Friendo of friendo with HE edits and add-ons: “Worst-ever year for movies produces worst-ever Oscar results, although it’s not as if they didn’t have better options to vote for.

“After years of spreading their awards around, the Academy has showered a piece of multiverse Marvel mulch with seven (7) Oscars…the membership changes of recent years are also now showing a different motivation among the members. Fraser, Yeoh, Curtis and even Ke Huy Quan are all the beneficiaries of DEI sentimentality and general emotional cappuccino froth over real coffee and perceptive judgment.”

HE hat-tip for “conkirk” epitaph (with minor edits): “The more I think about it, the more I laugh. Top Gun: Maverick was really normie heaven, and represented everything that made most people feel good about movies. The oldsters loved the genteel (except for the bloody finger stubs) and traditional Banshees. The younger generation loves Elvis. (Rght?) Cineastes are obsessed with Tar, and plebs anxious about World War 3 are gripped by All Quiet on Western Front.

“So the rubes tune in and watch their favorite films lose as they listen to some director extolling the virtues of drag shows for children, and all of their suspicions about Hollywood and the Oscars were confirmed. This was the last straw for normies and mainstream audiences, I suspect. They will completely give up.

As someone said, this is not an event with any relationship to us, or even worthy of attention anymore. It exists in its own realm, for an insular, shrinking group. The ratings in future years will stay in the cellar region, as award shows get smaller and smaller.”

11:43 pm: It’s been suggested that instead of reporting the truth (i.e., internet outage) that I say I turned off the Oscars 20 minutes before they ended in a state of anger and disgust. Which I didn’t do, although it kinda sounds good. All is lost. Nothing but pain, lethargy, despair and all of that good downer stuff. Academy voters are the Bubble People — the actual reality of things, the real state of cinema and how real-world people regard it, is a whole ‘nother thing.

11:26 pm: Strange as this may seem, the cable has blanked out and I have nothing but Twitter and the trades to rely upon for news of the final Oscar outcome. But a filmmaker friend has just written me: “The death of cinema.” The EEAAO baddies have stormed the Bastille. “Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now.” Identity, narrative, sentiment. Except for All Quiet on the Western Front, true quality took a back seat.

10:55 pm: M. M. Keeravani, RRR‘s music composer (otherwise known to rubes as the bald, fat, bearded, happy guy) singing the Carpenters’ “Top of the World” as part of his acceptance speech for the Best Song Oscar…a very special moment. I mean this. I felt glad for him, for everyone.

10:46 pm: “Anyone who wants Robert Blake to be included in the ‘In Memoriam’ segment, text your assent.” Or words to that effect.

10:38 pm: The Daniels (Kwan, Scheinert) have won Best Original Screenplay for EEAAO. Bad sign, dark omen, clouds forming. And Women Talking wins for Best Adapted Screenplay — predicted and presumed by nearly everyone. Friendo: “With EEAAO winning Best Original Screenplay, I’m afraid it’s over, Jeff. FUCK FUCK FUCK…Martin McDonaugh should’ve won for Best Original.”

10:25 pm: The Cocaine Bear promotion (two appearances) is very strange considering that the film is utterly silly….a low-grade exploitation film if I ever saw one. And it gets a big friendly push from the Oscars, allegedly a celebration of movie excellence?

10:14 pm: Friendo: “All Quiet winning yet another tech Oscar is a good sign. If it wins Best Adapted Screenplay, it could win Best Picture.”

10:08 pm: All Quiet wins the Best Production Design Oscar.

9:59 pm: Lady Gaga (zero makeup, torn jeans) singing the nominated Top Gun: Maverick song was the second best moment of the telecast.

9:54 pm: The show is now two hours old, and here’s the one thing I haven’t yet posted: “The makeup / Best Actor Oscars often go together, so Brendan Fraser takes the Best Actor Oscar.”

9:41 pm: As expected, Edward Berger‘s All Quiet on the Western Front takes Best Int’l Feature Oscar. Fine, deserved…but I would’ve voted for Lukas Dhont‘s Close.

9:34 pm: Hands down, the RRR musical dance number (“Naatu Naatu”) was the single best moment of the show so far.

9:27 pm: Best Costume Oscar goes to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Really? Why?

9:18 pm: Brendan Fraser‘s fat suit wins the Best Makeup Oscar. First-rate work, deeply unpleasant to contemplate.

9:05 pm: All Quiet on the Western Front wins Best Cinematography Oscar. Good call. No issues. Well deserved.

8:35 pm: EEAAO‘s Jamie Lee Curtis wins for Best Supporting Actress? Congrats, I guess, but this, for me, is the worst possible outcome in this category. JLC was overbearing and over-everything in EEAAO, and for me no fun at all. Loud, broad, bold caps. I get it, I get it…this is a career tribute award, but she hasn’t been in a decent film in decades…not since True Lies. This award has nothing to do with quality of performance. Nothing to do wit “standards,” as most people understand and respect them.

8:30 pm: EEAAO‘s Ke Huy Quan wins Best Supporting Actor…huge non-surprise. Congrats but calm down, dude…stop crying…you knew this was locked for several weeks. Everyone did.

8:10 pm: Excellent Nicole Kidman held hostage by AMC joke, Jimmy. James Cameron, “the Avatar guy who hasn’t been mominated for a Best Director Oscar” or words to that effect….what do they think he is, a woman?” Great Will Smith vs. crisis team joke!

8:48 pm: Another Brad Pitt DeLonghi commercial…nice paycheck, I’m sure:

5:15 Pacific: Said it earlier; repeating for emphasis — Hollywood Elsewhere wants (a) the Everything Everywhere All At Once wins kept to a minimum and (b) at least one HE fave (Kerry Condon, say) to win in their category.

Otherwise this is going to be a bit of a misery slog for me, and for people burdened with classic taste in movies. (We are legion!) The show hasn’t even begun and I’m already drowning in weltschmerz. For me the happiest Oscar show was 20 years ago when Roman Polanski‘s The Pianist starting whipping Chicago‘s ass. Tonight is going to be mostly awful for me…just awful. What do you want me to do, lie?

Posted on 8.6.22: