The 2016 Oscars: My review

Time once again for my snarky review of the interminable Academy Awards. It was 3 ½ hours of political message-flogging delivered by the most narcissistic sanctimonious community on the planet. We were bombarded with non-stop passionate pleas for diversity, tolerance, feminism, gender “confirmation,” and warnings about sexual abuse, “weirdo billionaires,” and saving the environment. And then at the after-parties, the big heartbreak was that Lady Gaga didn’t win.

Academy voters don’t exclude people because of their race. They exclude people because they’re friends they don’t want to see do better than them. Get real.

I boycotted the Oscars for the same reason Will Smith did. I wasn’t nominated.

And Jada Picket Smith boycotting the ceremony had the same impact as Sarah Palin boycotting the Mensa convention.

Chris Rock’s opening monologue was scathing and quite funny. If only the show’s producers had left it there.

I’m very empathetic to the cause, but by the time they did that montage with Whoopi Goldberg entering JOY bemoaning the lack of black actors in movies I screamed at the screen: I GET IT!!! I FUCKING GET IT!!!

No Oscar review would be complete without first checking in on the KTLA Channel 5 Red Carpet Show hosted by Sam Rubin (the man who put the “hyper” in hyperbole) and Jessica Holmes (prom night in Biafra). Plus, fashion expert, Lawrence Zarian (whoever he is). Eagle-eyed Lawrence critiqued the stars on the red carpet, somehow mistaking Mindy Kaling for Joy Mangano. That’s a common mistake. When they finally did show Mindy he gushed: “I love when a television actress looks like a movie star.”

But you can’t beat Sam and Jess for sheer insipid babble. How’s this for a segue? Sam: “The award season has been described as an endless slog, beginning in December, going all the way into February, but here’s Sam Smith!”

Jessica to Louis Gossett Jr.: “You’re here to be a presenter.” No, he corrected her; he was there to introduce the In Memoriam segment. Jessica covered beautifully by asking: “I’m sure, you being in the business so long yourself, have lost someone you love. We all have friends that unfortunately… we all have friends – so many have passed.”   Where’s Tawny Little when you need her?

But nothing tops Sam Rubin’s interview with Jacob Tremblay, the kid from THE ROOM. First Sam asked if he brought toys with him. When Jacob said no but he brought candy, Sam asked: “Do you like mints?” But then he asked this towhead, who is 9, whether he wants to direct? You can’t make this stuff up.

Over on another network the woman host asked Saorise Ronan, “Is that your dad?” to which she said, “No, that’s Nick Hornby.”

But I digress…

New this year: a running scroll at the bottom of the screen with the names of people the winners wished to thank. How many folks in the south turned it off thinking they were watching the Chabad Telethon? Heck, at one point there was even a tote board.

And you didn’t have to be anti-Semitic to cringe at Sarah Silverman’s routine. Funnier was Joe Biden’s speech.

Still, the low point was Chris Rock introducing Stacey Dash. Next to Bill Cosby, I can’t imagine a person of diversity that crowd wanted to see less.

Olivia Wilde looked like the woman holding the torch at the beginning of every Columbia Picture.

Big night for MAD MAX. It won most of the technical awards. I was quite happy because (a) it deserved them, and (b) the Australian’s speeches were refreshingly free of thanking the Gersh Agency.

A black man almost won an acting award. Sylvester Stallone must’ve spent the entire month in a tanning booth. He was darker than Lou Gossett Jr. That Sly lost to Mark Rylance was the upset of the night. But Rocky Balboa will be back I’m sure, this time coaching Abraham Attah.

Writers were honored by showing examples of their screenplays. These are among the dialogue snippets they chose: “Cool.” “Yes.” “Why?” “Yeah.” “OK.” I hope moviegoers can now finally appreciate what we do.

Best Supporting Actress winner Alicia Vikander looked spectacular in a strapless lemon-yellow gown. Now I’m sorry I used my screener of THE DANISH GIRL for a potholder.

How many years has John Williams been nominated for writing the same damn score?

R2D2 was funnier than Sarah Silverman.

The random aerial performer during Weekend’s singing of “Earn It” gave that number a real “Carnival Cruise line” feel.

Other than thanking her “team”, Brie Larson sounded genuine and humble. Glad she won. Although a little part of me was hoping Charlotte Rampling would win and be booed.

Did you notice how every actor thanked his “team?” Three years ago they’re telling you the specials at Buca di Beppo and now they’ve got a “team.”

“Sexiest dress of the night” award went to Rachel McAdams – a shimmering green gown with a long slit up the side. I now have a right leg fetish.

Jared Leto made a merken joke, acknowledging that most people don’t know what a merken is. If Rachel McAdams’ slit were any higher she could have given a demonstration.

Was there ever a bigger lock than Leo DiCaprio? First win in six tries. Too bad he gave all six acceptance speeches.

Expect Will Smith to be sleeping in an animal carcass come next Oscar season.

SPOTLIGHT winning Best Picture said to me the Academy not only doesn’t have enough diversity; it doesn’t have enough Catholics.

How great was Louis CK? Funniest presenter speech by far – championing the short documentary filmmakers who will never get rich and just make films that are important. Then the winner got up and the play off music began almost before she reached the microphone.

Olivia Munn’s make up person must’ve been the same guy who did Joel Grey in CABARET.

EX MACHINA won for Best Special Effects yet they played them off with the STAR WARS theme.

Distinguished movie actress Sofia Vergara (HOT PURSUIT, MACHETE KILLS, THE 3 STOOGES) was there to once again do her tired Charo act. She couldn’t even pronounce “Saul.”

Not cool. They played off the director of SON OF SAUL (a Holocaust movie) with Wagner.

When Margot Robbie walked out, I thought there was going to be a salute to GOLDFINGER.

The Girl Scout Cookie bit didn’t work when Ellen did it with pizzas a couple of years ago.

Meanwhile, the last thing Patricia Arquette needs is more Girl Scout cookies.

I found Ennio Morricone’s speech very touching, even through a translator. It must’ve been excruciating for Lady Gaga to see a standing ovation that wasn’t for her.

When they don’t even perform your nominated song, don’t even bother writing a speech. Same if you’re up against Pixar.

Cate Blanchett’s gown looked like a couch she was sitting on exploded.

Ellen K. did a great job as the booth announcer.

Since when do they give the Best Director award before the Best Actor & Actress awards? Congratulations to Alejandro Inarittu, truly an artist. With this win he is now pre-approved by CBS to direct an episode of SUPERGIRL.

Am I the only one who thought Lady Gaga’s performance was just a tad overwrought? Seeing all of those survivors was very moving, even if their entrance did remind me of the kids from OLIVER. But cutting back to Lady Gaga alternating between Celine Dion and Jerry Lee Lewis was a little much. Does she have to upstage everybody? Always?

Congratulations to all the winners. Well deserved every one, although I have no idea what Sam Smith was singing. Something about breaking a fall, suffocating, and Spectre hires too many whites, I dunno?

All in all, this year’s Oscarcast was 3 ½ hours of being lectured, harangued, and blamed for the world’s ills by the people who brought you TED 2. Weren’t we were supposed to be celebrating movies? I think Idris Elba is a great actor and I bought three boxes of Girl Scout cookies, so leave me the hell alone!

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