their names. Wes Studi, a Cherokee actor, introduced clips from war-themed movies while Eugenio Derbez (pictured), a well-known actor in Mexico, introduced the song "Remember Me" from "Coco."


Mary j blige
And the Oscar for the night's most big-ass earrings goes to ... Mary J. Blige.


Benjamin bratt 2018 oscars
Benjamin Bratt kept his cool despite there being a huge piece of confetti, part of the "Remember Me" number, on his coiff.


Previous Oscar recaps:













Gay-Themed "Moonlight" Wins Best Picture at 2017 Academy Awards After "La La Land" Mix Up

Best picture mistake


At the beginning of February the Super Bowl became one for the ages when it became the first to go into overtime.  Then three weeks later the "gay Super Bowl", i.e., the Academy Awards, had an equally memorable ending when the wrong Best Picture winner was announced.  The actual winner, Moonlight, became the first movie with a gay main character to win Best Picture (and its all-black cast was also a first for a Best Picture winner).  However, it had to wait a few minutes before the cast could bask in glory because La La Land was first announced as the winner.  It somehow seemed fitting that "drama" would surround a gay-themed movie.  Below you'll find my observations about the rest of the telecast:


 Oscars billboard


A Parade of Dashing Presenters ...


The rock at 2017 Academy Awards
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson


Gael bernal garcia
Gael Garcia Bernal (with Hailee Steinfield)


Riz ahmed
Riz Ahmed


Dashing vince vaughn
Vince Vaughn


And the Dashing Members of the Audience ...


Andrew garfield
Andrew Garfield


Best supporting actor
Mahershala Ali


Emma stone and viola davis husband
Viola Davis's husband, Julius Tennon and Emma Stone


Ryan gosling
Ryan Gosling during Emma Stone's acceptance speech (with actress Ruth Negga in background).


  • Granted, the telecast was slow moving but I think we can all agree that the various stage sets were beautiful to behold.


Leslie mann and john cho

 Hidden figures

 Oscar stage

 Salma hayek

 Jimmy kimmel

 2017 academy awards stage


  • Emma Stone's younger brother, Spencer, looked cute in a hamster/chipmunk-like way.


Emma stone brother spencer


  • Denzel did not look pleased after not winning for Best Actor, perhaps because he had a fiery acceptance speech planned whereas winner Casey Affleck seemed to be still in character from Manchester by the Sea, with his halting, uninspiring acceptance speech.


This camera shot was immediately after Casey Affleck complimented Washington, saying that he had honed his acting skills by watching his past performances.


  • Although it was emotion-filled, Viola Davis' acceptance speech after winning for Best Supporting Actress was oddly joyless.


Viola davis acceptance speech 2017 oscars 


  • However, she did manage to crack a smile later ...


Viola davis and husband


  • I love him to death, but isn't Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" patter getting a bit tired?


Lin manuel miranda


  • The opening with Justin Timberlake boogying his way through the audience left me cold - was this the opening of the Grammy's?  How did they get everyone in the audience so jazzed?  And although his song, Can't Stop the Feeling, was a Best Song nominee, what about the mash-up with Lovely Day (a Bill Withers song).


Justin timberlake 2017 academy awards


  • The singer of the nominated song from Moana, Auli'i Cravalho, was slightly grazed by one of the huge flags being waved behind her, but she maintained her poise.  Although the song didn't win, hers was the best performance as John Legend's voice was weak and pitchy when he sang the two nominated songs from La La Land.  



 Aulii Cravalho


  • I liked Scarlett Johansson's coiff, which was a mash-up of New Wave and old Hollywood glamour.

. Scarlett johansson 2017 oscars


  • For the third year in a row Chris Evans was a presenter and continued his Oscar tradition of having the same look..


2017 oscars


Chris evans 2016


Chris evans 2015


  • Besides the acceptance speeches made after Moonlight won its awards, the only other gay moment I recall was when Byron Howard, a co-director for Best Animated Film, Zootopia, gave a quick shout out to his husband, Shepherd, as the orchestra began playing.


Zootopia byron howard


  • I was amused by the running gag of animosity between host Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon, especially when the music started playing whenever Damon would speak.


Matt damon


Ben afflect and guest


  • The necklace worn by Alicia Vikander (Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl in 2016) was lovely.







































2016 Academy Awards - #OscarsSoTedious

Chris.rock.2016oscarhostThe show was tedious, the "not enough black representation in Hollywood" guilt trip tested my patience, Chris Rock's nervous laugh after each of his quips was annoying, and Lady Gaga's overwrought performance of the song from the movie about campus rape (which few saw) had me rolling my eyes.  However, despite this litany of annoyances, there were bright spots.  And, the world demands gay commentary about our Super Bowl (even if it's a week late - but a true connoisseur of the Oscars needs time for contemplation).






It appears Brie Larson might be reacting to a photo of puppies, but this was her reaction to the the opening monologue.


Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra


Leo, laughing and scrubbed clean.
It was refreshing to catch Mark Ruffalo laughing (something his onscreen roles rarely call for).  Meanwhile, Priyanka Chopra was still giggling in the background.


Not everyone was amused.  Chadwick Boseman (who's portrayed Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens) was shown on camera a number of times and he was never smiling.




Mr. Snazzy Hat


Mr. Cleavage


Mr. Contemplative


Mr. Hoodie


Mr. Jock




This was a great bit of acting by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who kept their humiliation over the idiotic patter they had to read from the cue cards undetected.


Sarah Silverman looked like linebacker ... or Margaret Dumont. Never a class act, what she talked about was on par with the maturity level of recent Republican debates.


I'm sure the movie studio that distributed "Room" was thrilled by Sacha Baron Cohen's crass commentary (thru his 'Ali G' character) that had nothing to do with the movie clip that followed.




In a sweet moment, Bree Larson immediately turned around and hugged her co-star upon winning the Oscar for Best Actress for "Room"




As Brie Larson pointed out in her acceptance speech, Jacob was her partner in the movie and Alex Greenfeld (who reminds me of Adam Scott) is her partner in real life.




Common and John Legend
Jacob Tremblay and Abraham Attah
Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Pato Escala and Gabriel Osorio Vargas from Chile were winners of Best Animated Short for "Bear Story".
Perhaps more sexy than cute were South Korean movie star, Lee Byung-hun, and Sofia Vergara, who announced the winner of Best Foreign Film.




Kate Winslet looked more like a weary housewife from Tarzana than Hollywood royalty.


One the male side, Dev Patel was the most unkempt at the podium.











OOPS ...


In announcing "Son of Saul" as winner of Best Foreign Film, Sofia Vergara pronounced Saul as "Sa-ool". (Just like she'd do on "Modern Family".)





Chris Evans - 2016 Academy Awards
And, I kid you not, at 2015's ceremony









Kohl's aired at least four different commercials, each depicting a pleasant family moment (in this one big brother lets little sister have the front seat) and the grateful reaction, in which the family member reacts as if they've just won an Oscar, with an actual past Oscar acceptance speech dubbed in.




Pharrell Williams




Although I liked Sam Smith's nominated song, I was hoping "Earned It" by The Weeknd would win the Oscar for Best Song.
Sam Smith has a great voice, but he needs to work on his tentative stage presence. His new hairstyle brought to mind George Michael, which is what Chris Rock alluded to when he commented that the George Michael hit "Father Figure" was a favorite of his.




Best Costume Design Oscar winner - Jenny Bevan for "Mad Max: Fury Road"


Mrs. Patmore from "Downton Abbey"


And for recaps from previous Academy Awards ...





2015 Oscars Photo Montage

2015oscarsI was thoroughly entertained by this year's Academy Awards telecast (despite host Neil Patrick Harris' annoying Oscar predictions routine that he dragged out for the entire show).  First, I watched it live, and then re-watched it a few more times.  I've already written a more lengthy review of what I liked, but here are a few dozen photos (taken from my TV screen) that didn't find a place in it that I thought were worthy of sharing.



This was NPH's first time hosting the Oscars but he's not new to Hollywood as he's appeared in 20 films, including last year's "Gone Girl" (a hit) and "A Million Ways to Die in the West" (a bomb).


The show's "Moving Pictures" opening


NPH surrounded by Marilyns during the opening extravaganza.


Although "Selma's" David Oyelowo didn't get an Oscar nomination he received the most screen time of any actor, with audience shots, time on stage to present an award and here with NPH discussing his British accent.


36-year-old John Legend looks 15 years younger.


Unlike David Oyelowo and Chris Pine, who had tears running down their face, Julianne Moore's emotions during the performance of "Glory" were limited to watery eyes.


Lady Gaga wipes lipstick from the cheek of her mystery man - father, chaperone, confessor, accountant, record exec?


One of the high points of the telecast was Julie Andrew's gracious reception of Lady Gaga after her rousing "Sound of Music" medley.
Thought bubble: "How in the hell did J-Lo get a seat next to Meryl Streep?"


Unlike others, Reese Witherspoon main-  her composure during Common's and John Legend's performance.
The fellow seated behind Bradley Cooper made the most of his on-camera opportunity by making eye contact with millions of viewers.
Richard Linklater? I thought this was the president of Bolivia!


Robert Mitchum lookalike, "Whiplash" actor Miles Teller.


And the Oscar for Most Peculiar Way of Clapping goes to ... Nicole Kidman.


"Zero", the lobby boy from "Grand Budapest Hotel".
After watching Rita Ora's performance of Best Song nominee "Grateful" I bought it on iTunes.


Laura Dern reacts to her second Best Actress nomination.


A lovely moment between husband and wife a split second after Julianne Moore won the Oscar for Best Actress.


Perhaps the most peculiar thing said at the podium was Cate Blanchett saying "Okie-dokey, Smokey" as she opened the envelope for Best Actor.


Eddie Redmayne and wife a few seconds before he won the Oscar for Best Actor.


And a few seconds after his name was called ...

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things ... About the 2015 Oscars

Neilpatrickharris.briefsNeil Patrick Harris put another notch on his bed post after his latest hosting conquest - this time acting as ringmaster at the Academy Awards for the first time.  And while I like him just fine as an actor, his ubiquity as the go-to awards show host has worn thin.  I don't know, he's a bit too "clever" for my taste.  (And I found the routine about his Oscars picks, that dragged on throughout the show, particularly annoying).  Happily, I don't watch the telecast because of the host.  In honor of The Sound of Music's 50th anniversary (see below), here are a few of my favorite things ... about the telecast:




  • The three Chris' all looked dashing: Pine, Evans and Pratt.  (Too bad Chris Hemsworth wasn't in attendance.)






  • As did the three black actors, all Brits, whose names I can never remember: Daniel Oyelowo, Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor.  Of the three, Oyelowo had by far the most screen time, constantly shown in shots scanning the audience (and he always knew he was on camera).







  • And Lupita Nyong'o also brought her style and grace to the podium ...




  • Speaking of style and grace, Emma Stone looked regal and absolutely stunning  with her red hair and porcelain skin creating such a beautiful effect.  This may be my favorite photo of the entire telecast.




  • The most adorable camera shot of the telecast had to be this one of Eddie Redmayne, who later won the Oscar for Best Actor.




  • Meryl Streep's intro to the "In Memoriam" segment was so touching and beautifully presented, like hearing a heartfelt eulogy.  I've replayed it repeatedly.  




  • Has there ever been a more jarring juxtaposition between two nominated songs than the frenetic Everything Is Awesome (from The Lego Movie) and Glen Campbell's mournful I'm Not Going to Miss You (from the documentary about his dealing with Alzheimer's Disease)?  The Campbell ballad, sung by Tim McGraw, brought to mind the deeply touching song Keep Me In Your Heart by Warren Zevon that was performed at the 2004 Grammys after his death.





  • One year after Pink wowed the audience with her rendition of Over the Rainbow, Lady Gaga did the same with her loving medley of songs from the Sound of Music (which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year).  However, the performance was marred for me by the sight of Gaga's numerous tattoos.  Not quite as numerous as Adam Levine's, but nonetheless a jarring disconnect from the movie.  The performance was capped off by Julie Andrew's warm embrace of Gaga.







  • Most Amusing Acceptance Speech - The director of Ida rambled on about the juxtaposition between the grim, gray world portrayed in the film in comparison to the glitz of Hollywood (which he referred to as "the happy center of noise and world attention").  Then he amiably spoke of his dead wife, parents and relatives and then mentioned his children (who, he added, "are all still alive").




  • Most Moving Acceptance Speech - Graham Moore (who won Best Adapted screenplay for Imitation Game) observed how unfair it was that he was getting accolades rather than Alan Turing, who was persecuted for being gay and committed suicide.  Moore then revealed that he contemplated suicide at the age of 16.  He urged young gay people out of the mainstream to "stay weird, stay different". 




  • Looking at NPH in his tight wine-colored tux made me uncomfortable because I felt confined.  Reminded me of a little kid in a snowsuit.




  • Despite what I said earlier, I actually chuckled at a number of NPH's quips.  For instance in mentioning the gift bags given to nominees he noted that the $160,000 worth of merchandise and gift certificates in every bag included "an armored car ride to safety when the revolution comes".  (Julianne Moore loved that one).




  • In introducing Channing Tatum: "He's the real deal, pants down, I mean hands down."




  • The winner of the Best Documentary Short, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, wore a Cher-worthy gown covered with fur balls.  After she left the podium NPH said, "I liked that dress.  It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that."  (One thing he didn't joke about, however, was the Sony hacking debacle from the end of last year.)




  • Gay Presence: Besides NPH, other gay persons who got camera time included the singing duo Tegan & Sara and journalist Glenn Greenwald.  (I originally listed Graham Moore, the Best Adapted Screenplay winner, as being gay but he told reporters that he wasn't.)  Additionally, Terrence Howard and Common mentioned gay rights during their time at the podium.






  • Reese Witherspoon presented a few minutes after a TV promo aired for a new ABC drama starring ex-husband, Ryan Philippe ...






  • I so enjoyed Adam Levine's charged performance of his Best Song nominee Lost Stars.  This was the first time I was hearing the song and after replaying this clip countless times I ended up buying the song on iTunes (as I also did with Rita Ora's nominated song Grateful).









  • I chuckled over diminutive Kevin Hart being one of the presenters for Best Animated Short (and I scratched my head over his choice of formal wear).




  • Finally, regardless of what was happening up on stage Robert Duvall wore the same blank expression.




If you love the Oscars, you may find my recaps from 2014, 2013 and  2012 of interest.

2014 Oscars Recap - Ellen DeGeneres Hosts a Kinder, Gentler Academy Awards

Selfie.at.oscarsAt first I wasn't enthusiastic about Ellen DeGeneres being host of the 2014 Academy Awards, but she eventually won me over (one of her charms is her ability to do this).  Her extensive mingling with the audience gave the telecast somewhat of a relaxed, "Golden Globes" feel.  Not only were the illustrious attendees good sports, they enthusiastically participated in Ellen's pizza delivery scheme and then a group selfie (right).  And I was thankful she didn't dance.


  • Ellen diverged from her anodyne presentation style just once, when she remarked, in the show's opening minutes, that the guy who came as Liza looked incredible.  (Liza was there, along with siblings Lorna Luft and Joey Luft, because of a tribute to The Wizard of Oz.)



  • John Travolta actually had somewhat human looking hair, but his mangling of singer Idina Menzel's name (inexplicably calling her Adela Dazeem) made his appearance a new classic Oscar moment.




  • The cutest boy at the ceremony was Anne Hathaway.




  • Jared Leto, made a moving acceptance speech upon winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.  However, after mentioning the troubles in Ukraine and Venezuela, he failed to say anything about Uganda and its newly instituted anti-gay laws.  Considering the subject matter of the movie he won the Oscar for, this was an unfortunate omission.




  • Leto's tribute to his mother, who was seated next to him in the audience, brought to mind a similar heartfelt maternal tribute by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman when he won his Best Actor Oscar for Capote in 2006.




  • One of the co-winners for Best Make Up, Robin Matthews (Dallas Buyers Club), made a very poignant remark during her acceptance speech about AIDS awareness among today's younger generation.
  • Kim Novak's appearance was a sadly embarrassing one.  There was a jarring disparity between the voice of an 81-year-old woman coming from a body that resembled a blow-up doll.  Her appearance and somewhat confused state reminded me of AbFab's Eddie.  Novak's appearance might not have been so distressing if she had been paired instead with Bill Murray as her co-presenter rather than Matthew McConaughey.  Then an hour later 68-year-old Goldie Hawn, desperately clinging to her once youthful days of the 1970s (or trying to compete with daughter Kate Hudson?), presented an award.  Struggling with aging is the unfortunate reality of Hollywood.




  • Honor Roll of Dashing Men: Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt and Chris Pine.





  • The two best looking presenter couples: Jason Sudeikis & Kate Hudson and Chris Hemsworth & Charlize Theron.




  • 48 persons were honored during the "In Memoriam" segment (well above the typical 25 or 30), including Shirley Temple, Deanna Durbin and Esther Williams.  It was capped off by a divine appearance by Bette Midler.




  • Pharrell William's performance of his nominated song Happy was the most entertaining of the Best Song performances, especially when he went into the audience and danced with Lupita Nyong'o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.  Another Best Song performer, Idina Minzel (aka Adela Dazeem), came in for a rough landing at the end of her song, Let it Go, from the movie Frozen.  Lastly, guitarist Ezra Koenig's red socks perfectly matched the gown of singer Karen O during their performance of Moon Song from the movie Her.





  • Upon receiving her Oscar for Best Actress, Cate Blanchet said that receiving the award from Daniel Day Lewis "exacerbated the honor."  Unfortunately, exacerbate means "to make something worse."  She probably meant to say something like, "enhanced the honor."




  • Matthew McConaughey, who looked so dashing, gave an acceptance speech for Best Actor that not only was vapid and egocentric, but didn't once allude to the subject of his film.
  • Upon winning Best Picture, Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave,  managed to ramble on and thank two dozen people without mentioning one cast member.


Some reviews of the telecast criticized it for being boring.  Granted, there were no surprises as far as winners go, nonetheless I was entertained.  Those who were unenthusiastic may have been disappointed by a lack of rudeness or mean spiritedness - the norm of reality shows that blight the TV landscape.      






The 2013 Academy Awards: A Post Mortem

2013_oscar_winnersThe 2013 Oscars telecast was a rather tedious affair, largely characterized by the awkward reaction of the audience at LA's Dolby Theatre to host Seth MacFarlane's borderline tasteless attempts at humor.  However, I wasn't too troubled as it was nice to see a fresh face.  On what it is considered our big night, our Super Bowl, gays were mentioned three times.



  • The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles appeared on stage.
  • After the chorus' appearance, MacFarlane told William Shatner (who was visiting from the future) that he wasn't a member of the chorus, to which Shatner replied, "Oh, trust me, in July 2015 you join the chorus".
  • Later in the telecast MacFarlane announced that the musical Chicago was being honored for winning Best Picture 10 years ago, "because we're afraid the show wasn't gay enough yet."
  • By far, the highlight of the night for me was Dame Shirley Bassey, who appeared at the end of a tribute to 50 years of James Bond movies and performed the theme from Gold Finger.  It was a very electric performance (such expressive use of her hands and arms!) and the audience gave her quite a reception.  Later, at the end of the "In Memoriam" tribute, Barbra Streisand came on stage and, in tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, sang The Way We Were.




  • I loved hearing last year's Best Actor winner, French actor Jean Dujardin, pronouncing the names of the Best Actress nominees.




  • Although it was a nice surprise to see the Gay Men's Chorus of LA on stage, unfortunately, it was during the frat boy number I Saw Your Boobs. (Whose sprightly melody I can't get out of my head.)  I don't know what the connection was between the two.  Mercifully, they were on screen just 15 seconds.  And Although I'm not certain, I believe they may also have provided background vocals for Adele later in the telecast. 




  • Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum did a very nice Astaire/Rogers dance number at the beginning of the show, performed to The Way You Look Tonight.  And Catherine Zeta Jones killed during her All That Jazz number. 




  • Beards (the facial hair type) were the look for men as evidenced by Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, Jean Dujardin, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Bryan Cranston, Chris Pine, Justin Theroux and Ann Hathaway's husband.  (I lost count at ten.)




  • Melissa McCarthy's and Paul Rudd's banter fell embarrassingly flat (and like last year, her gown resembled a shapeless sack); Daniel Radcliffe and Kristin Stewart had no chemistry whatsoever; the usually stunning Nicole Kidman looked a bit wilted; and Rene Zelwegger looked uncomfortable when she appeared on stage with her fellow cast members from Chicago.




  • Thankfully, 75-year-old Jane Fonda looked incredible because her gown was bound to draw attention due to its canary-yellow color.  And co-presenter, Michael Douglas (68 years old), also looked great.




In closing, one thing I'll say in Seth MacFarlane's favor is that he has a very nice speaking and singing voice.



To read my comments from last year's Oscar telecast, double click here.





Joan Crawford & Bette Davis Star in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (October 31, 1962)




It was well known that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford didn't like each other, so it would seem that little acting was required when they starred opposite each other as the battling, spinster Hudson sisters in the campy Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?  By the time of the movie's release in the fall of 1962, both Oscar-winning actresses were in the sunset of their careers - Davis was 54 years old, Crawford 57.  How appropriate that the movie opened on Halloween.


The movie was a hit, the fourth most popular film of 1962.  (Its $9 million gross is comparable to about $100 million in today's inflation adjusted dollars.)  Davis was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category but lost to Anne Bancroft, who won for her role in The Miracle Worker.  The enterprising Crawford made her self available to Bancroft and accepted the Oscar on her behalf, triumphantly breezing down the aisle past Davis to accept the statue as if it were hers! 




One of my all-time favorite movie lines is from Baby Jane.  After Joan's character, Blanche, bemoans how Jane wouldn't treat her so poorly if she weren't crippled and in a wheel chair, Jane cooly replies, "but you are, Blanche, but you are".  I've found that line very useful in countless situations where someone is complaining about their lot in life.




In March 2017 an eight-episode series about the making of the movie aired on FX, starring Susan Sarandon as Davis and Jessica Lange as Crawford.  It was directed by Ryan Murphy.  At first glance, upon seeing the magazine cover below, I thought the actress playing Joan was Caitlynn Jenner!


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Academy Awards Televised for 1st Time (March 19, 1953)

First_televised_academyawards52264123 The bane of Hollywood's existence, television, was embraced tonight as the Academy Awards was televised for the first time - on the occasion of Oscar's 25th anniversary.  With Bob Hope serving as master of ceremonies, it aired on March 19, 1953 on NBC at 9:30PM on a Thursday evening.  Some awards were presented in Hollywood, others in New York.   


Gary Cooper won his second Best Actor Oscar, this time for High Noon (John Wayne accepted for him), Shirley Booth won Best Actress for Come Back, Little Sheba and Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth won for Best Picture (many film buffs consider it one of most undeserving movies to get an Oscar).


Today, the Academy Awards is jokingly referred to as the Gay Super Bowl, but it's doubtful a playful moniker such as that was attached to the Oscar telecast back in the 1950s, a time when homosexuals were hardly a topic of everyday conversation.