Monday Morning Critic – 10 Thoughts On The 2015 Academy Awards Winners & Losers


It was a slow week, of course, as the big story was the build to the 2015 Academy Awards. Oscars were awarded en masse, of course, and tales of organizing my DVD collection aren’t nearly as interesting as what happened last night. Thus comes the easiest column of the year besides the Top 10 films list: 10 thoughts on this year’s Oscars!

To be fair, I was clicking back and forth from the Oscars and the UFC Fight Night in Brazil. So if I missed something … oh well, it happens.

10. The Red carpet is absolutely passable … and sort of embarrassing in this day and age.

The one thing that’s always bothered me about the build up to the Oscars is the multi-hour look at the arrivals of everyone famous. I mean I get it, it’s a nice build up of viewership to the big event, but perhaps a big reason why people are kind of turned off by the whole ceremony is the “What are you wearing?” aspect of it all. It’s sort of symbolic of our celebrity obsessed media that 3-4 hours of time is purely designed to show people showing up to an awards ceremony.

9. The big awards should have extended video packages

Less than 30 seconds per diem is not enough to really get a good grasp of how good a performance really was. As is all we got were the “big trailer moment” in each one. A good couple of minutes would allow those who hadn’t seen the films to really get a grasp of it.

8. Neil Patrick Harris showed why having a host for the Oscars isn’t necessary

NPH wasn’t awful, or awesome, but he was an improvement from the past couple years. The problem is that hosting the Oscars feels perfunctory at this point. The entire ceremony is overblown and overwrought, taking what could be a two hour streamlined ceremony that takes care of the big awards and blowing it up beyond all repair.

7. JK Simmons shouldn’t ever have to do another Farmers Insurance commercial … but Miles Teller should’ve been nominated too

JK Simmons is one of those actors everyone adores and has TONS of credits to his resume … but never a lot of notoriety. He reminds me a lot of Timothy Olyphant, star of FX’s Justified. Everyone who works with him adores him, and raves about his ability, but it took a lot longer than many thought for him to find that role that showcases everything special about him. Simmons in Whiplash was the right role at the right time for him. I don’t think Miles Teller got enough credit for helping him bring out the absolute brilliance in the part. I think that was the biggest snub of this year’s Oscars; Teller had a much tougher role and being opposite Simmons was a much tougher role than anything he’s done.

6. Patricia Arquette with the first cringe moment of many of the night

I have no problem when Hollywood types go off on their politics. I prefer my Oscars without them, of course, because I think this should be a celebration of film and nothing more. It’s just … interesting … when someone from Hollywood royalty and allegedly worth $24 million wants to discuss wage inequality during what’s most likely her professional high point. It’s a unique statement to make during the Oscars in front of the entertainment industry en masse, which isn’t exactly as progressive economically as it is socially. The sort of self righteousness throughout the ceremony one imagines could be very off putting to a lot of viewers.

5. Roger Ebert and Joan Rivers get left off the “In Memoriam” Piece

Ebert I understand, as he made his living snarking on Hollywood for a good chunk of his work. Rivers was an odd omission from the proceedings, though. One of the most influential comics of her time, and easily the most influential female comic of all-time, Rivers was an industry standout for decades and helped establish the pageantry of the awards with her work on the red carpet.

4. Lady Gaga doing the Sound of Music may have been the oddest thing of the night

Lady Gaga has been known for aping 1980s Madonna for so long that showing up to sing a combination of songs from that film in a dress, an actual dress, was about as shocking as she can get now. I genuinely expected her to show up in another dress made up of dead animal flesh. Now tomorrow she’ll show up in an outfit that looks like an orange traffic cone, of course, but for one night we got to see her drop all the BS and be the sort of great singer she could be. For all her outfit shenanigans, et al, Gaga has some chops when she wants to and this could be a big moment in her career.

3. Eddie Murphy’s award presentation was a good indicator why he shouldn’t have hosted, after all

After being the best stand up in the world, with two of the most influential stand up comedy films of all time, Eddie Murphy seems to have lost it as a live performer. It showed on the SNL show last weekend, as well, and I think he knows that he doesn’t have it in him to be a gifted live performer anymore. It’s why I think he pulled out from hosting it a couple years ago. He didn’t look comfortable in any aspect, much like on SNL.

2. Eddie Redmayne beat the odds, but not history

If you win the SAG award for Best Actor, the odds are profoundly in your favor to win an Oscar. As much as people wanted Benedict Cumberbatch or Michael Keaton to win, the indicators usually bear out. His acceptance speech was the best of the night by far as his exuberance was infectious.

1. Boyhood goes down as one of the grandest experiments in movie history, Oscar loss aside

Birdman won the war in the Oscar race, of course, but Boyhood will wind up being the film we remember more for the grandiose nature of what it went for.

Stuff for General George S. Pimpage, Esq

Chris Roberts discusses a horror movie sequel.

Travis tackled Kevin Costner’s latest.

BC tackles Ethan Hawke time traveling.

I gave my picks for the Oscars. How’d I do?

If you want to pimp anything email it to me with a good reason why. It helps to bribe me with stuff, just saying ….

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 tall boys of Red Fox and community college co-eds with low standards at the Fox and Hound

Focus – Will Smith is a con man who runs a con company. The hot chick from The Wolf of Wall Street messes things up.

See It – This is the first non summer film, non franchise film, of Smith’s in a long time. That alone makes this film a curiosity worth seeing.

The Lazarus Effect – Olivia Wilde dies. Then she doesn’t. Bad things happen.

Skip it – This reeks of a film that’s going to be on DVD in a couple of weeks from now.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .

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